Well, the title says it all. Rent-a-Nerd. Sigh.
My apologies to the party involved in the story but how could I not share? I think we all agreed in the end, it was a tale worth telling.
It all began with a relatively straight-forward Saturday night at the Bistro: multiple parties, fun people, parties 'camping' at tables, not enough water glasses or small forks, the kitchen buried in orders and generally a feeling of delightful chaos. We managed to seat our big party a little late (see aforementioned 'campers') but everything seemed to be going well.
Then there is this very loud voice saying, "Didn't this used to be a fireplace store?" In that moment, many thoughts raced through my mind. Is someone lost? Did I mishear? Is someone really drunk? Again, "Didn't this used to be a fireplace store?" Okay, now my brain is really racing and I'm looking around to see where this is coming from and then I see him: the Rent-A-Nerd. My heart sinks. (When I was telling this story to my in-laws, my recently retired nuclear physicist father-in-law piped up with, "I can rent myself out?")
My eyes landed on this guy wearing shorts (it was -5 outside) pulled up above his waist, an oversized suit jacket, oversized glasses and slicked back hair, holding balloons. He was shouting something about the customer and a stay in the hospital... Every minute or so he would interject with "Didn't this used to be a fireplace store?" He was so loud. The cooks and dishwashers in the back kitchen stopped working because it was so loud and awkward. Fortunately, the one birthday group was seated next to a second birthday group and for the most part, it seemed to be okay. Unfortunately, every single person in the restaurant was forced to stop their evening and hang out while this show took place.
I wish I could say that I handled this seamlessly and knew exactly how to behave but that is not the case. Alex and I exchanged about a thousand looks, hoping to see that the other one had figured out what to do. Nope. I walked outside and stood on the street for a few minutes. When I came back in, I got to hear the Rent-A-Nerd yelling "SHUT UP everyone, we have to sing happy birthday." Now I caught the eye of some of the birthday party guests and they looked as confused as me. So, I went over to one end of the table to offer to get them drinks. The guests asked me if I could get rid of the Rent-A-Nerd. Could I?! You bet. I discreetly went to the back of him and suggested that it was time to wrap it up. He tried to turn me into part of his show but that wasn't really going to happen...
In the end, he left and everyone exhaled a sigh of relief. Now we have a funny story! Second only to the couple that hung out in the bathroom together for a long time the same night... but that's for another day.