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Whirlygig: 14

Out on the Town

By · February 21st, 2002 · Whirlygig
Edited by Rebecca Lomax

These Kids are Alright
I'm not the kind of person who enjoys listening to cover bands. That being said, The Shams chose a very entertaining cover band to open for them Saturday night at Top Cat's. Hailing from Middletown, The Wholigans cover, well, Who songs.

I never really thought about it, but it's actually quite obvious that when it comes to cover bands good songs are half the battle. Most cover bands play songs I didn't like when the original artists played them. The Wholigans on the other hand played songs like "A Quick One," "Happy Jack" and "Tommy." They even did a bluesy version of "My Generation."

For this particular show the band was without a singer. Seems he had to work until 10 and then just didn't show up. But the remaining three, especially the drummer, compensated quite admirably for the absent vocalist.

Though the bar was barely half full, everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show. This was also evident because the band was allowed to play until 12:30 leaving less time for the two bands still to go.

Although I went to see the Shams, I'm not sure if they ever made it to the stage or for how long, because Zero Crag drove me away. They weren't bad, but their brand of Punk following Who covers was like drinking orange juice after wine.

Kudos to the girl with the pink Mohawk. I wish there were more impeccably coifed Mohawks in the world. Plus I know before long kids'll start thinking a person like that is just imitating That '80s Show.


High Maintenance or Just High Standards?
After a rather hectic week of too many meetings, appointments and deadlines, I was totally ready to relax this weekend. There was no better way than in front of the fire at The Hyde Park Chop House with a nice bottle of red wine and a second date. Single life agrees with me tonight.

My inquisitive date Tim asked all the usual questions about hometown, college, career, family and friends. Sometimes I find this invasive and tiresome, wishing we could skip to Chapter Five when we have all the facts and the more interesting "here and now" starts. On this evening I found it easier than usual to divulge all the minutiae of the biography called Wendy. I attribute this to his natural curiosity and casual compliments, plus the merlot.

The Chop House hummed with the suburban patrons and efficient staff when in a flurry of blonde my sister arrived tableside. A pleasant surprise since we hardly ever talk live -- instead communicating like so many through cell phone voice messages.

My sister lights up the room with her charm and Tim complimented her style and ease.

We went to the bar so Tim could meet my brother-in-law and the other couple. Drinks were in everyone's hands and the bar was full and festive with a Jazz combo playing. The introductions made, Tim and I returned to our quiet table by the fire.

The entrées arrived and as I ate, the realization hit that this date was better than most. I would definitely see Tim again and if I could convince him to drop fewer names, we could have a great time. I was interested in him, not who he knows. Maybe he was nervous. Maybe it was his profession. As he excused himself, I stared into the fire and hoped for the best.

Tim returned from the restroom visibly disturbed. Upon inquiry, he admitted that my brother-in-law was also present and man talk ensued. OK, I guess. Well, not OK, I found out. Tim shook his head in confusion as he relayed the warning from my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law of 18 years said, "You seem like a nice guy. I like you. Run like hell. Wendy is high maintenance and there are guys strewn on both sides of the road. If I were you, I would stay away from her."

Really. No wonder Tim seemed shaken. He's thinking, "This is her family speaking." He also said that guys look out for each other. Well, that may be true, but I was amazed that my brother-in-law liked my date when he barely spoke to him when I introduced the two an hour prior. Tim continued with his confusion saying that it didn't make sense because I had spoken so highly of them earlier in the evening and seemed genuinely happy to see them. Yeah, I did and I was. How dare he!

The evening sagged under the weight of the bathroom warning. Tim was left shaking his head and I fumed. I did not know that my brother-in-law felt I was high maintenance nor did I think he cared what I did, who I did or when I did it. It really was none of his business. Period.

As for warning my date: OUT OF LINE.

Am I high maintenance? I never thought so. I am out the door in 20 minutes flat, wear little to no make-up, and have real nails, short and unpolished. I pay my own bills. Mow my own yard. Drive a car with 60,000 miles and pay taxes. My boobs are real and sag. Isn't that low on the maintenance chart? Evidently not.

I do have an opinion. I am well read. I am successful. I do date. I am particular about who I spend time with.

I call it high standards.

As for "the guys strewn on both sides of the road," hey, I date men, not tall boys and we are all consenting adults. I take the hits as often as I give them

Maybe the definition of high maintenance is different for men and women. If it is the latter, I am guilty as charged. But for the record, Big Brother-in-law, keep your opinions to yourself.

-- Wendy Robinson

No-Value Meals
Today my family had lunch at Le Cezanne in Hyde Park. My husband paid and when he returned to the table said "Guess how much this cost." I guessed $22. He said $15. I had ordered the spinach and feta tart which came with a nice little side salad. With a glass of juice, it was a grand total of around $6.

This is a full meal, drink, lunch and a side item for around the same price as a McDonald's value meal. But Americans have an unspoken deal with Ronald: We'll pretend that we didn't just scrounge around under the couch cushions to find change to buy lunch and he'll pretend that he's serving us something that our digestive systems will recognize and be able to use to nourish our bodies.

We know all the issues. He's been accused of promoting junk food, of targeting minors, of exploiting employees, of cruelty to animals, of damaging the environment and of corporate world domination. But still we occasionally find ourselves in his red and yellow plastic establishment because it's cheap, quick and consistent.

Yesterday I was driving past a local McDonald's welcoming me to "Warm up with hot soup. Only $1.79." Sounds like a deal until you see that it's Campbell's soup. Yes, that's right: the soup that comes in a four-serving can for only 75 cents. Two blocks down the same road for $2.50 I can buy a cup of homemade soup. And it has ingredients I could actually buy at the store (I know where to get "tomatoes" and "beef stock." Which aisle are the mono and diglycerides in?)

I don't know if you've noticed but McDonald's has changed the way it does food service. In the good old days, the server grabbed our burgers from the burger slide and quickly shoved them in a bag in no time flat. Now the burgers are "made to order." This means we're left waiting somewhere between two lines of customers, looking around for our tray. We've handed over our money and now our fate is uncertain. Do you see this new word that has entered our McDonald's experience? WAITING!

A delightful little tart on a cheery yellow plate, a refreshing glass of juice and a crunchy salad in a bright French patisserie OR a piece of warmed meat on a Styrofoam bun, a cup of sugary bubbles and some vaguely potatoe-y fries under fluorescent lights. I chose Le Value Meal: My digestive system says "thank-you" and my watch and couch can hardly tell the difference.

-- Amanda Smith

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