Sunday, January 29, 2006

Part II: Don't Get Caught

Back in the restaurant, I saddled up next to a table by the window. The place was extremely crowded and I still had two hours to go before game time. I managed to get a table right next to the window, but I felt a little awkward standing all alone. Then a guy approached and asked, “Hey, can I share this table with you?”

“Absolutely,” I said, relieved that I can now share a table.

The man introduced himself as Fred. Fred is a driver for a fancy transport service; he’s about 40-years-old with white hair. He claimed he was given free tickets by the V.I.P.s he drove in. Fred was really uneasy and I didn’t believe his story. It’s unclear why he’s here, and he doesn’t know a single thing about football. He didn’t know what a running back was. He started stacking all his work stuff on the table. Jesus, this guy’s an amateur. We chat it up with a bunch of people and I get my picture taken with my disguise.

I had some time to kill and there were some clean plates on our table. I asked Fred to save my spot, and I helped myself to the $300 buffet. After stacking my plate with prime rib, crab, and a side of filet mignon, I headed back to the table. Fred’s eyes grew moist at the sight of my food.

“How did you get all that food?”

“It came with my ticket,” I answered confidently.

“Really,” he asked. “Do you think I could get some?”

I tried to tell him it wasn’t a good idea, without tipping my hand, but he went to the buffet anyway. When he came back, I ordered a Sprite and headed to the bathroom telling Fred to save my spot. In the bathroom I mixed the my vodka with the Sprite and finished the stash of brownies.

When I left the restroom I saw my manager Michelle only five feet away from me! I ducked my head and tried to hide in the crowd. It didn’t work.

“Excuse me,” I heard a female voice say in my direction. “Excuse me!” Shit, looks like Michelle saw me.

Not so, it’s a security guard, but Michelle was still right behind me.

“Excuse me sir you can’t have glass in this section.”

“What?” I said, “I didn’t know, I’ll just go back,” and I attempted to walk away.

“No!” she nearly yelled. “You need to stop right there.”

I froze, busted.

“Here’s a plastic cup.”

“Oh, thanks,” I said, pouring my mix into the plastic cup, and handing her the glass. I walked swiftly back to my table, the commotion had not caught Michelle’s attention.

When I reached the table, the area was nearly empty, though when I had left there were a least a dozen dudes around the table. Fred was there eating. Fred what did you do?

“What happened to everybody Fred?”

“Oh they just left,” he said looking guilty. “They were asking how I got the table, and how I got the food, and they got upset about something.”

Fred what did you say!

“That’s weird,” I said going back to my remaining prime rib. Fred was making me nervous.

Just then an angry floor manager with a walkie-talkie and a check pad rushed our table. She was a short haughty looking brunette who immediately went up to Fred, “Excuse me sir, there seems to be some sort of discrepancy about your bill, there has been a complaint from the guests.”


Fred immediately started pointing at me, “Well this guy told me it that it was OK to eat” That wasn’t true! I thought of defending myself at this point, but those two were going at it heatedly now. I just kept eating those crab cakes and staring out the window. The argument dies down a bit, apparently Fred is here under some extraordinary circumstances, but he doesn’t get a ticket or food for that matter. Fred was blaming me, and I’m ignoring these two trying to look cool as a cucumber as I gaze out the window at field goal practice. I was trying to decide if it was time to bolt or not, and I could feel my heart beating in my neck.

“Look,” she said in a concluding tone “No matter how cool this guy is,” She gestured to me, “he doesn’t work here,” actually funny story-- “You need to consult with us if you want to get anything. OK?!” She gave me a long glance and walked away. I needed to get out of here; that was way too close; I still had an outstanding bill and another Sprite on the way.

Suddenly, the Stagecoach restaurant was thinning out rapidly and the crowds I had hoped would hide my trespassing were vanishing. I was exposed bare with the awkward Fred flanking me at the table. The employees, having handled the rush were crowding towards the windows, to catch the first part of the game. My catering manager Michelle was now at the table directly behind me. I was fucked. I just kept staring out the window.

My soda arrived and I paid the lady with a big tip. I mixed up the drinks put them in a plastic cup and made a break for it. I took a long semicircular exit route, making sure to keep my back to Michelle.

In the hallway I encountered more security. “Where ya headed young man?”

“I need the elevator to the main concourse.”

“You’re leaving us just as the games starting? How did you get up here?” she asks.

“Oh I had tickets for the buffet too.”

“OK,” she said looking really perplexed, “the elevators are right there, go Seahawks!”

“Go Seahawks indeed!”

On the elevator was another security guy, this was now my 10th incident with security, would it never stop?

“Why are you going to the concourse?” he asked.

“I’m just meeting some friends,” I say.

“Cool,” we get off the elevator. I go to the entrance where from the windows above I had spotted some empty seats. The crowd is screaming and the game is about to begin. At the entrance an usher stops me.

“Can I see your ticket,” the usher asks.

“GO SEAHAWKS,” I replied and gave her a big Hi-5! Smack! I used this momentum to propel me out into the seating area, which is a madhouse already and it's full of smoke and fireworks. I rushed up to the row I had seen and I take the middle of five seats. Except I don’t sit down. No one sits down apparently.

No comments: