It is not the same without Earl

We went to eat at the steakhouse at the Gold Strike in Jean, Nevada last evening. It's the third time we've eaten at this quaint upscale joint. The price tags are a bit on the high side for a small place along the highway, but the high end decor and low lighting make it a good time anyway. That is it has been a good time on two of our three visits. Earl the host/waiter gives the place a charming classic feel. Last week, however, Earl was in a car accident and so he wasn't there last night. First there were no tables in non-smoking and we were told it would be an hour and a half wait. We finally got a table in smoking with five people around the table for four. After about 20 minutes of total invisibility the extremely unfriendly hostess told us somebody would be there soon. It was then that she seated the cigar-smoking regulars at the next table. Mind you she didn't put them as far away as possible, rather stuck them right next to the non-smoking party she had just forced into a smoking section. (Although in truth it's extremely that anyone in the "non-smoking" section didn't get the second-hand smoke of the stogies from the next table. As the stogie totting regulars lit up I though this was going to ruin the flavor of the whole meal.

It turns out I need not have worried. Given the simplicity of our order, prime rib, crab legs and chicken, it remains a mystery why two tables that were seated 20 and 30 minutes after we were, and whose orders were taken after ours got their food and were done eating before our meal arrived. Perhaps it was our waiter's insistence that potatoes came as an option instead of the pasta in a chicken-pasta dish.

The best entertainment of the evening was when the cigar-sucking clowns started talking politics. Their position, amazing as it might seem, goes something like this, because Kerry is married to a rich woman he can't possibly raise taxes on the rich. George W. Bush on the other hand is so wonderful because he is such a man of morals and has "never lied to the country". That's right folks, in the small town of Jean, Nevada there are folks who are so disconnected from reality they believe that Bush hasn't lied to us about 9/11, about Iraq, or anything. This means that logically these people have to also believe there WERE weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Wow. If it wasn't so important it would be funny.