Sylvia and I went to a dinner party last night at the Tampa Club. It is a very classy (probably the classiest) restaurant at the top of the
Barnett … Nationsbank … Bank of America skyscraper downtown. It was a sort of graduation ceremony for the OB-GYN residents who were completing their fourth year. Lots of doctors. I was a bit underdressed in a pair of khakis, Docs, white dress shirt, and tie. Everyone else was in tuxedos, suits, and gowns.
So many people neglected to RSVP that some of us ended up sitting at hastily arranged tables in the bar. Not surprisingly, I became good friends with the bartender and the piano player. We sat near the end of the bar and discussed the amazing lightning show proceeding across the bay. Sylvia and I left as they were serving dessert so we could meet Ryan back at the house. This was around ten-fifteen.
At the bottom of the elevators there is a little diner / restaurant / bar, presumably for the city’s denizens who cannot afford to eat at the top of the building. When we walked past the entrance we could hear what sounded like someone trying – and failing horribly – to karaoke “Hotel California”. I poked my head into the place and in the corner there were a half-dozen guys and a woman trying to sing while two guitarists played behind them. The diner was fairly big – about the size of a Denny’s I guess. It was almost empty. Two women, apparently friends of the “singers” sat in a booth and a waitress and a bartender were roaming around the back.
Sylvia and I were cracking up at the thirtysomethings who had no idea what any of the words were. As soon as they saw us one of them – a 6’5″ish ex-football-player-looking guy – ran over, grabbed me, and took me back to the stage. I guess I have “the look” of someone who knows all the words to “Hotel California“. (That is an attempt at comedy. I don’t think I look anything like an Eagles fan.) I sang a few verses but couldn’t really tell where they were in the song or what verse they were going to sing next. They were very confused. When we got to the part about “we are all just prisoners here, of our own de-viiiiiiice” I ran for the door while they were all crooning, necks straining, eyes closed. The women in the booth applauded.