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January 20, 2009

Are you closed?

January 20. Day 204.

This might be one of the most important things I've discovered -- or rather, truly internalized -- while doing this project.

Never assume. Even when you don't think it matters, even when your job isn't on the line or someone's reputation isn't at stake. Never. Assume.

Today's asking is a perfect example of why.

We decided to get dinner at Corvette Diner, a fun 50's style joint where practically everyone I knew growing up had a birthday party once between the ages of 6 and 12. Bewigged waitresses throw straws at you, a DJ plays the Beach Boys all night, and it all ends with a mountain of Bazooka bubble gum dumped onto your table.

La Divina and I got there around 9:30, and as we waited for Mr. A to arrive, I approached the door and saw they were closed.

No more customers. Most of the employees were sitting together in the front of the restaurant, laughing and catching up after a long day, and the chairs were perched on the tabletops.

I went back and broke the news.

"No!" La Divina wailed. When she came to visit me 13 years ago, she had a choco-peppermint shake that changed her life forever.

She tried a version in Italy, at a cafe/bar called "Beverly Village," but it was a pale shadow of this minticoco blast.

She even searched for something similar in the U.S., but nothing came close.

For 13 years she has fantasized about it. And now they were closed?

We were about to walk away, but I thought I'd check, anyway.

I popped my head inside.

"Are you closed?"

They all turned and smiled.


"Oh! I thought you were! It looks closed!"

"No! We're open in the back. Come on in!"

A moment later, Mr. A walked up and we slid into a booth.

Gained: Dinner at Corvette. Plus one chocopeppermint smoothie. Every bit as good as she remembered.
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