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June 19, 2009

Teach me how to take a man down?

June 19. Day 354.

Mr. A and I rang in our fourth year together tonight.

Since I know you'd rather read about asking and negotiations, I'll spare you the intimate, mushy, high-res blow-by-blow. (Except you. Yeah, you. I'm sure you'd like to read about it. Well, dream on, perv. We are not interested in that Canola oil themed "adult" weekend. Stop sending me samples!!!)


We started the evening at the Red Fox Steakhouse, a retro restaurant reminiscent of an English hunting lodge, enhanced by 60s style pleather booths and a live blues trio. We sometimes stroll over for a nightcap, but never dinner. I'd eyed the menu when I was hungry after midnight -- and Mr. A is always up for red meat -- but the kitchen was always closed when we were there.

Tonight was the night. We got there at 7, in time to chow down.

To kick things off I ordered a stiff drink, a gin and tonic. The waitress carded me, but it took me a while to dig out my ID. She went away, came back with our waters, and in the meantime I found my ID -- and a flash of inspiration. A more celebratory drink was in order.

"Could I actually have a pina colada?" I asked, handing her my ID.


She walked away, then came back to check.

"So you want that, and the gin and tonic." She wasn't insulting or accusing. Trust me. It's the kind of place where you could order two drinks at a time all night, and then the waitress would cheerfully call you a cab at the end. But she wanted to make sure, I guess.

"Instead, actually."

"Oh! Because that's a gin and tonic," she said, pointing to my 'water.' "Do you want me to replace it?"

I told her not to. We had plans after dinner -- a play at a nearby theater. I wasn't interested in passing out.

Gained I: Accidentally asked for two drinks, but downgraded just in time.

After dinner we walked a few blocks to a tiny neighborhood theater. They were putting on a Christopher Durang play, "Baby with the bathwater," an uplifting farce about a disturbed couple who has a child and manages to fck it up in every possible way.

Then we went to a nearby dessert place, where a guard was standing by the gate.

"Wait here," he instructed.

There was a shooting here a few years ago, so the bakery hired him.

But rather than keep the peace, he's also a bouncer of sorts. He waits for people to leave and tables to clear before he lets the next eaters in. And he makes the place seem exclusive. Lame, but the desserts are good.

As we waited for a table, I started talking to him.

"Are you're here because of the shooting?"


"So are you an off-duty police officer?"

"No, but I'm trained in security and combat."

"You have a gun?"


"Mmmhmm. So can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead."

"If someone were to storm in here with a gun, you'd be prepared to take him down?"

"That's what I'm here for."

"What about self-defense? What tips do you have for a woman?"

By now he'd loosened up, and he told me several points I already knew (aim for the eyes and other sensitive parts). But he also said some things I didn't know:

1. Go for the Adam's apple. Swift and strong. Hurts a lot, and could leave the assailant out of breath.

2. Stomp down on the crown of his foot, which is sensitive and delicate. But use your HEEL, not the ball of your foot. That's something I never would have thought of. (Picture drawn by Matthew Taylor, an artist and designer)

Gained: Expert self-defense advice from the Keeper of the Desserts.
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