Ninja had his big Dinner of Celebration on Saturday night, and the five Kows and Axler headed off to the Outback Steakhouse for beer, beef, and bawdy boistrousness. It was nice to have the six of us together again, as we don't all have a hole in our schedules very often. The birthdays were celebrated, work projects put to rest, and, oh yes, meat was eaten. Axler and I had a contest to see if we could each finish a 20-oz prime rib, with baked potato, appetizers, and a beer. This wasn't so much a "the first man to finish" competition as a "can I actually finish?" challenge, and we both stuffed ourselves silly.
We had a great time, and a big reason was that our waitress was fantastic. She was great with our wisecracks, and gave exactly the right amount of sass to endear herself to us. She cracked jokes with us whenever she came over, kept checking on the eating challenge, and at one point threatened to toss Astro out of the restaurant. With her beaming smile and infectious personality, she was a big hit.
For the last half-hour, though, she wasn't as happy as she did before; her jokes dried up, and she seemed occupied with other things. When it was time to leave, Ninja left her a BIG tip, and when she realized we didn't need any change, the smile came back to her face. "Oh you guys," she said, "I've just been having the worst night, and you totally made my day!" And she gave us all hugs - even Axler, who doesn't like being touched by strangers.
In the parking lot, Ninja called us all together and suggested we sing her a song to really give her night a boost. Axler knows the Kow repertoire good enough to fake almost any song, and we all agreed that she deserved a break from her crappy night. So we came back in the store, took her out to the lobby, sat her down on the bench, and Astro sang her "Teddy Bear" while Axler dutifully groped his way through the bass line. A few other servers and the hostess poked their heads into the lobby as well, and everyone enjoyed themselves. We were rewarded with another round of hugs, and left happy with the knowledge that we had likely made this young woman's shift the most memorable one to date. "Oh my god," she'll say to her friends to-morrow, "you wouldn't believe the table I had last night..."
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Apocalypse Kow: making bad times good, and good times better, since 1999.