Once upon a time we held a contest. If you liked us on Facebook you were entered in the drawing, and if we drew your name from the hat you would win the opportunity to eat with us. “The Contest”, as it came to be known, was one of the first ideas we came up with to help popularize 88 Nights. People liked us. We held the drawing. Tristan Loughlin won. That was on Halloween 2011.
Fast forward many months later, and we finally worked out the logistics of having Tristan eat with us. There were only a couple of problems. In the time since Tristan won, we had already been joined by guests Eric, Stefanie, and Keith (twice). Also, Tristan showed up on the night we had to eat burrito chicharron which was fatty and foul. It really makes you wonder what he really won. In fact, the only clear winner is Cinco de Mayo who sold five disgusting burritos instead of just four.
Tonight’s menu: the number 67 – burrito chicharron.
Dave edits our videos all by himself. In one of our early blog entries, he described how he tries make each video “represent what the night was about”. What he didn’t say was how much work it is. We are usually at Cinco de Mayo for an hour or so. That means Dave has to watch at least an hour of footage (sometimes more than once) looking for the fun little parts that might make a good video. You should all thank Dave.
Some nights we don’t give Dave much to work with. But on other nights there is way more going on than will fit in one short episode. Lucky for us, Dave rescued some footage from night 37 that had been left on the cutting room floor and made this little gem.
The setup for this video is simple. We had already finished eating and were a few minutes away from heading home when a homeless woman named Sylvia walked by. Dave invited her to touch my hair, and she ended up staying long enough to read Devin’s palm. She was a terrible fortune teller but had a great laugh. She also thought Devin was Todd’s dad. Enjoy.
There’s a bit of time that passes between when we eat a meal and when we post the episode online. During this space of time I had forgotten about Todd’s strange story about the guy he saw shaking his elbow which made him “look like a JELL-O.” I had forgotten how confused I was when Todd asked me to describe this “jiggler” as if I were speaking with a blind man. I had forgotten my frustration when Todd would rebuff my descriptions of something that I had never even seen in the first place. “Why won’t Todd accept my answers?” I thought….
All this was a memory. A repressed memory that needed to be unlocked.
Fast forward a couple of days. I sat down to edit Episode 11, and the first words out of Todd’s mouth were, “I’m going to make Dave say, ‘jiggle my elbow.’” AHA! All the confusion returned but came now with greater understanding. Todd wasn’t trying to get me to say some incriminating sexual euphemism; he was trying to help me reach a goal. Thank you, Todd, for the game. I only wish I had said the magic words.
Tonight’s menu: the number 11 – huevos rancheros, rice, beans & salad.
From the moment we arrived at Cinco de Mayo we all felt that something strange was just around the corner; there was a weird energy in the air. Teenagers were running laps around the restaurant, police were cruising by with their sirens on. Dave had grown a mustache.
Then, Stony arrived. Actually, we just call him Stony, a name he came up with as a “higher” alternative for nearby Sony Pictures. He told us he doesn’t use names anymore.
Over the next hour, Stony shared his story. He once had a scholarship to play soccer at a school in Colorado until he dropped out with only one class left to “invest” his tuition money in marijuana. He has spent the last 20+ years living on the streets. He played in bands. He loves U2 and Floyd and reggae. He is now starting a movement to abolish the use of money and talks about the soul-stealing things they don’t teach you in school. He wonders where you go when you dream.
The thing that struck us was that at one point Stony had lived what would be considered a normal life. He could have been someone we know or even one of us. Tonight he was just someone who wanted to be listened to and connect with some people for a while, and we all felt somewhat guilty for hoping he would move on sooner than he did.
Dave explains tonight’s episode like this:
In editing these episodes I look for the most “fun” portions from the evening, but we also knew that not every night would be fun or funny. This is an experiment in reality blogging. Each episode will represent what the night was about. Tonight was clearly about Stony and how it felt to have a homeless guy hover around our outdoor table while we were trying to eat dinner.
Tonight’s menu: the number 10 – Spanish cheese omelette, rice, beans & salad.