Monday, February 21, 2011

Wet Judges and Raw Oysters

Me: Any interest in meeting for a drink?
Friend: Interest.
Me: Where/when?
Friend: 6 at non-smoky Avalon.

The Avalon descriptor is a holdover reminder because I used to limit our get-togethers there because of the noxious amounts of smoke that hung at bar level back before the smoking ban made it a tolerable place to go.

My friend is a lawyer, so when I inquire about his day, I get a detailed account of the case in which he's recently been immersed; words like sanction and discovery are thrown around and once again I find myself admiring his ability to sort through so much crap and make a convincing case.

When he tosses off the name of the U.S. District Court Judge who ruled so favorably for his client, I realize that I have sipped tequila and had some fascinating conversation with that judge in the shallow end of a pool at a get-together in Lexington, Virginia.

Not surprisingly, my friend was quick to acknowledge that the judge probably made for excellent company outside the courtroom, wet or dry.

I recall a man who was willing to drive to the nearest ABC for good tequila when he learned that that was what I drank and returned to tell me some wildly amusing courtroom anecdotes. Enough said.

From the legal to the delectable, my friend and I got off on the topic of raw oysters. The best we'd shared came with little balls of Meyer lemon sorbet as the only accompaniment and they were sublime, but we also made a case for hot sauce, mignonette and fresh squeezed lemon.

At issue was that not enough places in Richmond reliably have raw oysters. I told him about Rappahannock River Oysters, a place my Northern Neck-residing parents continue to keep in business.

The reasons are my Dad's voracious oyster appetite (not to mention when his favorite daughter visits) as well as for gifting. One day you're craving and the next day they're arriving. It's nearly instant oyster gratification.

Audio talk followed and while much of it comes across sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher to my ears (wah, wah, wah), one line did jump out at me.

And I quote," You know, back before transistors, there were transformers and they were the cat's ass." And he said it with such sincerity.

I understood the premise but not the specifics of that statement but I still thought it was funny as hell. I stopped him and repeated it, thinking he'd hear how ridiculous it sounded, but he looked at me bewildered. That's an audio geek for you.

After such a stimulating evening of conversation and libations I was pretty hungry, so I stopped at 821 Cafe on my way home. And, boy, did I surprise them.

Despite it being $2 burger night, my server looked at me and presumed that I'd want my usual black bean nachos. And I did, but I just couldn't allow myself to continue being that predictable.

So I ordered a big salad with protein on top, shocking her as much as me. The ironic part is that for years all I ever ate at 821 was a big salad, but it's been easily a couple of years since I'd gone that route. But she didn't know that.

She just thought I'd lost my mind or been supplanted by an alien (who are you and what have you done with Karen?).

I probably should have just told her, "You know, back before nachos there were big salads and they were the cat's ass."

Wah, wah, wah.