Monday, August 24, 2009

Call out HazMat!

The Zoo is going out for dinner!

(Fer, you should feel better about Z's dining experience in about two minutes.)

God, please bless Ms. A and the whole team at Longhorn tonight. Really! Bless them and keep them and send Ms. A some serious tips. Oh, and the people who were sitting beside us. Bless them and let them never be in a restaurant at the same time as us ever again.

Let's back up to 9 PM last evening. The Grand Keeper and Great Silverback were headed home from vacay and had a 3 hour layover here in The Big Peach so I packed up the livestock trailer and took the exhibits on tour to the airplane port (per Rhino) to visit for an hour or two. After a delightful dinner of Wendy's kids meals and a follow up frosty and lightening of Silverback's change pocket, we put them back on their plane and headed back to the Zoo. (BTW, yes, that dinosaur is actually in our airport.)

We were about halfway home when Orangutan said, "Momma! My tummy hurts really bad!" The livestock trailer broke the sound barrier and a few suggested speed limits and we got home just in time for her to make it to the bathroom and lose her dinner. (You're welcome!) I got everyone into jammies and into bed - for a few hours.

3 AM - Lion up and wide awake for no apparent reason.
5 AM - O up and repeating her 9 o'clock exercise.
6 AM - Rhino up and coughing so hard he couldn't catch his breath.
7:30 AM - Marmoset up and craving some serious breakfast. "But I hungy NOW Momma!"
10 AM - L.M. Lion sets out for a golf outing with some friends. Note - he is supposed to be home "around 3." Apparently that was 3 in "man time."

All day was checking fevers and listening to Rhino bark. O finally broke around noon and was good to go. Rhino is still barking. L.M. Lion finally got home at 5:30. I snagged Marmie and Rhino and sprinted to the grocery store. I think I set a record for getting through the grocery store with children in tow.

Now we were off to meet Lion and Orangutan for dinner at Longhorn. We sat down and ordered and had some witty banter with Ms. A our waitress. It looked like the day was going to be saved. Ms. A brought our seafood au gratin appetizer and everyone was munching away on some chips when I hear "The Bark."

Some of you may know The Bark. It's that cough that tells every mother on the planet that we are no longer just coughing. I couldn't get out of my seat fast enough. Suddenly Mount Rhino erupted right into Lion's hands. And not just once but several times. I tried to shield the table of people who were in our section. Lion even looked at one of the people at the table and said, "Please don't look!"

The manager, two waitresses and a bus boy were launching rib towels, hot napkins, not so hot napkins, paper napkins and sanitizing cloths at us like we were on Omaha Beach. And the carnage deserved it. It was hideous. And I was mortified. Of course right in the middle of all the chaos, Orangutan and Marmie (who we are trying to potty train right now) pipe up with "We need to go potty!"

I get back from the bathroom with the girls just in time for our food to show up - not that I was in any mood to eat. And so we calmly (as if nothing had happened) ate our dinner. Even Ms. A acted like nothing had happened. It was surreal!

Lion decided that he wanted to have an after dinner coffee. Marmie was getting restless so she hopped up in my lap and was cuddling with me while he had his coffee. Suddenly she started to freak out on me. "Oh No Momma! I go pee!" It's ok baby. You have a pull up on. Except this time it leaked. On who?

I burst into hysterical laughter. The people behind us took two looks at my dripping leg and started to giggle. Ms. A came to the table to hand Lion the check and she offered to go get me an apron from the kitchen. Lion just waved her off and said something to the effect of "If it isn't on her now, it will be before we get home."

Something tells me that future meals from Longhorn's will be carry out. If they don't ban us from the restaurant, they will certainly offer us a discount to eat somewhere - anywhere! - else. That said I really must commend the staff. They had every reason to bring our food and run for the hills. But they didn't. The went out of their way to salvage our dining experience and the experience of the other folks on our section.

So thank you Mr. B, Ms. A and all the crew at Longhorn's. Next time we'll bring drop cloths, raincoats, and a fire hose to clean up after ourselves.


Jennifer said...

I don't know... I think we tied. Head-to-toe poop was pretty mortifying. =) I think I might have prefered to ride home after being peed on than covered in the poop I was covered in.

Thanks for the reminder that it's going to be a looooooooong time before we eat out in a restaurant other than Old Madonnas.

Jennifer said...

he had to have coffe. should just paid the bill, box it all up and GOT THE HELL OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Amanda said...

We've been there too, only ours was sweet tea, Spanish rice, a toddler, and the Mexican restaurant. After that experience I learned that I always needed an extra pair of shoes in the diaper bag along with the extra outfit.