Monday, August 3, 2009

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

It's easy to get depressed when you see what's going on out there with war, famine, drought, the economy, pollution and crab grass. But every once in awhile you come across something that is so positively life affirming that you just have to smile and think to yourself, "We just might make it after all".

Melanie and I had a night like that recently. We were visiting the Oregon coast and when dinner time arrived we knew we wanted to find a slightly tacky, nautically themed restaurant with great food. A toothless old guy who was wearing rubber overalls covered in blood and fish guts directed us to The Sea Hag in Depoe Bay. Wedged in between about 20 gift shops that all sold pirate paraphernalia The Sea Hag was exactly what we were looking for.

On the walls were fishing nets and star fish. Hanging from the ceiling were fake blowfish and lobsters, each table had its own captain's wheel and the floors were covered in saw dust. To cap things off, there was a blind piano player in the back playing things like "New York New York" and "My Way" while tipsy locals and tourists danced and sang along.

After we had settled in a bit I became aware that there was only one waitress in the entire restaurant and she was serving about 11 tables as well as taking and making the drinks, chatting up the customers and handling the cash register. That's a huge amount of work for one person but she wasn't finished.

I was watching her go about her busy routine when the piano player stopped for a break. On the stereo the song 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' started to play. Without missing a beat, our waitress walked behind the bar, picked up two padded drum sticks and started to play along on all the glasses and bottles. There were even some bells and cymbals and whistles tucked into the bar for extra effect. She travelled from one end of the bar to the other playing it like it was some sort of huge musical instrument. She had it all perfectly time out so that when she reached the end of the bar the song ended, she put down the drum sticks, picked up her pad and went off to take an order from a party of four that had arrived in middle of it all.

It was impossible not to smile. And to top it off, the meal was the best seafood I have ever had.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We love you.

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