I was down in Indianapolis, meeting with a client. That evening, I was expecting the account manager to meet me for dinner. Indianapolis is surrounded by a loop of expressways that all end in “65”. You have to be careful whether you go north or south because – while you can’t really get lost – you can end up seeing a lot of the city before you reach your final destination. That’s what happened to my sales person. He made a right instead of a left and circumnavigated 97% of Indianapolis rather than finish a five minute drive.
Needless to say, it was late by then. We were both tired and starving. We decided to hit the restaurant next to the hotel. It looked a bit more upscale than the typical Perkins or Denny’s. I knew we were in trouble when the host sat us down in a booth. We each had about fourteen types of placeware to choose from. I looked at the sales guy. He looked at me. We figured out “knife” and “fork” and “spoon”, but the rest was a mystery unsolved. The waiter came by and asked us what kind of water we would be having for dinner.
I went along with the gag. “What do you recommend?” I asked.
He called my bluff. “We have a nice Pellegrino for ten dollars.” Unless the Pellegrino came in a fifty-five gallon drum, that seemed a bit steep to me. I believe both of us decided to stick with the gratis water courtesy of the tap. In the end, I can’t complain. I ate the second best steak I’ve ever had in my life. It took a little bit of the sting out of the $120 check. We ate at McDonald’s and IHOP the rest of the trip to balance things out.