Hey Restaurants–Get off your High Horse and Show me the money a la Cuba Gooding Jr

Hey fans and friends – Quinn David Furness coming at you with a midweek check-in and our second ever installment of the Beantown Blog. I gotta tell you, I really like what we’ve developed here. I can’t tell you how many times throughout a week I think of something I really want the world to know about, but it’s too long for a social media post, too short for any sort of podcast or Beantown Unplugged series, and not really best suited for standup. Not to mention the standup scene out here in Baltimore is somewhere on the spectrum of ‘Non-existent’ and ‘What do you mean stand-up?’ My dear Friend of the Podcast Matthew Fiedler has been asking for some sort of midweek 5-minute rant weekly for a long time now, so I hope you’re satisfied with this for now, Matthew.

Let’s get right to it–Restaurants who don’t put prices on their menu. I’m sitting here on lunch break the other day, and you know me, I’m swiping and such, up down left and right, interacting with the fans, publishing some instachats, going facebook live, you get it. I happen to stumble across an insta story from my old piano teacher, and she posts a photo of the menu of this place, and it looks nice and all, mixed chopped salads, greek parfaits, the works, etc etc etc, but you know what I notice? No prices. That’s right, nothing.

So let’s talk about it. Yeah, I’m calling you out, the fancy steak places, the seafood joints where they got a guy in the bathroom handing you towels, the Five Guys to your McDonald’s, if you will. Look, we’re not all Bill and Melinda Gates. We can’t all go to a restaurant, order an appetizer, an entree, a dessert, AND a drink without starting to sweat it a bit. I know ever since I switched careers from music to education, I’ve had a bit more of a financial cushion, but the cushion isn’t that thick baby. Nay, this is an injustice. I know you want to seem all high-end fancy whatever, but as an American citizen, I believe I have a right to know how much my appetizer is going to cost. Would I like a glass of sauvignon blanc? Yes, but only if I know if I’m gonna have enough money to pay for health insurance at the end of the month (TY OBAMA). Of course that tierameisut (I’m leaving it like that because it was my first attempt and it was close) on the dessert menu looks tasty, but you know what else I could do with $10? College Quinn could’ve eaten for a week. That’s a slight exaggeration but not far off (when I was 19 living in Uptown, Chicago, I used to take a $20 bill to Aldi up on Broadway/Wilson and walk out like a king)

Here’s my secret: A lot of people I talk to don’t place enough emphasis on the cost efficiency of items. For example, if you buy a big ole sack of rice, that’s crazy good value, because you can get multiple pounds of rice for about $2-3. On the other hand, sure, we all love cheese, but you might just get a mid-sized bag of shredded stuff for another $2-3. You tell me what’s more valuable/efficient. So here was the plan, and it was all about staples: Rice, barley, typically chicken (I like turkey and beef but chicken tends to be the most cost effective), no superfluous beverages besides Folgers coffee (that stuff still haunts me), just the produce you need to make a big batch of something like chili or jambalaya, apples for breakfast, oats, and frozen veggies to stay fit.

Now, occasionally when either myself or one of my music buddies would score a church gig, we would make it rain ($50-100 may not sound like a lot to you, but as 19-year olds, it was everything). That’s when we pulled out the big guns–Hawaiian Punch and Vodka. I’m telling you, this stuff is the nectar of the gods. I distinctly recall one time pre-gaming at my apartment in Uptown with roommates (drinking the aforementioned nectar) before taking the train to campus for the sole purpose of playing drunk pickup basketball. And the best part? We brought thermoses filled with more of the concoction, so that in between games, we could stay (de?)hydrated. Here’s the kicker, and you might not believe it but I promise to god it is true: We were better wasted than sober. I don’t know if it was divine intervention because we went to a Catholic university or simply the sheer power of Hawaiian Punch and Vodka, but in those moments, we were infinite. If you want proof, I played in a rec basketball league last spring. 8 games in a season. I probably averaged about 20 mins/game in 40 minute games. You wanna know how many points I scored the entire season? 0. My hops just aren’t what they used to be. I know people roll their eyes when I complain about getting old, but the marathons I’ve run and the hamstring and back issues I’ve had have really taken it out of me.

So here’s the point: Hey Restaurants–Get Off your High Horse and Show Me the Money. That’s what Cuba Gooding Jr (aka Rod Tidwell) told Tom Cruise in ‘Jerry Maguire,’ and he won an Oscar for that. Isn’t it enough that I actually showed up to your restaurant? I shouldn’t have to spend the entire meal eating in fear. That’s not fair to me, our communities, or America. I’m p certain there’s a clause in the Geneva Convention that prevents that. Leave it up to a bunch of fancy rich communist restaurants to turn their noses up to such a universally binding document.

All right, I ran out of things to say. See you this weekend for the podcast. Or before on the Blog if I think of something else. Also, I’m finishing up my Oscars monologue–If anyone has any good last second jokes, email me at beantownpodcast@yahoo.com or leave a comment here. You’ll get writing credit and it’s tax deductible! Also, trying to get hooked up with Justin Bartha so if anyone knows the best way to contact him, please also let me know.

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