A Close Shave in St. George

A weekend in St. George is bound to teach you a few things. For example, that it’s really hot in St. George and I don’t know how anyone lives there. I have noticed it’s mostly old people. Do they possess some kind of natural defense against the sun’s deadly rays? Could we somehow harness these powers to help them drive faster?

Anyway, I was in St. George on “business,” which means I was watching plays. My friend Luscious Malone (names have been changed) accompanied me, and it was she who made the discovery that led to our first significant learning experience.

We needed someplace to eat dinner on a Saturday night, and we couldn’t find the restaurant we were looking for, which I remembered as being on St. George Boulevard and as having a slogan that was obscene if taken out of context. Naturally, we wanted to eat at this place. But it had closed since my last visit to St. George, leaving us to find an alternative.

While flipping through the phone book, Luscious Malone found a Mexican place called Pancho & Lefty’s. We were delighted that a restaurant called itself Pancho & Lefty’s. We thought: What a funny name! We should eat there.

Life Lesson #1: Do not eat at a restaurant simply because you think its name is funny.

Pancho & Lefty’s served food that was reasonably priced and tasted good. Pancho & Lefty’s employed the services of a man who strolled around and sang “Angel of the Morning” in Spanish while he played the guitar, but such annoyances can be overlooked when a place has a name like “Pancho & Lefty’s.” Pancho & Lefty’s seemed like a good experience.

And then we left the restaurant. We made it about five feet, and then: Wham! For some reason, I started thinking about Wham!, which was a great ’80s band. But that’s beside the point, because just after we left the restaurant, pow! We were both seized with violent gastronomical turbulence. It felt like I’d eaten a team of soccer players who were now trying to kick their way out. (If you’ve ever eaten a team of soccer players, you can relate.) Having found a food donor, our stomachs were initially pleased with the transplants, but were now rejecting them. The food vacationed in our stomachs, didn’t like the scenery, and elected to fly south instead. Pancho & Lefty’s punched me and left me. Fortunately, as is true with most of life’s problems, it turned out to be nothing a couple trips to the bathroom couldn’t solve.

The other significant learning experience had to do with my facial hair. I had misjudged how long I could go before my next shave, and in the middle of our St. George weekend, I simply HAD to shave. But I had brought no razor. So I had to improvise.

Life Lesson #2: Do not shave with a razor purchased from a Motel 6 vending machine.

Motel 6, like many of your classy motor lodges and homeless shelters, has vending machines with personal toiletry items alongside the candy and gum. This is really more a necessity than a convenience, as Motel 6 does not provide guests with little bottles of shampoo, apparently assuming its clientele is not part of the hair-washing crowd. (“It’s a fad” is what I picture a Motel 6 executive saying at a stockholders’ meeting in regards to clean hair.)

Luscious Malone had brought some fruity shampoo with her, but she didn’t have a razor, so I bought one. I might just as well have used the edge of a rusty hubcap. You thought my face was hideous before! (Trust me, you did.) Well, now it was hideous AND carved up. I looked like I’d been whittled. Not wanting to admit the truth, I told people Pancho and Lefty had caught up with me after I disrespected their restaurant. After all (bad pun coming), I had to save face somehow. (I warned you.)

The restaurant, I later discovered, was named Dick's Cafe. The slogan that had been on the outside wall had the word "biggest" or "longest" in it, and it seemed like the proprietor had no idea what other connotations could be made. I was sad to see it gone -- although, as I learned, perhaps eating at a place because you like its name is not the best policy anyway.

The sudden joke about the '80s band Wham! is just like an A-ha joke from the column before this one. I like this joke, and I plan to use it as many times as I possibly can.