How often have we heard that phrase. It was originally written in 1830 by Lord Baron Bulwar-Lytton for an extremely unremarkable novel with the exception of its opening paragraph. Subsequently, the phrase has taken on a life of its own as the quintessential rotten opening line of a work of fiction. Practically, a dark and stormy night is also a good reason to stay indoors, order pizza and watch what is streaming through the TV.
This blog is about two things, one social and the other literary. Part one: On crappy weekday nights, especially early on, the impulse is to hang at home and not venture out into that “not-so-good night”, and walk in the weather from a parking space and have some one else cook something that is not pizza or Sunday leftovers.
We all know that weekends at restaurants are always busy, sometimes too busy since many stores must cram a week’s worth of sales into two days. At Republic, we are fortunate to have fairly consistent weekday business, and of course it peaks on Friday and Saturday. I am usually (not always) off on Sunday, so on Monday I am a bit hyper. As a matter of course I order fish, produce and dairy from home, or where ever I may be on Sunday night, so on Monday I am starting with new product. The farmers and fishermen work 7 days a week until late fall, so Mondays bring wonderful ingredients.
On Monday, the Marble Bar picks up around 7:00 for the half-price drafts (beer and wine) and antipasti. Interesting folk, those who swim upstream, tend to favor weekday dining rather than dealing with the crowds on weekends, and populate the bar stools and high- top tables. They seem to be aware that pizza is delivered 7 days a week.
Of course there are work schedules, homework, and hard-to-coordinate dates with friends due to weekday priorities, but on occasion try to brave the weather or those early sunsets and come out. Tonight I served farm fresh omelets with fresh chanterelles, hand-made cream cheese and farm fresh eggs. I paired it with just-picked organic greens and a faro salad with walnuts and cranberries. It is being shared as I write this, looking down from our office perch, by two guests at the bar who are showing the plates to a woman who just sat down next to them. Who knows? Maybe a friendship has started!
Now to the second part of the blog, the literary. This started out with a DARK-AND-STORMY-NIGHT theme, and every year San Jose University has a contest for the worst opening paragraph of fiction using this infamous line. So here are two of mine that I submitted. After you have read them, and are wildly impressed at how I can lower my standards and write such drivel, attempt to write one of your own! Please bring it to the bar on a Monday or Tuesday when the weather is nasty and read it to Neal our Monday bar pilot as well as the person sitting next to you. If you get a thumbs up we will post it. Here are two of mine…
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT and watching the water stream from my windshield I said to myself, “I canâ€™t let them continue, it must end tonight.” Arriving at my apartment, I threw off my khakis and buttoned-down white shirt, slipped into a red sequined off-the-shoulder gown, long white gloves and pinned on my curly blonde wig. “Iâ€™ll show them,” I said to myself, “I will not allow them to get away with this for another minute.” Through the wild storm I drove until I arrived at the parking garage under the main building in the secure complex. Swiping my card the doors swooshed open to the lobby. “Mr. Grain?” said the guard. “It’s Queen Sylvia Del la Hoya from now on and Iâ€™d find a safe place far from here if I were you.”
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT and the wind made the candle flame dance as she rolled over slowly onto her back. She glanced up with languid eyes and licked her lips as she ran her arm seductively around her head. Cats will so prostitute themselves for food.
I hope you were amused and don’t forget that on that stormy night the parking is free behind the building at the Wellington Trade Center Lot after 5pm and all day Saturday and Sunday.
See you soon