After her St. Paddy's Day whiskey and cabbage fest, the last thing Bite Me needed was another Bushmill's hangover. But for weeks her editor had been bugging her about some place down by Arizona State University, Casey Moore's Oyster House. He kept going on about how it was time Bite Me got her sorry ass down to Tempe and quit working the joints within five minutes of her apartment, blah, blah, blah. That bastard.
Arriving before her trusty photographer, Bite Me perused the menu and got comfy. The waitress certainly wasn't impressed by her reporter's notebook and tape recorder. In fact, she passed by three times before bothering to get Bite Me's order of a mai tai and escargots.
Yes, snails. Oh, shut up. Bite Me has a driving need to learn to like fancy food even if it kills her. She's always looking to make a deposit in her class account. A fondness for escargots could turn her life around. Look what it did for Julia Roberts!
Casey Moore's Oyster House
850 South Ash (Ninth Street and Ash), Tempe, 480-968-9935. 11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily. Appetizers: $5-$13.50; lunch $3.25-$13.50; dinner $12-$18.50. Major cards.
Bite Me's trusty shutterbug finally showed up, and the duo dashed off to scout out victims. She found table after table of drunk and happy folks. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. But perhaps not as much fun.
Then your ever-lovin' host was temporarily blinded by the flashing light reflected by the rock sitting on a blonde's ring finger. Always a sucker for a girl's best friend, Bite Me dashed to the source of the shine. To her utter delight, she found a madhouse on the back patio. There was a raging rehearsal dinner party going on with the lot of them liquored up and ready to babble on and on. Your narrator entered cautiously and was quickly welcomed as if she were an invited guest. They even started calling her names and smacking her around. They tried to buy her drinks all night and it became downright difficult to keep declining. Turns out the happy couple had had their first date at Casey Moore's and thought it only fitting to celebrate their union there. These were Bite Me's kinda people. So she dove right into their private party and left with a wedding invitation and way too much information. Don't worry, you get just the highlights.
Maxwell Hillard and Joanna Stillman
Dentist and Process Engineer, Intel
Bite Me: What's your deal, Mr. Man?
Doc: How long's this gonna take?
Bite Me: Two minutes, not long, but hey, what do you gotta do, catch a bus or something? What do you do for a living?
Doc: I'm a dentist.
Bite Me: You're a dentist. Really? What kind?
Doc: Really. I'm an implantologist. Not boobs, but teeth.
Bite Me: Is that a good business?
Doc: It's terrible. I hate it.
Bite Me: Why, dude? You can prescribe Vicodin. I hope you help your friends out if they're, uh, in pain. But seriously, what's your story? Everyone's swarming around you. Are you Mr. Popularity?
Doc: Nah, I'm a bench warmer. How long is this gonna take?
Bite Me: Three minutes. Lord, you people are in such a hurry. Listen, hate me all you want, just keep your venom to a minimum. Negative energy makes me sleepy.
Doc: All right.
Bite Me: Thanks. So, how did you meet the groom-to-be-tomorrow?
Doc: I met him and his sister the same night. Then I started dating his sister.
(Doc takes this opportunity to grab the blonde bombshell sister standing nearby.)
Bite Me: Is that weird, dating your friend's sister? That's kind of like incest. But his sister's pretty hot. Was he your gateway buddy to get to the hot chick?
Doc: No, I dated her because I wanted to get closer to him. He's hot. You can write that. But I like girls. I'm hetero.
Joanna: I can vouch for him. I lost my virginity to him.
Doc: Question number two, please!
Bite Me: Did you lose your virginity to her, Doctor Love?
Doc: I lost my virginity, mmm-hmmm.
Bite Me: Where'd you meet the groom?
Doc: It was a late night and drinks were being had. At a club we all three met and that same night we all went home together.
Bite Me: Hang on. How'd that go?
Doc: We did everything you could do, everything you could imagine. Use your imagination.
Bite Me: Maybe later. For God's sake, what are you drinking?
Bite Me: Shut up.
Doc: With some wine. Actually, I like Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Bite Me: Are you trash?
Bite Me: Are you white trash?
Doc: I am. My home is a trailer.
Bite Me: Well, it worked for Eminem.
Doc: And I speak three languages.
Bite Me: Really?
Joanna: He does. German, Yugoslavian and Greek.
Bite Me: Wow. He's quite a catch. A trilingual dentist who can prescribe Vicodin.
Doc: Vicodin is a way of life.
Bite Me: Amen to that.
Doc: Vicodin is the best vitamin ever. No, really! You want some? I've got an extra nitrous tank in my car.
Bite Me: Oh, God! That brings back memories. What do you think about putting people to sleep for procedures?
Doc: It's great. My policy is one for you, one for me.
Bite Me: All righty, then. Do you floss regularly?
Doc: Every day.
Bite Me: What toothpaste do you recommend?
Doc: I can't say that.
Bite Me: How about toothbrushes? Which one is the best?
Doc: Sonic Care.
Bite Me: So how long did you two date?
Joanna: A year and a half.
Doc: Then she dumped me.
Bite Me: Good for you, darlin'.
Joanna: We dumped each other.
Bite Me: She's good-looking and generous.
Joanna: I never stopped liking him, we just sort of . . . it just ended. He's still around all the time.
Bite Me: As long as he gives you the free dental work, I say keep him around.
Meredith Ambrose (pictured with Jason Stillman, groom)
Bite Me: So you're the lucky bride-to-be? Your friends are scaring me. Come with me to a quiet place so I can calm my nerves.
Meredith: Oh, of course.
Bite Me: Now let's dish. I spotted you across the courtyard when you lifted your hand. That ring freakin' blinded me. It just screams out "someone loves me soooo much and aren't you jealous?"
Meredith: Oh, thank you. It is beautiful. He did a good job.
Bite Me: So what do you do for a living?
Meredith: I'm a teacher in the Gilbert school district. I teach third graders, language arts and reading. It's a great job. I love it. This is my third year.
Bite Me: You look really young. Should you be drinking?
Meredith: Oh, thank you. No, I'm 29.
Bite Me: You look younger. Do you use sunscreen? Or do you just have good genes?
Meredith: I do have good genes. And it's from not partying too much now. But I did in my youth.
Bite Me: So you're getting married on a Friday? That's weird, isn't it?
Meredith: We tried to do it on a Saturday but they were booked up until May. And we wanted it to coincide with spring break so I could have more time off. So Friday it is, more time for our honeymoon and more relaxing. And everyone has to take a mandatory personal day. (Bite Me has noticed a tremendous number of folks who are going with their own thang for their weddings. Have you seen them Krispy Kreme doughnut towers you can opt to use instead of a wedding cake? How freakin' low-budget can you get? But she has to say that a Friday night wedding sounds kick-ass. Then you get the whole weekend to throw a big party for your guests. Bite Me's favorite wedding ever was her cousin Amy's in Michigan. The bride and groom did karaoke to the Grease soundtrack and everyone learned the Macarena while downing shots of Jack Daniel's. Then the weekend was spent water-skiing and playing sloshball. Screw that whole white dress, stiff priest, pastel bridesmaid dresses and rubber chicken nightmare that always ends up with some stupid relation destroying "I Will Always Love You." Folks deserve some fun for the cash they're dishin' out for wedding gifts these days.)
Bite Me: You guys have a lot of friends here. Rehearsal dinners are usually not this well-attended.
Meredith: It makes you feel so loved when people come from so far away.
Bite Me: Doesn't it suck that you have all your favorite people here at the same time but you're such a superstar that you have to dash around to everyone's table and never really get to hang with any of them?
Meredith: I know.
Bite Me: So it's a big day tomorrow. Are you a bride from hell?
Meredith: No. Am I?
Bite Me: Not from where I'm sitting, darlin'. Do you feel like a superstar?
Meredith: Neither one of us need to be in the spotlight.
Bite Me: But you have no choice because that's your big day. Work it, baby! (Meredith is a peach, and Bite Me hopes her Friday night wedding is a rager. But speaking of brides from hell, could someone please explain to Bite Me the reason Jaimee Rose -- the breathless dipshit who tells us what we're thinking every week in the Republic's sad excuse for a fashion supplement, YES -- thinks anyone gives a rat's ass about her high-class wedding cake, frosting samples and the wax seals on her wedding invites? Who does this be-yatch think she is? Lady Freaking Di? Honey, with a name spelled that cute, the chickee oughta think about playing down her lah-dee-frickin-dah ways.)
Bite Me: Hey there! You're not losing a son, you're gaining a daughter-in-law.
Steve: I am. I'm a lucky guy. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son.
Bite Me: You are hangin' with these little pipsqueaks quite well. Are you a fun dad?
Steve: I think so.
Bite Me: Are you married?
Steve: I am. My wife's right over there. We've been married for almost 30 years.
Bite Me: Are you a proponent of "'til death do you part"?
Steve: Of course.
Bite Me: Did you drive tonight, sir, or ride your bicycle? (She was pleasantly surprised to find a bountiful row of bicycles against the fence as she entered the patio area. The door dude told her that people did indeed ride their bikes there so as to avoid drivin' drunk. Ah, memories. Educated at UC-Santa Barbara, Bite Me didn't drive a car for a year as she was able to rely completely on her beach cruiser. Them was the days. Though, when she graduated, they were in the midst of passing a law against riding your bike drunk. Freakin' Nazis.)
Steve: What? I drove.
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Bite Me: Can you lick your elbow?
Steve: I never tried.
Bite Me: Ten bucks you give it a whirl when you get home tonight. It's a sure thing. That's my puddle-deep wisdom for the day. Adios, padre!
As parlayed to Marnye Kaye Oppenheim