Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday rerun: Wallaby damned

I love the scene from "Arthur" where Dudley Moore is telling Liza Minnelli that he is all set to marry this woman whom his parents are forcing him to wed..or else he will lose 750 million semolians. He tells her, "I can't mention her name; that would be indiscreet. Susan Johnson."

I can't mention the name of the steak 'n' burger chain involved here, but let's say they're not out front. So they must be Out back. They have great food and we like it there, but sometimes we just want to grab some carryout chow and dine in the regal splendor that our house lends to dignified pursuits such as watching Orioles baseball. Also, beer is much cheaper at home.

And they have a really good deal, too. When you've ordered your fodder, you drive over to the restaurant and park in a designated area, and a young woman comes running out and hands you a bag of food. I don't think there could be a more pleasant scenario in all the world. Oh sure, you have to pay her, but still.

The only rub is, when you call in the order, you have to listen to a guy doing a horrible way-over-the-top Australian accent. These guys just get a list of how-ta-say-it and go from there. Instead of saying "mate," just say "might." It's all vaguely jingoistic to me, I don't know. A little condescending. We have an Australian theme restaurant, so let's talk with a bogus Aussie accent. But you better pay in American bucks, buddy.

It strikes me that an Australian-themed place would have a natural term for when things are really hopping on a busy night.

And don't be thinking that I'll 'roo the day I made that joke. I am shameless.

And then after this bloke screams about what button to push for takeaway, all overmodulated and way too loud, then along comes the dulcet tones of Tim McGraw, threatening to make you go to Australia to hear him sing if you win a contest they're running. McGraw really hams it up too, and all you want to do is order some beef.

It seems to take longer than a Wimbledon tennis match before someone non-recorded actually speaks to you, and the sound of a nice warm human who isn't hollering at you is like honey for the ears. I don't know what happened to music on hold. You used to hear Walter Wanderley's "Summer Samba" every time you called an insurance office, newspaper circulation line or body-and-fender shop, but now you get hollered at by a heavily-accented guy you can't hardly understand, AND an Australian.

I hope I win the contest so we can go Down Under and hear McGraw sing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport." Or hear a kangaroo sing "Tim McGraw" while wearing McGraw cologne and eating a cheeseburger. Either way.

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