I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for dinner the other night, at my visiting nieces' request, and did something I have never done before but will probably do again.
I bribed the hostess so we could get a seat faster.
We had tickets to Fuerza Bruta at 10 p.m. (go check it out if you can, great, great show, visually exciting, unlike anything you have seen before) and it was almost 8 when we got to Bubba Gump, so we were pressed for time. The hostess told us 45 minutes to an hour wait. So we put our names in and wandered off, dazed and confused, a bunch of bewildered dummies surprised that there would be a 45 minute wait for a crappy shrimp dinner on Navy Pier on a Saturday night.
A few minutes later it hit me: I can get us a table. I had read an article in Esquire about using $20 to get you whatever you want, so of course I decided a ten ought to do it for the hostess at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
I walked up to her, and asked "How much more time for Mary, party of four?" As she glanced down at her book, I casually waved the folded up ten where she could see it but the gaggle of tourists behind me could not. She stared at me dumbfounded for what seemed like a minute, then turned to her co-hostess and whispered something. Then she looked back at me and said "I can seat you in 10-15 minutes." I eyeballed her like the huckster I was and said, casually (the way Chuck Norris might if he were bribing an Bubba Gump Shrimp employee) "Sure, ten minutes would be great. I'll be right over there." Over there being a nearby trash can. I hovered there, feeling like James Bond, always in view of the hostess, wondering if this was a good or bad example to set for my visiting nieces whose young minds may be influenced by my morally questionable actions. I think they thought it was funny.
Seven minutes later another hosty person seated us. I slipped him a fiver for good measure in the old fashioned way of bribing, palm to palm, disguised as a handshake. It was a thing of beauty. I felt like I was in an episode of The Wire.
And that crappy shrimp dinner tasted better than I ever imagined. I feel like I have a new-found power. I can get a seat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. any time I want.