S and D always try to follow the rules, even if we have to invent them ourselves. Here we describe the patterns and procedures that have evolved for managing our weekly Big Nights Out.
At precisely 6pm MDT, S and D, along with any guests who can tolerate our weird conversations, head for the hills to gain some altitude. On the way up, we complain about work.
Upon reaching the summit, D announces the day's stock market numbers, and we head back downhill. En descente, we talk about vacations, gear, retirement, and the venue for Phase 2.
Reaching the trailhead concludes Phase 1.
* See Also: The Email.
We initiate Phase 2 by performing The Great Handwash. Then we eat.
At some point, we might compare the waiter with our gold standard, Amy, who worked at Old Chicago, and who always found us a table. She has since moved on to bigger and better things, and we stopped going to Old Chicago.*
Historical Footnote: In times of yore, S and D referred to this part of the evening as "foraging," "the evening's festivities," or "dinner." In modern parlance, the term "Festivities" refers to the entire suite of Phases, and not just Phase 2.
* In fact, that Old Chicago no longer exists.
The evening is far from over. Now begins Phase 3, the zen phase. Phase 3 includes three sub-phases:
- Non-Fiction Reclassification
- Procuring a Cup of Coffee
- Questions of the Night
Phase 3.1: We trek to the nearest bookstore in search of misclassified non-fiction books. For example, one might encounter a "memoire" about telepathic aliens (such as The Pleiadians), inexplicably classified as non-fiction. Clearly, this is a travesty. As part of our civic and literary responsibility, we re-shelf the book to the Fiction section, where it belongs. At the same time, we take note of any titles or covers that suggest a cosmic shift in the literary zeitgeist, some mind-bending paroxysm, or an instance of deja vu.
Phase 3.1: Finally we reach the evening's denouement: a cup of coffee. Also dessert.
Phase 3.3: As we drink our coffee, we endeavor to remember the questions of the night, and assign them to the evening's participants to research the answers.