S and D always try to follow the rules, especially if we get to invent them ourselves. Here we describe the patterns and procedures that have evolved for managing our weekly Big Nights Out.
Sometime on Wednesday, an email exchange will occur. This begins the Festivities.
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 (but does not begin Phase 2).
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. (In fact, that Old Chicago no longer exists.)
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.
Now begins Phase 3, the zen phase. Phase 3 includes three sub-phases:
- Non-Fiction Reclassification
- Procuring 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), located inexplicably in the non-fiction section. Clearly, this is a travesty. Our civic and literary responsibility requires us to re-shelf the book to its rightful place in the Fiction section.
Historical Footnote: some books contained anti-theft strips, which were tiny magnetized micro-bookmarks that caused the security alarm to blare annoyingly when the book crossed a sensor at the door. This interrupted our coffee. So we took it upon ourselves to find these strips and deal with them.
Phase 3.1, Fall Edition: You know it's late autumn when the next year's calendars begin to appear at the bookstore. When this happens, we take it upon ourselves to peruse the calendars and scowl disheartenedly while making judgmental, skeptical, or bemused remarks.
Phase 3.2: Finally we reach the crux of Phase 3: Coffee.
Phase 3.3: While drinking our coffee, we try to remember the questions of the night, and research and discuss the answers.
The Festivities have come to an end. As we make our way back to the car, someone inevitably proclaims, "Another Successful BNO." This officially concludes the Big Night Out.
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