The rehearsal dinner and wedding went fine for those who were so kind as to be concerned. There were a few telling moments but overall the GM came through emotionally unscathed. I have though, decided to write a letter to the half-sister, asking her what it is about our restaurant she doesn't like, as we are always wanting to improve. I'll wait a month or so since I don't want to infringe on the joy of her wedding in any way.
Now on to other things. A week ago I got a message from a woman associated with one of the giveaway magazines that plague this community. We have gone back and forth on advertising in these publications, and usually continue to place ads, sometimes for political reasons because we're not entirely confident that advertising actually works. Anyway the message was she was seeking a comp for a "reviewer". Now I'm sure you know the way these magazines work. If there is any content about specific businesses they are generally puff pieces written to assure continued advertising support. So the concept of a "reviewer" from this publication seemed a little odd.
I called her and found out that she and the "reviewer" had already been to dinner, paid in cash and she was looking to have the dinner comped. While I was trying to sort out how I was going to work this out bookkeeping-wise I asked who the "reviewer" was. When she named him I was appalled. Pim, commenting on someone else's blog, called a person a "knob". Great word. I usually like it when used in the context of food, like "add a knob of butter". However, the word when applied to a person goes a long way toward describing this guy. Add morally reprehensible, alcoholic and jerk and you're getting there. I told her I would call her back once I figured out how I would get her the comp.
After thinking about it I knew I didn't want this guy associated with our restaurant in any way. So I called her back and told her that I knew this "reviewer" had problems with me personally, I wasn't sure why, perhaps because his ex-wife enjoyed our restaurant or who knows, small town stuff... and that while I appreciated her thinking of us and wanting to include us in the magazine, I'd appreciate not having a review written by this knob. And no, I didn't call him a knob on the phone. As for the comp she hastened to assure me it wouldn't be necessary. I mailed her a gift certificate for dinner for two.
A few days passed and I decided I should call the editor of the magazine. Not to get this woman in trouble or to complain but just to ensure that the piece didn't get printed. I could easily see someone, when dealing with a jerk of this magnitude not wanting to tell the guy that we didn't want his "review" published. I explained my concerns to the editor, which he shared. He also thinks the guy is a knob. He also mightily disagreed with comped reviews, saying if you're going to do a review do it anonymously and honestly, if you're going to write a puff piece, ask the puffee what they'd like written. I stressed I didn't want to get anyone in trouble or to produce any further conflict, that I just didn't want the piece published. As it turns out the woman lives with the knob, so god knows what she's like.
The editor then asked if I remembered him asking if I might be interested in writing a food column. I did and he offered me the gig. Twice a year I think, or perhaps quarterly and they'll pay me a hundred bucks. First issue will be spring. In honor of getting the job perhaps I'll include a recipe which includes a knob of butter