Sunday, August 12, 2012

Artificial Sweetener

Place: El Pollo Loco
Lunch: Barbecue chicken stuffed quesadilla, thigh, pinto beans, Coke

El Pollo Loco is a Mexican version of fast food chicken that, unlike other Mexican chains, actually started in Mexico.  Their chicken is grilled, not fried.  If you're looking for a really tasty grilled chicken, this is the place to go.

Frowning Counter Girl took my order, took my money, gave me change.  I said "Thank you".  She muttered "You're welcome".


Shouldn't THEY be thanking ME for patronizing their business?

But "you're welcome" has suddenly become a thing, I guess.  This is at least the third time I've noticed this over the summer.  Normally, they'll say "Thank you", and I'll say "Thank YOU" in return.  Apparently, saying "Thank you" for me is now a reflex thing as soon as I have change in hand.  So I'm trying to get out of that habit and say nothing if they don't say "Thank you" first.

This also happened yesterday at Jack in the Box.  But they made up for it when the girl who brought my food to my table said "Thank you, my dear."

WOW.  That made my whole day.

And that's another thing.  Artificial sweetness.  A couple of weeks ago in a RaceTrac, I got a fountain soda and realized there were no cup lids in sight.  A store girl noticed my confusion and asked "Looking for lids, love?"


Then the next night at the same RaceTrac, another girl who was stocking one of the coolers I was looking in asked "Sorry, honey.  Can I get in there?"

Then last night at the Kiss/Motley Crue show, a random pair of girls who needed around me said "Thanks, sweetie!"

Have I fallen into an alternate universe or something?

This was my thirteenth Kiss show if memory serves, and they were awesome, of course.  As the guy next to me said, "They never disappoint".  One of their cleanest and most colorful stages ever, with a huge HD video board (no lighted KISS logo...they use the video board for that), additional video panels throughout the lower stage areas, and colored lighting all around.  Their set is actually the shortest I've ever seen, but they still fit all their trademark gimmicks in.  Kiss has always been stronger musically when Ace and Peter weren't in the band, and having Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley makes for Kiss's strongest musical lineup.

I'm not a Crue fan, and this show didn't convince me otherwise.  They had a ridiculously elaborate stage that included a roller coaster loop that the drum kit was attached to so Tommy Lee and his entire drum set could rotate to the top of the stage, hanging upside down during his drum solo, which wasn't really a drum solo at all.  It was basically a 2/4 beat synchronized with pre-recorded synth and video.  So the roller coaster contraption was apparently supposed to distract you from his inability to do anything but provide a backbeat.  Their whole show was like that, absolutely pounding the audience with intense lights and bomb blasts.  And strippers.  Loads of distraction from the fact there was actually a band up there somewhere.

Timing was another thing.  There was a point in their set that the Crue was hounding the crowd for being quiet and rallying us up.  At which point they immediately launched into "Home Sweet Home".  A BALLAD.

Otherwise, they played about a dozen songs that sounded exactly the same.  And they swore.  A LOT.

I don't think Kiss could have picked a better group to co-headline with.  They made Kiss look so much more professional in every aspect, including musical ability.  When you can make Kiss look good musically, you HAVE to have sold your souls for your fame.

A third band also played.  "The Treatment" described themselves as "a bunch of 19 year-old kids from England".  They played their own take on 80's metal.

They were better than Crue.