"I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage...
It all started innocently enough when Bob (of Chasing Vincenzo fame) read that I would be back in Chicago and was kind enough to write and ask if I wanted to meet for dinner while I was in town. Since he's a great guy with a lot of interesting things to talk about, I agreed immediately. Bob ended up choosing a very nice tapas restaurant with authentic authentic Spanish tapas (quite a different story from the "fake" authentic tapas houses I've run into).
The restaurant, Emilio's, was celebrating an anniversary, so there was live music and flamenco dancers for entertainment. We started out with a bit of light pre-dinner conversation... war, politics, religion, who would win in a fight between Batman and Spider-Man... you know, the usual kind of stuff. But then we somehow got on the topic of nuclear fusion and all hell broke loose.
"You can't contain the super-plasma using inert gasses as a barrier between the magnetic fields. You need a total vacuum or it's not going to work!" Bob says.
"Oh I think it will work just fine if the molecular state of the gas is excited by injecting weak protons into the barrier matrix" I reply. "Perhaps xenon or argon would be a good gas to use."
"What did you just say?!?" Bob asks over the escalating sounds of the guitar and rat-a-tat-tat of the flamenco dancers stomping away.
"Errr... maybe xenon or argon..." I offer meekly.
"Argon?!? ARGON?!?? How can you say 'argon'— I hate argon gas!" Bob says loudly as he tries to compete with the music filling the restaurant. "No self-respecting scientist uses argon gas for containment!"
"Uhhh... calm down, Bob" I say diplomatically. "I'm sure quite a few nuclear scientists have had good success using argon to—"
"NO! NO THEY HAVEN'T!!" Bob bellows as he jumps up from the table, his temper soaring. "Stop saying that! Stop saying 'argon!'"
"Bob, you're overreacting" I say, trying to keep my voice calm. "Argon is just a gas, it's not—"
"THERE! YOU SAID IT AGAIN!!" Bob screams, his voice filled with fury. "I TOLD YOU NOT TO SAY THAT!"
Bob then grabs a handful of papas bravas (a yummy potato dish) and throws it at my head. The restaurant, once noisy with flamenco dancers, music, laughter, and conversation, suddenly becomes silent. A kindly waitress appears at our table and tries to fix things...
"Is there a problem here gentlemen?" she asks nervously.
"YES, THERE IS A VERY BIG PROBLEM HERE!! THIS BASTARD THINKS THAT ARGON GAS WOULD MAKE A GOOD BARRIER BETWEEN MAGNETIC FIELDS OF A FUSION REACTOR!" Bob roars, all eyes on him.
"Argon?" the waitress says in a small voice. "Well, maybe not argon per-se... but certainly if the gas molecules were in an excited state... perhaps by injecting weak protons?"
Bob just stands there for a minute fuming, his hands bunched into fists. Nobody moves. It's as if the restaurant has been suspended in time.
Suddenly, Bob springs across the table and lunges at the waitress. "I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage. The waitress is paralyzed with fear as Bob knocks her to the ground and wraps his hands around her neck. "ARGON THIS!" Bob wails as his hands tighten on her throat.
Panic fills the air as people start running around screaming. One of the busboys and a team of flamenco dancers manage to pull Bob off the poor waitress and hold him at the bar. He starts yelling something about "argon gas being a tool of the devil," but I am in a state of total shock and don't hear it.
I just sat there sobbing quietly with papas bravas in my hair until the police showed up and took Bob away. Something tells me he won't be welcome back at Emilio's any time soon.
Well, okay, that's not really what happened.
We had a wonderful dinner with fantastic food, and it was a lot of fun. But I'm getting tired of writing about how great it is to meet up with my fellow bloggers, and so I thought it would be more entertaining to write about what would happen if Bob went crazy and tried to strangle a waitress.
Because that would be kind of cool.
Not for the waitress, obviously, but it would make for a far more exciting blog entry.
Anyway, thanks Bob for a great dinner!