Sunday, August 14, 2005

Life at the Center of Business

The 19 Minutes staff is in Phoenix this evening, hoteling it before an early flight out of Sky Harbor International tomorrow. (Should "hoteling" have two l's in it? Should I never use that word again?)

Anyway, I'm typing this from the "business center" at the Phoenix Airport Radisson. Arguably, I've never really had the need to use something called a "business center", a name which conjures up images of those air travelers I always sit next to who are reading motivational business books and barking orders about the Peterson File into their cell phone until the exact second the flight attendant tells them to shut off electronic devices. I always sort of envision a "business center" as the kind of place where these men or women can rent an overhead projector at the last minute when their computers crash, rendering their PowerPoint presentation about the '06 Financials (or the Strategic Plan) inoperative. The only real way a business center would be of any use in my business would be if it had a fully fuctioning interview studio available.

Here at the Airport Radisson, the business center serves neither the overhead projector renters nor the traveling radio reporters among us. What it is, basically, is a large walk-in closet with two computers. The power-tie clad people working on the Peterson file have been replaced by one slightly-lame blogger and a woman in a t-shirt and sweatpants checking her e-mail.

Adding to the atmosphere is the overly loud Muzak emanating from the lobby, which is inexplicably tuned to the all-'80s channel. And nothing says "business center" like "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi (which came on the heels of "She-Bop", by Cyndi Lauper and "Material Girl" by Madonna).

[An update on the Muzak: We're now enjoying "Tempted", by Squeeze, which is an improvement over Bon Jovi et al, anyway.]

Fortnuately, the Airport Radisson is located within easy walking distance of all the major regional attractions, which in this case includes exactly one Waffle House, which if nothing else made my dinner plans easy to arrange.

I have no idea whether this particular Waffle House is emblematic of the chain as a whole, but this may have been the most soporific restaurant in the history of gastronomy. It was the kind of place where I ordered a waffle and scrambled eggs, and then worried that I sounded too enthusiastic, so I made sure to mumble my request for orange juice. The characters in the George Washington book I'm reading are more alive than the atmosphere in the Waffle House.

[Another update on the Muzak: Nick Lowe - "Cruel to be Kind", which the 19 Minutes staff seems to recall it owns on 45 rpm vinyl. Thanks to the Phoenix Airport Radisson for helping us feel old.]

So we were looking for a way to end this (and shift back into the first person plural), when the Muzak again obliged, cranking out Kool and the Gang's seminal dance hit, "Celebration". This has us scratching our head over a lyric that's always puzzled us: "We gon' celebrate your party tonight." You'd think Kool and the Gang could find plenty of occasions to celebrate - countless birthdays, anniversaries, Stanley Cups, harness racing wins, potty training successes - without resorting to celebrating someone else's party.

But then, once you've celebrated someone else's party, nothing's better to cap it off than dinner at the Waffle House.

4 comments:

edhunor1080 said...

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Anonymous said...

Yes - I agree with what edhunor180 said...

Carol Davidson said...

I bet edhunor1080 is really the gal in sweatpants and a t shirt sitting beside you in the business center. So now, Mitch, I'm off to review the Faceprint Global Solutions stock which is trading at the unbelievable price of fifteen cents. Rock on.

Mitch Teich said...

The question is, will FCPG protect blogs from idiotic comment postings like edhunor1080's?