Matt texted me on Friday morning and asked if I wanted to go to Bonefish Grill for dinner to use a gift card we got for Christmas, and I told him I was all in.
He texted back, "Okay, I'll make a reservation. Is 6:00 too late?"
After work we headed out, and as we drove around the corner, Matt slowed the truck down and pulled over to where a Comcast workman was standing by a telephone pole. He rolled the window down and called out to the workman, "Let me ask you a question, do you guys get rid of those wooden cable spools when you're done?"
The workman paused for a few minutes, sized us up, and then said, "Yeah. You want this one?"
Comcast has been working in our neighborhood for about a month installing new cable lines, and Matt said he'd been eyeing up the cable spools for weeks because he thought it would be cool to make one into an outdoor table.
Before I knew it, Matt was out of the truck, the man was showing us the new wires, and then the two of them were loading the giant wooden spool, CABLE AND ALL, into the bed of the pickup.
The workman asked us if we lived in the neighborhood and when we said yes, just a few houses down, he said, "Good. Let's get this in, and then get out."
I've never felt more daring as we drove the 1000 feet back to our house to unload the cable spool, which is now on our back patio and looking a whole lot bigger than it did when it was laying next to the telephone pole.
We made it back to Bonefish for dinner and had a delicious meal and a wonderful time. I ordered a Wild Orchid Hawaiian martini, and it came with an actual orchid in it. As I admired the cocktail, Matt said, "You know, my grandfather is responsible for bringing edible orchids to the area."
Matt's grandfather, and later his dad, owned a produce business for many years. Every morning they would fill their trucks with fruits and veggies from the produce market in South Philadelphia, and then deliver the produce to restaurants all over the area. For this reason Matt is very particular about produce and I will never forget the first time we went grocery shopping together and he began enthusiastically slapping the watermelons.
Anyway, he told me that his grandfather was the one who encouraged restaurants to start using edible orchids in drinks and on cakes, and therefore deserves full credit for the popularity of the edible orchid in the Philadelphia culinary scene.
I'm not so sure I completely believe that, but what I am sure about is that the first cocktail I have at the new cable spool patio table better have an orchid in it.
(They see me rollin'...)