If I had to choose one bit of advice to give to people, it would probably be not to be the only couple in a Mexican restaurant on mariachi night. Some people might think other advice is more important, like don’t eat yellow snow or avoid the clap, but I think the above is right at the top of the list.
I say this because I started frequenting a new Mexican restaurant at Omaha sometime around 2000. It had formerly been a Great Wall of China, but that had folded and the Mexican restaurant had gotten started.
It wasn’t a bad place either. Really good deluxe burritos with all kinds of cheese, guacamole, and sour cream for only $5. Granted, they did have some problems with the staff repeatedly getting busted for meth possession and there was a soup on the menu I wanted to try that they finally admitted was never going to be made, but it wasn’t bad. Still, it wasn’t easy for them to get up and going and though sometimes the place was packed, sometimes it was just dead in there.
One thing they did to try to pick up business was to form a mariachi band. Mind you, I didn’t say that they hired a mariachi band. I said that they formed one. They got a bunch of guys who had no mariachi experience and just tried their hand at it. For a while it was pretty awful, but they did get better.
Anyway, one night a girl I was seeing at the time and I went in for dinner. It was another dead night; we were literally the only customers there for dinner. Unfortunately, it was mariachi night (the band only played one night a week).
Can you guess what happened? The girl and I were sitting there. So was the mariachi band. The mariachi had to do something, so they played. Specifically, they played for us because we were the only people in the restaurant. They played, and they did not stop. Why would they stop? They had nowhere else to go. The entire mariachi surrounded our table and just played and played and played.
Honestly, we felt kind of obligated to just sit and listen to them. Our food came, but the mariachi band kept playing. I leaned over and asked the girl: “Do…do you think we can eat?” Seriously, it felt kind of rude to ignore them and just start eating. Still, what else could we do?
That’s the story behind the advice. Mariachi bands are fun and all, but it can get to be a bit much if you’re the only people in the restaurant.