We had a 3 day reprieve from the drudgery of DFAC dinners over the last week as the KAF social season got into full swing…but our temporary flight to the heights of culinary mediocrity only made the crash back down to the dusty KAF DFAC reality all the more poignant.
Meating at Echoes
Because we’re such awesome guys (and our customer who actually owns the hangars told us to), we let another contractor use part of one of our hangars on a regular basis to work on their aircraft. In appreciation, this contractor takes all of us out for dinner on occasion. This time, we went to Echoes (AKA Four Seasons AKA The Dutch Place). Rather than ordering off the menu, they got one of the private rooms which meant we didn’t have to relearn the Dutch numbering system. As we hung around waiting for everyone to show up, one of Echoes eastern European staff came in to take drink orders. It was good to find out that Natasha landed on her feet after the cold war.
She brought out tray after massive tray heaped with chicken breasts, steaks and what I assume was veal cordon bleu along with bowls of fried potatoes and veg. The meal was KAF-Awesome. Best of all, my office is across the street and, as management, the techs won’t let me touch anything in the hangar for fear I may ground an aircraft or break a nail so I’m not at all put out by our friends using part of it…yet I still got a free meal! Thanks!
Farewell to A Friend
Another rotation is coming to an end for our military customer. There’s a military liaison guy with the unit we support with whom we work very closely every day. Thankfully, he’s a maintenance guy so he understands a lot of the problems we’re up against and can explain them to his aviator overlords. Unfortunately, its time to say goodbye to this one so we took him out to dinner at TGI Friday’s.
I was pretty fucking amazed to discover that everything on the menu seemed to actually be available! That’s a first. I’ve always gone for one of steaks on my previous visits so I decided to mix it up a bit on this one. That was a mistake. I ordered the Tennessee Burger despite the fact that menu clearly says it has “Beef Bacon”. What the hell? Bacon isn’t made out of beef. That’s like serving Asparagus Pudding or Chocolate Ravioli. J also ordered the Tennessee Burger…we think. Anyway, a second one was brought to the table and announced, J put up his hand and they placed it in front of him. “Isn’t it supposed to have onion rings on it?” he asked. “The Ultimate Tennessee Burger has the fries on it”, I informed him. Just then, an Ultimate Tennessee Burger is brought to the table and announced. “Is that one” mine?” J mewled. “Did you order an Ultimate Tennessee Burger” I asked. “I don’t know, but I wanted the one with onion rings on it”. I asked LT who had the Ultimate Burger in front of him “Did you order the Tennessee Burger or the Ultimate Tennessee Burger?” “Um…” he began to reply when J interrupted “I think that’s mine”. It was at this point that D looked up from his properly ordered and served Chicken Caesar Salad and, in his inimical style, sonorously intoned “Holy Shit. Get your goddamn shit together”. This seemed to focus some minds, plates were quickly and silently traded and we could begin to eat in peace. Thanks, D.
Our liaison dude is an exceptionally good, competent military man who always dealt with us in a friendly and cooperative manner that allowed us all to complete the mission successfully and save coalition lives. He does, however, kinda suck at Call of Duty and I consistently kicked his ass. While he could sometimes be a pain in his professional capacity when we disagreed on minor contractual issues, I think there are several of us who would call him a friend. We’ll miss ya, SB.
Our military customer had a BBQ to mark the handover of command between rotations and once again, we were the belles of the ball. The steaks were tender and the desserts were store-boughten good. We even got a framed embroidery in thanks. I don’t recall exactly what it said so allow me to paraphrase “You’re fucking awesome. The best damn contractors on the face of the earth.We love you guys“or something to that effect.
Back Down to Earth
So, after three days of the best food you can get in KAF, we’re back to DFAC dinners. D, J and I went to the Lux tonight. There were a bunch of banners in French all over the place. Evidently, some sort of French holiday is in progress but, not being all that swept up on (or interested in) France, we weren’t sure what it was, and, no longer being Canadian government employees, we no longer have to understand French. Sleuths that we are, J and I examined the banners. They had pictures of the Eiffel Tower on them. We deduced that “Nationale” must mean “tower” and, the Eiffel Tower being fairly large, “Fete” obviously means “big”. Of course, we all know that “Bonne” means “pretty” (that’s where the Scottish “Bonnie” comes from if I’m not mistaken). So, apparently the French put aside a day to celebrate the fact that Mr. Eiffel built a pretty big tower. They’re right. It’s no CN Tower or Burj Khalifa…but it is pretty big. Happy Pretty Big Tower Day, France!
One would expect decent food on France’s big day but it was not to be. They had “Portuguese Chicken” for what seems like the 8th time in a row on our visits to the Lux. It’s a slightly overdone chicken breast with some sort of sauce on it. Adequate in a this-kinda-sucks sort of way. D had two arbitrarily made up DFAC salads. The Tuna and Corn Salad was reportedly “tuna with a can of uncooked corn poured into it. I like tuna, I like corn, so it was ok” according to D. He let me try some of his Cheese and Cucumber Salad and, disappointingly, it wasn’t wretched. I couldn’t resist the Chicken Wings in Grease (ok, the sign just said Chicken Wings but look at the fucking things) that were available at the short order bar. They were everything you imagine.
I had Creme Caramel for dessert. I’ve gotta give the Lux props; every previous occasion upon which I’ve tried the Creme Caramel it has been fucking disgusting. Lux has managed to take it to a whole ‘notha level…that of tastelessness. Seriously, it had no flavour other then a mildly sweet after taste. It was kind of like eating tofu with a dusting of icing sugar. Way to up your game, Lux!
At least the raspberry Jello with mandarin orange slices was delicious in a 1965 kind of way and provided J with minutes of amusement as he shook the table, watched it jiggle and giggled “That’s disturbing”.
As usual, the TVs in the Lux were tuned to BFBS. The British version of Deal or No Deal was on. Just like in British TV shows like Coronation Street, the people on their game shows look like ordinary folk. On the US version of Deal, they have hot models opening the boxes. The Brits use folks from down the pub. I made some comment to this effect, D glanced up at the screen and said “Holy shit, it’s Andy Gibb and Betty White”. A much too long discussion ensued as we tried to remember the names of the BeeGees and which ones were dead. Just as D and I agreed that Barry was the lone survivor, J informed us that “the BeeGees are often the sound track for amateur porn“. He refused to elaborate.
And another thing, Northline: My fucking plastic knife shouldn’t bend as I try to slice into a kiwi. Put ‘em out in the sun for day if you must…even a half rotten kiwi is better than that blunt instrument you gave me today. It was so hard, my knife got stuck in it! That ain’t right.
We flew too close to the sun.
“Don’t bring me down,grroosss” – Jeff Lynne