>If we decide to go with the flow and think of factoid as describing a true yet trivial thing, I want a word to describe a true, trivial, but oddly compelling experience such as the following, which I share with you here for no other reason than I cannot stop obsessing about it.
The other night we took some friends to see Kiki & Herb’s “Year of Magical Drinking” show, itself oddly compelling (Kiki on her upbringing: “if you weren’t molested as a child then you must have been ugly”) but not what I wanted to tell you about. Before the show we had dinner at Sibling Rivalry, a restaurant whose conceit is that its two chef-brothers create dueling recipes with the same main ingredient. The food was fabulous but the menu made me a little crazy. It listed the dishes on offer in two columns, one for each chef, and headlined each row of two with the featured ingredient, so you’ll get, say, two choices starring green tomatoes. At the top of the menu was printed something like “Large plates/Small plates/Entrees/Appetizers” but I could find nowhere on the menu anything to tell me which dish was what, although you could mostly guess from the prices. It bugged the hell out of me that the menu would mention that it listed both appetizers and main courses but would not tell you which was which, so I asked the waiter what was going on. “Are you color-blind?” he asked in return, and upon my affirmative response went off to retrieve a copy of the color-blind menu they apparently keep on hand for so disabled guests. This new menu, marked on the back with a piece of bedraggled masking tape with the words “color-blind menu” penciled upon it, looked very similar to the regular menu, save for the fact that some of the items were printed in italic, a distinction that had been made clear to my dining companions by the strategic use of black and red type on the normal-people menu.
Why, Lord, why? Why, Lord, why? If the appearance of color-blind people in your restaurant is an occurrence frequent enough to require you to print and bind an alternative menu exclusively for their use, you might want to rethink your original design, yes?
It’s the little things that haunt us.