West Side Improv

There’s something about the local Steak & Shake that seems to attract the bizarre and surreal. Last Friday proved to be another piece of evidence for that.

Herein lies the tale of the closest I’ve ever been to being in a gang fight.

After the meeting, some of the Fools and friends thereof went to Steak & Shake to grab something to eat. We’re there a while, when in walks a group of four high-school-looking types. This wouldn’t have attracted our attention, except for the fact that each of them — including the female — was wearing an obviously fake mustache and carrying a cane.

Last I checked, Halloween is the last day of October, not September, so I’m not sure what was going on there.

As could be expected, certain comments were exchanged amongst ourselves regarding the newest patrons. Apparently the mustachios (as we called them) caught wind of some of these, as they started frequently looking directly at us and hoisting their canes in our general direction.

Later on, as we’re at the register going through the long process of everyone paying their portion of the bill individually, the idea is hatched to confront them over this, of a sort. As a group, we slowly approached the mustachios, West Side Story style: one step at a time, slightly hunched forward, snapping in unison. As we do this, and all eyes in the restaurant fixate on what is transpiring, the mustachios get out of the booth, stand in the aisle as we approach, and tap their canes on the floor as we snap our fingers.

At this juncture, I’m sure you — along with the non-mustachio patrons of the restaurant — are thinking, how can hilarity not ensue from this?

Well, it doesn’t when one group decides to be belligerent about it instead of playing along. I won’t say which group I’m referring to, but I’ll leave this quote from the conversation as a clue:

Fool #1: So, what’s with the mustachios?

Male Mustachio #1: (long pause)

Male Mustachio #2: Our penises are larger than yours.

Female Mustachio: It’s true.

This sort of thing went on briefly, and after it became apparent that the mustachios were going to be jerks instead of making this encounter awesome for all involved, we West Side Storied our way out of the restaurant and out into the parking lot, as patrons and waitresses told us things like “That was great” or “You should have kicked their ass. But thanks for that anyway.” (I hope Benji doesn’t mind me stealing some quotes from his write-up of this encounter.)

The moral of the story is: if you and your friends are going to go out in public near a college campus wearing fake mustaches and carrying canes, you better expect someone is going to play off of whatever it is you’re doing, so don’t be a total jerk about it.

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