Trade Show in Town

Love the conventioneers, mostly. They wander for blocks, usually in packs, lured by the reputation of a revitalized entertainment and restaurant area, an ever-shrinking ethinc area, and the prospect of eating something other than mini-danish meeting fare or hotel food.

Yesterday, they found us in a big way. Oddly enough, this group–technology geeks and all who surround them–arrived in sets of five. Not once, not twice, but all day.

I think I figured out who’s who with these folks by how they announced themselves:

“Five, please. That okay?”: Out-of-towners, a tad shy to be in the big city.

“We’re five, no reservations.”: Locals, at least one of whom has been here before.

“Got room for five?”: Smiling, happy junior office workers–local or not–who are thrilled to be able to eat out on the company. Probably their first convention, too.

“Five, what’s the wait?”: Locals, probably been in several times before and keep forgetting to call and make reservations.

“Five.”: Interchangeable–Bored, unhappy vendors. Or, bored, unhappy executives.

And the ever-endearing five-finger backhand, followed by silence: Don’t know. Don’t care. Sorry, 45-minute wait. Would you like a pager?