Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have a recession, depression, inflation proof business idea.

Let's say you are rich. As in stinking rich. As in couldn't spend it all, couldn't screw it all up even if you tried.

And let's also say you are lonely. Or bored. Or both.

Welcome to Al's House of Lunch.

With just one phone call, you can arrange to have lunch with a group of people that will charm you, make you laugh, pay attention to you, have smart conversation, make you feel welcome and warm, and take your mind of your worries.

Nothing illegal offered. No sex. No drugs.

Just great food, big laughs, lots of hugs, and total merriment.

You just call me and I will take it from there.

Your lunch buddies are likely to include the following personalities.

Queen Cotton. Southern, blonde, beautiful, smart, hilarious. A major creative powerhouse who once described the secret to her success as, "Leading with her hips and wearing dangly earrings." Imagine Mae West with a Kentucky accent, who thinks orange juice and dark rum are a fine way to start any lunch. Just to take the edge off of conversation she is likely to ask about nicknames, as she did once upon a time with a major client. When the client naively said, "Bet you'll never guess mine", the Queen responded with, "Needledick."

Hardtail. Athlete, coach, entrepeneur, historian, and five point Calvinist. Will argue with a fence post. Hopefully will refer to you as Mullethead throughout lunch. That means he likes you. He can discuss the merits of the single wing versus the spread, how to throw a two-seam fastball, the history of the world, or his least favorite group of brothers. The Less brothers. Hap, Wit, Clue, Hope, and Meaning.

Rip Van Winkle. The world's oldest 20 year old. Looks 20, acts 20, actually is 40. Has traveled the world. Has photographed much of it. Once paid a man to take him outside in sub-zero weather and teach him how to sleep in the snow. Somehow seems to know every person in every city in the world. Especially attractive women. Doesn't drink, but is higher than a kite on the latest technology. Which means he will teach you things about your phone that you would never, ever know.

The Reverend. A real Reverend. Worked in the corporate world for years before he felt the calling and became a preacher. Real. Honest. Funny. Struts a bit like George Jefferson when he is feelin' it. If needed, will humble you by saying, "You think you're all that and a bag of chips." A fierce competitor, may well challenge you to a putting contest before the event is over.

The Scotts. A couple. Both named Scott. Designers, architects, decorators, cooks, gentlemen. Will be the best dressed folks at lunch. Will teach you secrets such as, "Dimmers on every light switch will change your life." Can discuss antiques, film, music, and Georgia football. Likely to rearrange the table, and perhaps your hair.

Ruth. Because she is Ruthian. Large in stature, wisdom, wit, and experience. A good counterbalance to Hardtail. Slightly right of Rush Limbaugh. A lawyer, a business woman, the mother hen of a number of women that she has mentored on to greatness.

And, me.

Where? Well, we don't own a restaurant. That would be too boring. We just move in and take one over.

We pick based on what mood we're all in. Might be at Club Macanudo in New York so nobody whines if we smoke while we eat red meat and drink big red wines. Might be Adair's in Dallas, the best beer joint in Texas with arguably the best cheeseburger on earth. Might be at Miss Margie's, one of the Scott's mom's who makes the prettiest plate of Southern food ever. Might be Marin Joe's in Corte Madera. Best mesquite grill in the world. Been there since 1954. Not much has changed including the patrons, the staff, the bar decor, or the great Italian food.

We'll arrange for a comfy limo to pick you up, fly you to the location by NetJets, and when the chauffeur delivers you to the restaurant, we'll be ready for you. We'll get you home just the same way.

Just wire $750,000 to A.H.O.L.'s account at the Butterfield Bank in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Once your deposit is confirmed, we'll call you to arrange the best three hours of your life.

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