Tìo Carlos

Another in the continuing saga of why don't you just write a book already dude.
  1. "We're gonna be late man, hurry up!"
    I say to Martin as he stands in the bathroom, fixing his hair, making sure every spike has the perfect amount of gel to hold it in place for the next few hours.
  2. "We're not going to be late, it only takes an hour to get there."
    He responds as he applies more gel to the left side of his faux-hawk.
  3. "I don't care about The Mars Volta, but I swear to god I'm going to punch you so hard if we miss any of the Chili Peppers set!"
    I warn him.
  4. "They're my favorite band, trust me, we'll make it!"
    He says, contorting himself to check his hair from all different angles.
  5. My roommate and his girlfriend are in the living room, ready to go. I'm ready to go. We have to drive from Anaheim to San Diego, which is usually about 90min(no traffic) and we wanted to stop and eat on the way. The clock is very much against us and Martin is taking his sweet time getting ready.
  6. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are touring for their new album, By the Way, and we all love them and the album. Nobody really cares for The Mars Volta but we'd still like to see them too.
    Martin is driving and his Mustang is doing Mach 3 down I-5, headed towards San Diego.
  7. "I know this great spot near the venue for surf and turf, we can get margaritas, it's called Tìo Carlos."
    Martin says, as he cranes his neck to look at French and Jessica in the back seat, somehow weaving in and out of traffic without even looking.
  8. "Surf and turf is gonna take a while, we don't have that kinda time."
    French responds.
  9. "I'll get us there in time, don't worry, but there's usually a line around the block, that might be a problem."
    Martin says.
  10. "If you get us there in time, I'll get us in."
    I promise, having never been there before or with any real plan on how to get us in.
  11. Martin continues speeding down the 5 freeway, shoots down the exit ramp and comes to a screeching, skidding, careening stop into the parking lot of Tìo Carlos.
    The line is wrapped around the building. It's 6pm on a Saturday, in the summer, everyone in San Diego is there for dinner.
  12. "Alright dude, get us in."
    Martin says as he steps out of the car.
  13. So, I walk passed everyone in line, go up to the hostess to put our name in and ask about the wait. She's talking to another patron so I politely wait and as I'm waiting I start looking in the restaurant to see how packed it is. I notice an open booth in the back by the kitchen with a reserved sign on it.
    And now I have my plan!
  14. "Excuse me, my uncle was supposed to save a table for me."
    I say, interrupting her conversation with the other patron.
  15. "Your uncle?"
    She says, confused.
  16. "Yeah, Carlos."
    I say deadpan, straight faced and confident. (Tio means uncle in Spanish).
  17. "Carlos is your uncle?"
    She doesn't look like she believes me AT ALL.
  18. "Yeah."
    I say, nodding.
  19. "If Carlos is your uncle, what's his last name?"
    She quizzes.
  20. What the hell lady? I wasn't expecting a quiz!
  21. "Sanchez."
    I blurt it out without hesitation as confident as if she asked me my own last name. I had no idea if that was correct, it was the ultimate shot in the dark.
  22. "No... wait, what?"
    She is shocked.
  23. "Sanchez."
    I say with a smile.
  24. "How'd you know that?"
    She's so confused at this point.
  25. "He's my uncle"
    😉👍🏻
  26. "Okay..."
    and she grabs some menu's and instructs me to follow her. I quickly instruct my friends to follow and not to question anything.
  27. We are seated at the reserved booth and the waiter quickly comes by to take our order.
    We get a round of margarita's, chips and guacamole, and three of us get surf and turf and Jessica gets enchiladas.
  28. The margaritas come out quickly and they're strong!
  29. Then I see an older, important looking, gentleman talking to the hostess and pointing in our direction.
    She is gesturing a lot with her hands and he doesn't seem to buy her explanation.
  30. Then he starts walking toward our table and cuts off the waiter that was bringing our food.
    The waiter doesn't say anything, he just stands behind this gentleman as he approaches our table.
  31. "So... which one of you is my nephew?"
    He says.
  32. "Hey, Uncle Carlos, how are you?"
    I say while everyone is staring at me. Everyone. My friends. The waiter. The hostess. The other patrons in ear shot. 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀
  33. "I'm not doing good, I seem to be having issues with... what do they call it? Amnesia? Alzheimer's? Something like that, because I don't remember you. Which of my brothers kid are you?"
    He is not giving off any hint that he is joking. I mean, I could tell he knew he didn't have Alzheimer's, but he was serious about giving me a hard time.
  34. "I'm Ricky's son. The one in college. That's probably why you haven't seen me too much lately."
    Another shot in the dark??? 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻
  35. "Ricky?"
  36. "Yeah, well... Ricardo."
  37. "Ricky Ricardo?! From I Love Lucy? Desi Arnez?! Do I look stupid?!?!"
  38. "No, not Ric-"
  39. "No what?"
  40. "Um, no, not Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy. I just meant his name is Ricardo but, you know, the family calls him Ricky."
  41. "Ohh, Ricky, from Chula Vista?"
  42. "Yeah. Yes. Chula Vista."
    😅🤥
  43. "So, I do look stupid?"
    😠😤😡
  44. "No tìo, no you don't look stupid."
  45. "I don't have any family in Chula Vista and I don't have any brothers named Ricardo!"
  46. "Okay, look man, Carlos, sir.. I saw the open table, there was a huge line, we're in a hurry, I told the hostess I was your nephew, the place is called Tìo Carlos, I'm sure you get that all the time."
    What could I say at that point, I had to come clean. Plus our food was right there and the concert was starting soon.
  47. "No, nobody tries that. Either that or nobody's made it passed the hostess. Because this is the first I've heard about it."
    He seems less mad and more impressed at this point.
  48. Then the waiter steps in, "excuse me boss, what should I do with their food?"
    "Give it to them, that's my nephew" Carlos says as he walks away shaking his head.
  49. We feasted on surf and turf and ordered another round of margaritas.
    Then the waiter came back with a round of tequila shots for everyone.
  50. "We didn't order those," I said.
    "It's on the house sir, your uncle sent it over."
  51. 🥃🥃🥃🥃
  52. We finished up and paid the bill.
    We tipped 25%, then each threw another $20 on the table with a note that said "for the hostess, hope you don't get fired, thanks!"
  53. We completely missed The Mars Volta but made it just in time to catch all of RHCP!
  54. 🌶🎸