I looked good. Though my wallet was $20 lighter, the glances I was garnering from both sexes as I walked down the street was proof positive that this haircut was money well spent. As I headed towards the Dogfish Bar and Grille (the most recent choice for Page One’s Friday Lunch), I had the distinct impression that I was emitting one-third James Dean cool, one-third James Brown funk and 33.3% Elvis Presley swagger. In short, I looked good.
I tried to imagine the collective gasps from my peers as I entered the dimly-lit bar and they laid eyes on me for the first time. How would they react? No doubt Ellis would be jealous. I half expected him to become overly emotional and excuse himself in a tear-soaked, profanity-laden tirade. It’s times like this I remember what my Grandpa Alley used to say. “Shamus,” he’d say, “haters gonna hate.”
As I climbed the stairs to the upper dining room I was greeted by the site of my coworkers laughing and carrying on at a makeshift caravan of tables placed end-to-end. I almost felt bad that my haircut was about to dominate the subject of conversation. Almost. But when I approached the table. I was greeted by something oddly unfamiliar… Complete and utter apathy. I was shocked. How could each of my coworkers be immune to the dizzying power of my freshly cut coif? Then it hit me. They were trying to play it cool! I decided to play along. I found a seat at the far end of the table as the waiter was slowly making his way around our table of 13 hungry Page One staffers. When it was finally my turn to order my drink, he barely made eye contact. “I see.” I thought. “Someone had already gotten to him.” I pretended not to notice his feigned indifference and asked for a cold pint of whatever Baxter Brewing beer they had on tap.
By the time our food arrived, the tension was palpable. As I scanned the length of the table, I was able to see how each of my coworkers tried to cope with the fact that I, Shamus was now prettier than they. Scott could barely lift his eyes off of his Tomato Mozzarella Baguette. Jeremy sat disinterestedly toying with his 128 Free Street Chicken Sandwich, occasionally letting out a slight whimper. It was as though the light in his eyes had dimmed ever so slightly. Koren was talking excitedly while waving her arms… it wasn’t until she knocked her drink into Becky’s Turkey Cobb Salad that I realized she was crying. Sully perhaps impressed me the most as he bravely recounted a humorous story from happier times. This vain attempt to distract the attention of those at the far end of the room earned my respect.
As I looked at the Veggie Burger that lay in front of me, I knew what needed to be done. I quickly reached for Lauren’s Allagash White and promptly poured it over my head. The room went dark as a mix of Belgian ale and hair product malignantly made its way into my eyes. As I wiped them clean I was able to see the astonished looks on my coworkers’ faces as they slowly moved from wide-eyed gaping to hysterical laughter. It was then that I realized, there’s no point in being the best looking person in the room if no one is able to enjoy their food.
Most-Favorited Dish: The Burger
Honorable Mention: Nachos
About 40% of Page One employees would enthusiastically return to Dogfish Bar & Grille.
Words Used by Our Team to Describe the Experience:
Address: 128 Free St., Portland, ME 04101
Hours: Monday-Wednesday – 11:30am-11:30pm
Thursday-Saturday – 11:30am-12:30pm
Sunday – 12:00pm-8:00pm