Fine Dinning

Green Water Blue Sky

So every year, Lisa and I and whoever else we can drag along go to the Irish Fair in Pomona. They hold it at the L.A. County Fairgrounds which they make a bit more festive by adding Irish banners to the flag poles and green dye to the fountains. Half a dozen little stages are scattered around outside the huge concrete commercial buildings. Little food stands line the main thoroughfare hawking hamburgers, hot dogs, bangers and mash.

But we never eat at those places.

Not that they’re bad. It’s just that after you’ve spend $12 for fish and chips and another four bucks for a drink, you’re left standing in the sun with a plate in one hand and a soda cup in the other with no place to sit and no way to eat your meal.

Enter the buffet. Where, for twenty dollars, you get not only a seat, but bangers, mash, salad, corned beef, shepherd’s pie, peas, potato salad, corned beef, cabbage, dessert and a drink. All you can eat, in the shady cavernous interior of one of the commercial buildings.

Perfect for a warm day, especially if you’ve left your third arm at home.

I checked the website the night before to make sure that the buffet was happening this year. And there it was. “Fine Dinning,” it said. Ha ha.

Except that it wasn’t a typo.

Because this year, right next to the tables with their little white tablecloths, was a stage.

With a Celtic rock band playing on it.


With every decibel reverberating through the big concrete jet hangar-sized building around us.

We ate there anyway because we were starving and the food was good. But next year I’m bringing my earplugs.


Rockin’ at the Ren Faire

Ah, the Renaissance Faire! Home to jousts and falconry, rife with bards and minstrels playing Elizabethan music for your enjoyment. Lutes and flutes and hammered dulcimers performing the greatest hits of the 16th century. So imagine my surprise when walking over to the food court, I hear the opening strains of a Led Zeppelin song.

No really. Led Zeppelin.

Now I’m not a huge Led Zeppelin fan so I didn’t know which Led Zeppelin song it was, but I know Led Zeppelin when I hear it. And I was hearing it.


And nearby.

I turn and see a woman in a harem costume playing a violin on the stage behind me. She’s definitely playing the music and it is definitely Led Zeppelin. But not The Immigrant Song because I recognize that one. Anyway, I meet up with my friends and tell them “There’s a lady over there playing a Led Zeppelin song on her violin.”

“What?” Lisa gives me a you-do-know-you-are-at-the-Renaissance-Faire look.

“No, that lady over there with the violin. She’s playing a Led Zeppelin song.”

“Which Led Zeppelin song?” Mark asks.

“I don’t know. The one that goes…DA DA DA..da…DA DA DA.”


“Could be.”

They all strain to listen. No one is hearing Led Zeppelin but me. Okay, fine, never mind. Let’s get some gelato.

But after gorging ourselves, we become intrigued by a woman bellydancing to Irish folk music. “That’s the same band that was playing Led Zeppelin.”



But the band is great. Circa Paleo, out of Texas. They play Scottish songs and Viking songs and Irish-Middle Eastern songs. In fact, they are so good, we don’t leave after their set. We wait for them to come back and play us some more Gypsy music and Turkish folk songs half an hour later.

And nobody says anything, but I know they’re thinking that I am totally crazy. Because nothing the band has played so far even remotely resembles anything that could be mistaken for Led Zeppelin. Even I’m beginning to wonder how I could have mistaken Irish fiddle music for a famous rock song.

But as the show is winding down, the girl with the violin looks at the girl with the guitar. “We have time for another one. Are you tuned for Kashmir?”

All my friends turn and look at me. I smile back.

I should have made them buy me some more gelato.