A dinner with Mike Wise

Last night's meal was in trouble as soon as Mike Wise tried to give his order to our waitress.

"I want to order," he started, before correcting himself. "I want you to sit down at this table and eat with us."

She laughed, which was also a bad sign.

"I want a Pizzeria," he said in his fake Italian accent. "Oh, that's a house? Ohhhh, il bruto Americano," he said, pointing to his head.

The waitress, Ina, was from Albania. I attempted to lead a stirring rendition of Coach's "Albania" song from "Cheers," but no one else knew what I was talking about.

"How does your country teach English so well?" Mike Wise asked Ina. "The people here don't speak English. I think French is their second language. Don't they know they export 90 percent of their sausage into our country? Not France?"

Ina taught Mike Wise various phrases in Albanian.

"That's not bad, right?" Mike said after a few attempts. "So-so? Ok, I'm going to have a little pasta."

But nothing is that easy in Mike Wise land, and so before the pasta was ordered Mike and Ina began discussing the people of Turin, and Ina started talking about the tensions between Italy and Albania, and loving roommate Les started asking geopolitical questions, and all I really wanted was a pizza. Ina told us that her aunt lived in Italy, but she had confused "aunt" and "uncle."

"You know, I take it back, they don't teach English that well in your country," Mike said, although he was joking, and in truth she spoke tremendous English. Still, Mike likes to use his fake Italian accent when talking to anyone over here, be they Italian or Japanese or Albanian, and now he used it again when he asked for "two plates-a, for me and-a my friend," said friend being loving roommate Les. "This is great," Mike said. "I wish all the waitresses in Italy were Albanian."

He asked Ina whether she had heard of the Washington Post. She had. He asked the same question about the New York Times. Another yes. "Which paper do you think is better, the New York Times or the Washington Post," Mike asked.

Mike and Ina discussed the other waiters, and whether they looked more like John Travolta or John Stamos.

"And me, Jack Nicholson," Mike said.
"And you, the governor of Albania," Ina said.

By Dan Steinberg |  February 21, 2006; 3:29 PM ET
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Oh my god. I can't believe I just started reading this today and there are only five days of Olympic festivities left. Although I am not a government schill, my company does have government contracts. I spent my entire day, including lunch break (unpaid time) reading every single blog.

Few things: without reading your blog before, I did eat cheese (cheddar, goat variety with saltines and stone ground mustard, whilst drinking beer - Dogfish Head Raison d'etre) and watched NBC's coverage of the giant slalom last night.

Joey Cheek is the cuttest. I think he's single. I wonder if he and I will be single in 2010 (I'm determined to make the Vancouver Winter Olympics like a tailgate, as those stupid Chevy Trucks and Coca Cola commercials advertise).

Do you think the Post will pay for this much insanity in 2010? Summer Olympics can't be this much fun.

Posted by: April Nowak | February 21, 2006 03:53 PM

"WiseGuy" would talk to a block of cheese if it would talk back to him-ha!

Posted by: Wise Girls-DC | February 21, 2006 11:20 PM

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