Kick Out the Jams, Bennigan’s!

Even though it was a cold, bitter Saturday night, my girl and I were up for going out. We agreed on going to see “The Hitcher.” She had some passes to a theater chain that I’ve only been to once but we figured we’d give it a shot. We hopped on 287 to South Plainfield and drove into the parking lot of the theater. I immediately saw a line forming at the box office which was situated OUTSIDE the theater. How many thousands of years ago was this place built that you need Eskimo gear to actually purchase tickets? After declaring this as definite CRAP, my girlfriend decided to nonchalantly drop in the fact that they DIDN’T have stadium seating! This was an afterthought to her because she doesn’t understand that my viewing experience is paramount to me actually venturing outside my domain to go see a movie. The surrounding must be pretty damn good for me to go see a new movie considering it’ll probably be on cable in a matter of months. Add all of that to the fact that there wasn’t a parking spot in sight because the lot only had 43 spots. Needless to say I vetoed the movie theater idea as fast as you can say “What a shitty remake!”

The lady was hungry so Bennigan’s it was. I swear nowadays you cannot go in there without thinking of the movie Waiting. As we pushed through the entrance doors we were greeted by the Bennigan’s guy and he informed us that “they’re running about a 15-20 minute wait.” I though this was completely insane because there couldn’t have been more than 20 people in the entire establishment at that moment. We opted to sit at the bar and tough it out there. As we hung out with our drinks served by the bald, scary, stare a hole through you, pierced, bartender I tried to listen to the nostalgic tunes on coming out of the ceiling speakers.

The variety of music was mostly from the ’90s. There were some memory jogging songs that came on, but it was one in particular that blew my mind. I immediately recognized the first few seconds but I brushed it off as my mind playing tricks on me. As a few more seconds passed, a familiar voice raps “Im back and Im ringin‘ the bell rockin on the mic while the fly girls yell…” It was none other than Vanilla Ice’sPlay that Funky Music White Boy.” Dumbfounded is a word that doesn’t properly describe my feeling at the time. I never thought I would hear this song again since the days of Vanilla Ice on MTV. Perhaps there’s a renewed interest in Rob Van Winkle since he keeps showing up on VH1. Whatever it may be, I’m proud of Bennigan’s for not just playing typical crap. It’s official, the only two places that you can hear Vanilla Ice: Bennigan’s and my iPod.