You may recognize him as The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, or the officious/annoying/not-so-bad/humorous/ultimately-quite-likable Richard Woolsey from Stargate SG-1/Stargate: Atlantis/Stargate: Universe, or from one of about a 100+ film and television roles. I refer, of course, to the great Robert Picardo who got into town the other night for some convention (I think it’s a Star Trek thing. I’m not sure of the details.). He had a window of opportunity, roughly two hours between two con commitments – the latter being some sort of variety show event during which he’d be showing off his impressive vocal range (Something that was denied him on Atlantis. Oh, if we’d only gotten that sixth season pick-up! He’d have been a ringer for that musical episode we were planning). He suggested dinner somewhere in the neighborhood of the hotel where the convention had put him up. Since the neighborhood is mostly home to recent parolees and out patients of the province’s most notorious mental hospital, I was hard-pressed up to come up with a good restaurant recommendation.
Bob is a fan of ethnic cuisine, Indian in particular, so I solicited the opinions of several foodies at the nearby methadone clinic who suggested a restaurant not too far from the hotel. All in all, not bad – in comparison to the service that was just plain awful. We settled in and started catching up. I was regaling Bob with tales of my fantastic seven months in Toronto when the waitress came by and asked us if we were ready to order. We told her not yet. She headed off – and we didn’t see her again for another twenty minutes. For a while there, I feared something had happened to her. Perhaps she was in the back, trapped under a fallen refrigerator, too weak to call for help, her life ebbing away. I was about to call 911 (just to be on the safe side) when I noticed her serving the table behind us. I tried to catch her attention but she was doing her darndest to ignore me. I feared we’d offended with that whole “not ready to order yet” thing. I finally managed to corral the busboy and tried to give him our order. He assured us our waitress would be right over. And she eventually was. We ordered.
The food was okay. Damn, I miss Toronto’s Babur (one of the very few things I miss about the city). After our meal, getting the bill proved equally challenging. Again, our waitress was as elusive as The Jackal. I thought I spotted her a couple of times, but I couldn’t be sure. She was like smoke or a shadow or a waitress who had no interest in serving us.
Restaurant aside, it was very nice meal. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been if Bob’s lovely wife Linda had joined us. Linda and a change in venue.
Anyway, it was great to catch up with Bob. We’re going to have to do it again when Akemi and I are in L.A.
Incidentally, Bob provided me with a link to the convention site and I did check it out. I’ve got to ask: those fans who paid $399 for their ticket – for that price, do you actually get to make love to a Stargate celebrity of your choice? I’m curious.