So, one day last week, I went to a luncheon to celebrate the forthcoming birth of a co-worker’s third child. We all gathered at a local Richmond ‘hot’ spot, a decent little place in downtown Richmond. Not too long after the waitress brought me my tea, she comes back and tells us that the sign on the front of the building was sparking and that we had to evacuate the building. A coworker asks ‘so, you want us to go out the front door, UNDER the sign?’ The waitress looked like she had just had an epiphany. She then, rather astonishingly, says ‘well, yeah’. We just looked at each other. Surely, this was a joke. Nope, about then, other staff are going around explaining the situation to others in the area and, also at that same moment, we could hear sirens. So, we shrug and get up. As we are proceeding to the front of the restaurant, we notice that no one else is leaving, so we stop. The waitress then asks us to wait a minute. We see a couple of firemen go through the building and then we are told that we can return to our seats. So we do. Another of my co-workers wanted photos of the firemen and truck, so she goes outside.
Several minutes pass and our food starts to trickle back. I call my co-worker and tell her that our food was coming. She said ‘ok, maybe they will let me back in now.’ WHAT? As it turns out, the sign was actually on fire. Several minutes later, she returned and showed us the photos on her camera. Mind you, this was not a significant fire but, still, it was a bit disconcerting that: we were initially asked to leave through the same exit that happened to be under the sparking/flaming sign; they let my coworker out DURING the event; that we stayed in the building while part of it was flaming. Now, I’m not bad mouthing the restaurant nor the firemen, but the whole thing was just ODD. We did enjoy our lunch, though my burger was a bit charred. Coincidence?