August 31, 2008

I must share this with someone

…so how about you. I just discovered that I have been kicked out of the original location of T.G.I. Friday's. Oh, it wasn't Friday's anymore by the time they booted my ass onto the street; it was (is, I believe) the Baker Street Pub, on First Avenue and 63rd Street, in Manhattan. But apparently, this was the site of the world's very first T.G.I. Friday's, opened in 1965. The presence of brass rails facilitated its transformation into a British-style pub, thank the Lord.

(Incidentally, the reason I was kicked out is of some relevance here: It was in advance of the very first Big Quiz Thing, and I visited Baker Street during its weekly pub-quiz night, to hand out postcards and attract interest. The manager, an Irish stereotype straight out of a Hogan's Alley comic strip, didn't take kindly to what he considered my poaching of his customers, threatened to insert things where they aren't intended to be inserted, and very unkindly asked me to depart from his establishment.)

I discovered this factoid while foraging through Wikipedia, naturally. As it often does, trivia research randomly brought me to an unexpected place, in this case the T.G.I. Friday's entry. Setting aside whether I can trust anything I read there, I want to point out is this, a graphic found on the page.Purple denotes countries that contain T.G.I. Friday's locations. Read the backup data that accompanies this graphic, and you'll notice something amazing: This is not from the company's official website. Someone made this on his or her (fine, probably his) own, unpaid and basically unrecognized, presumably for Wikipedia specifically. Someone spent his free time designing this, a map of T.G.I. Friday's locations worldwide, just for the hell of it. Someone managed to beat the odds, outrace millions of other sperm to be born, grow up, become educated, eat and bathe (perhaps) every day, only to spend his time designing a map of T.G.I. Friday's locations worldwide. (Although it is mildly interesting that you can get potato skins and chicken wings in Saudi Arabia, but not France.)

But what I find even more amazing is that this guy spent the time to make this detailed map, and he couldn't even get the name of the restaurant right. I mean, look at the logo and everything else on the company's official site: They're pretty consistent about those three periods and that apostrophe. Details, details…