The bartender brought us our second round, plunking the drinks down with a half smile, and with that we had broken our 20-buck rule. Every time I come here I swear it's the last time, yet again and again I return like some dipsomaniacal character out of Groundhog Day with a taste for fake orchids and thatched roofs. Fellow San Franciscans, vote yourself off the island that is the Tonga Room; leave that disturbing reality to the tourists and the call girls.
As Rusty piled his plate with fried cheese drizzled with sweet 'n' sour sauce, any lingering thoughts of giving in again to a mating session with a weathered long-distance acquaintance seemed less appealing. Besides, tonight was the conclusion of Survivor: Vanuatu. There were more important things to do.