Thursday, April 12, 2007

So Chuck Walks into a Bar.....

Tonight I went to a local bar to meet with Rick Burnes of Faneuil Media, a local company that helps media properties do location-based reporting.

So I sit at the bar a little past 6:30 and brush off the bartender, saying that I'm waiting for someone. Two young women are at the corner to my right and on the other side, diagonally across from me, is a man eating dinner drinking a beer. I look around the bar a few times, take in some conversation (one young woman was complaining that she had to get up really early, like at 6:30) and the guy eating dinner looked at me, it seemed like he was also looking for someone.

"Are you Rick Burnes?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. So we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. We then grabbed a table and I ordered a burger and a beer. Now that we were meeting I thought I should get something to eat as well. I was, after all, pretty hungry.

But as soon as the conversation started I regretted ordering the burger. This guy was just odd. He'd say something quickly, then eat. We had awkward silences and he'd say things like "I believe that timing is everything." Not overly insightful.

When the two girls left the bar he turned around completely and conspicuously to watch them. Very strange.

I tried asking about his background and got other puzzling responses. When I asked about his journalism background he said he'd only done it for a few months after college. Not what I was expecting. I began to wonder if I could get my burger to go. I really didn't want to be sitting across the table with this guy for very long, let alone for dinner.

But when I asked specifcally about Faneuil Media media, a question met with a quizzical look by the guy at my table, the guy who had come in at the bar a few minutes earlier turned in recognition.

I'd been meeting with the wrong guy.

Not Rick stood up and apologized, "I'm glad it's you," he said to Real Rick. "This stuff was going over my head." He then muttered something about how he was supposed to meet someone there as well which is why he was confused. An obvious lie since he left a few minutes later.

Real Rick and I agreed that it was all a bit odd. The conversation with Rick was, as I'd expected, much more interesting. He is interested in community journalism and therefore very interested in what we are doing at His company is actually doing some interesting stuff. His basic attitude is that software development can also be journalism. Progressive thinking.

And when it was all said and done, I didn't regret ordering the burger.


Rick Burnes said...

Chuck glad you blogged this -- that was one of the most bizarre experiences I've had in a long time.

John Cass said...

Very strange story. A well written piece.

Aviatrix said...

The guy was hoping that you were meeting Rick Burnes to provide him with money, sex, or inside information. You should have given him a few cryptic clues and a microdot.

Chuck Tanowitz said...

Hi Aviatrix,

There was plenty cryptic about the meeting... I'm not sure his brain could handle more than that.