There’s a guy who comes into The Spanish Onion café who’s a professional Elvis impersonator. The only problem, if it is indeed a problem, is that he also seems to think he actually is Elvis. That got me thinking. I had a light bulb moment. Ping.
“You should definitely think about involving him in one of your Spanish themed nights,” I suggested to Guido. “Elvis and Escabeche – I can see it now.” Guido pulled a funny face. Agreed, it didn’t exactly have the best of rings to it. I’m also not sure the real Elvis ever ate poached fish Spanish style unless it had fried peanut butter sandwiches on the side.
This guy’s name is Ron, but he prefers it if people only ever refer to him as Elvis. He visits most days and orders mashed banana and grape jelly on rye. Guido then unceremoniously heats it in the deep fat frier. I am making this sound like the café is a magnet for complete food lunatics which, if you ever go there, you will see it is. Ron tries to speak just like Elvis used to. When he gets offered a table he usually says, “I’d just like to be treated like a regular customer.” And then when he leaves, instead of saying good-bye, he says, “Until we meet again, may God bless you, as he has blessed me.”
Unfortunately he doesn’t look like the Elvis who played Vegas who was sexy and dressed in tight black leather. He looks more like the Elvis who played Vegas who was sweaty and dressed in white boots and bat wings. He has jet black hair and matching sideburns. It must take him about three hours to set it completely iron clad. Which is just as well as The Spanish Onion is in direct line of the down draft caused by The Shard.
This morning I took the initiative and struck up a conversation with Ron, sorry I mean Elvis. I asked him if he would be interested in playing here some time.
“I never expected to be anybody important,” he said curling his top lip, “But I was an overnight sensation.” He took off his black sunglasses, the lenses of which were the size of dinner plates. “They put me on television. And the whole thing broke loose. It was wild I tell ya, for sure.” I nibbled a piece of toast. I sensed he sensed I was unimpressed. “But I did the Ed Sullivan show four times. I did the Steve Allen show. I did the Jackie Gleason show.” I took another nibble. He changed tack. “Man, I really like Vegas.” This was worrying. Despite a generally enthusiastic audience The Spanish Onion wasn’t exactly what you’d call Caesars Palace.
“So what do you think Ron?” I said. “Guido pays a nightly rate and is willing to throw in a free omelette.” I didn’t want to sound desperate but personally I couldn’t face another themed night with the Spanish band Los Chicos clacking their little Spanish heels on the floor all night. “Everyone will love you tender,” I said.
“Thank ya, thank ya very much,” he said. He put his black glasses back on. “Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth, I just sorta do’em all together I guess.”
I just hope he doesn’t put any of the customers off their escabeche.