A little while ago, my wife and I were having lunch at Mama's Mexican Kitchen, Seattle's premiere Tex-Max greasy spoon.
I've been going to Mama's for many moons, and although the place definitely has detractors, I love it. The atmosphere, the people, the food, all of it. I'm a huge fan. It's the only restaurant from which I've ever bought a t-shirt, with said shirt being in the current rotation somewhere between Motörhead and The Legend of Zelda. Higher praise does not exist.
Mama's is one of those places that is absolutely covered, wall to wall, in posters and cheap paintings. Everything goes together and nothing does, at the same time.
"I bet you could take something off this wall and no one would ever know," I say.
"Or," Rachel counters, "You could leave something on the wall."
I am married to a genius.
From that moment on, I was fully committed to the idea of decorating Mama's without permission. What could be easier? I'd paint a little Elvis Presley tribute or some Dia de Muertos skulls, tack 'em above a table in the corner, and no one would be the wiser. I was INTO THIS.
But then I had an idea. If this stunt were a video game, a really conspicuous painting would be worth more points. A conspicuous painting in a conspicuous location? Even more points.
With that strategy in mind, I painted this:
On the day of the event my co-conspirator Matthew Lee Johnston and I were seated in prime real estate: The big booth by the green wall. I took the painting out of pocket, peeled the backing off the 3M strips, and gave Mama's a high-five.
The kids at the table next to us couldn't believe their eyes. MLJ documented my nonchalance.
The best part was that the staff couldn't care less. If they had a problem with it they made absolutely no effort to let us know. Achievement: UNLOCKED!
I've been back to Mama's several times since and my contribution to the ambiance is still simultaneously complimenting and clashing with the rest of the decor.
Hooray for mischief!