There’s a new restaurant in Philadelphia called “Mad Rex” that apparently offers diners an opportunity to experience life as it might be lived if they survived an apocalyptic event on earth.
Because isn’t that what we’re all looking to do with our entertainment dollar?
The Curmudgeon learned of Mad Rex recently courtesy of an article about the place on the philly.com web site. That article includes the following paragraph:
Gasoline may be in short supply, yet a hockey game’s on view above a bar lined with plush, upholstered armchairs. Scavenging for insect protein proves unnecessary, as pan-seared scallops with thyme butter and caponata are readily available. And there is no need to pay obeisance to Immortan Joe to obtain fresh water. It — along with a cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, pomegranate juice, and a sprig of fresh rosemary — can be easily obtained by simply asking the friendly, efficient bartender in camo pants and a black pleather bustier (because, I guess, this is a sexy apocalypse).
Okay, so be honest: do you have any idea what the hell they’re talking about?
And then there’s this, which makes a little more sense – but in a way that’s pretty unsettling.
Maybe it’s the VR chamber, where customers can pay $2 per minute to play virtual-reality games without ever slowing down on their drinking; $18 camel bags of tequila punch are available to sip while you play. Maybe it’s the food, including the cook-it-yourself “Survivor’s Menu” of sliced beef, fish. and chicken delivered with a sizzling-hot black rock to grill it on. Or maybe it’s the decor: Mad Maxian outfits arrayed around the bar and dining room, a graffitied aircraft carcass crashing through the ceiling, hatchets and knives embedded in resin in the bar top, a wine cellar that doubles as a decorative weapons locker, and servers in outfits that are a mix of War Boy-chic and standard-issue restaurant worker. (The most convincing special effect, by the way, is the spattering of mysterious, wet-looking globules on the floor — simulated fresh blood? — that had at least one guest treading carefully to avoid stepping in the mess.) One future draw may be the line of new “entertainment drinks,” including a flaming drink, a shot poured over wood smoke, and the Gryphon, a skull-shaped fishbowl drink for two that will include glowing ice cubes and a sugar cap that, when cracked, will release steam.
Maybe The Curmudgeon is just an old fuddy-duddy but this nonsense seems pretty ridiculous to him. Of course, so do all those zombie tv shows and movies and there’s a pretty big appetite among the viewing public for them.
It’s a big world, so there’s room for all sorts of strange things – different strokes for different folks. But to The Curmudgeon this just seems…weird.
And vaguely disturbing.