There are two things you need to know about Iain:
1. He loves Olive Garden. No—it is not because he does not know what authentic Italian food tastes like. Italy is one of his favorite places, and to say he appreciates Italian cuisine and wine and bread is an understatement. He loves them. And he doesn't mistake Olive Garden for authentic Italian food. The reason he loves Olive Garden is not exclusively (or even primarily) the food. There's a whole ratings system based on price-point, wine selection, brand consistency, experience, and deliciousness, among other things, and he will happily give you the entire dissertation over some Zuppa Toscana, if you are interested.
2. He hates Regis Philbin. Not a little. A LOT.
Above: The Iain Meter of Awesome Things, ranging from NOT AWESOME (Regis Philbin) to VERY AWESOME (Olive Garden).
Iain has a reputation for both of these things. Friends come into town with coupons for Olive Garden. He gets Olive Garden gift cards for his birthday. And whenever Regis Philbin is in the news, his Facebook wall lights up with links.
Last week, we were sitting in another doctor's office, as I waited anxiously to see yet another doctor and get back the results of another round of tests. Iain has accompanied me to as many appointments as he can, even though I tell him he doesn't need to and even though he knows that. He wants to be there, and although I am eminently capable of seeing a doctor on my own, it's nice to have the support. Nice, like Iain thinks Italian food is nice.
Anyway, it was another interminable wait, and we were playing Top Five and other silly conversational games to pass the time. I asked him: "Babe, what would you do if Olive Garden hired Regis Philbin as a spokesperson?"
He drew in a long breath and contemplated the question with knitted brow. Eventually, he gave me his serious reply: "I would still eat at Olive Garden and I would still hate Regis Philbin." Another thing to know about Iain is that he is loyal.
I put my head on his shoulder and laughed and laughed.