The birthday song seemed to stretch out forever. Raised by young female voices from a back room at Moderno Tacos & Tex-Mex, a west-side newcomer from the owners of Palazzo's Italian restaurants, the familiar tune morphed at the end into a cheerleader-style series of chants, exhortations and interrogatories.
"Has something happened to good old 'Happy Birthday' while I wasn't paying attention?" I asked a personable young waitress who passed by my counter perch to inquire after my well-being. "It's a party for 14-year-olds," she replied, laughing. "This is news to me, too."