The last lines of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men are, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” With only a few hours left in the year, 2018 decided it was not done with me quite yet. And so, the year ended not with a whimper but a clunk.
A friend and I went for lunch as we did many times over the past few years. The restaurant we frequented was closed. We tried some other restaurants on the same block. Closed, closed and closed. You might think it was a holiday. We had passed a café along the way, so we back tracked to find it open. We were nearly bowled over by especially loud music upon entering. The proprietor was kind enough to turn down the volume. I must note that we were the only customers at the time. I must also note that coffee is a big thing with me. Coffee is part one of what turned out to be the clunk of 2018.
What’s the big deal about coffee? Glad you asked. I only have one cup a day, generally with lunch. Since it is just one cup, the coffee needs to be of excellent quality. Certainly never instant. I’d rather go without. This one cup enhances my mood and my brain loves it. So much cheaper than therapy. Back to the story.
I ordered a coffee when the proprietor, now the server, asked us about drinks. She asked if I preferred milk or cream. Cream, please, expecting one of those little pitchers or premeasured containers with the pull off tops. Wrong. She returned with a mug of coffee flavored cream. I asked if she would mind pouring some off and adding more coffee as I preferred just a wee bit of cream. She seemed glad to oblige, returning with what was still coffee flavored cream. I decided to just drink it.
Next was the meal we ordered. Only proprietor, server lady may have then turned into food prep lady as an extraordinary long time went by before I got my grilled chicken sandwich. I note again, we were the only customers. Who knows? Maybe she had to catch, kill and prepare the chicken for grilling first. That process does take time.
The food finally arrived. It was served in one of those ginormous rectangular glass plates. The majority of the space was taken up with lettuce with a couple of sliced cherry tomatoes. The sandwich was quite like a Dagwood. No way would I be able to pick it up and take a bite. I did try but the chicken slid out from the bun. The best thing might be to remove the top part of the bun, return the chicken to the bottom half and eat it as an open-face. Seemed like agood idea. Wrong again. This chicken had a mind of it’s own. It used the bun as a flight deck became air borne, slid across my shirt and performed a half gainer dive onto the floor with a resounding splat. My friend retrieved the chicken and set it in an empty dish. If this was at home, the 5 second rule could have been invoked. However, never in a public place.
I didn’t have the heart to tell the food prep, server, proprietor lady what had happened. I did what any reputable martyr would do. I ate that mountain of lettuce had a few bites of the bun, and washed it all down with some coffee flavored cream.
There are 2 morals to this story:
One: When you ask for what you want, be very specific and assume nothing. When you assume it makes an ass of u and me.
Two: It is always best to find the up side of the down side. That day’s up side was good company and kindness.
Comments are welcomed.