January 8, 2007 at 1:26 pm (London)

I was walking past an Italian restaurant in Soho. A man who looked like its owner was spraying the pavement clean with a hose. My feet got wet. An argument ensued. I got him to admit it was his fault. He apologised. Then the hose broke free and went into a spasm, so more of me became wet – a big line, right across my chest. I don’t like to be wet, not in the cold, not in January, not in London. To settle our dispute, he invited me to lunch at his restaurant. I thought this a fair exchange.

A couple of hours later I went in and sat at a table. The owner greeted me. I ordered lobster. He was slightly taken aback and he felt my shirt. It was dry now and I guessed he was suggesting I choose something cheaper. I told him I only want lobster. “Lobster’s off the menu, I’m afraid,” he said. “I didn’t wet you that much.”
“Well bring back the bucket and wet me more if you have to, I want lobster.” He went off in a sulk and whispered into the ear of a waiter. The waiter stepped up to my table, with a big smile. He was very charming. “We cannot offer lobster,” he said, “but may I suggest a set menu with a salad to start and today’s special linguine?”
“Does the linguine have lobster in it?” I said.
“I’m afraid not,” he said.
“Then no — your boss tried to wash me off the pavement with a hose today.”

He saw that I was not being unreasonable and went to talk to his boss. I was worried now that even if they agreed to serve lobster, they would gob on it first. The waiter returned.

“With the compliments of the House, chef has agreed to prepare lobster.”

“Thank you,” I said. “But I have decide to go for the linguine.”

“I’m sorry?” said the waiter. It was a tough call. Now even the linguine wasn’t safe. “How about a lasagne,” I ventured. The waiter went off and whispered in the manager’s ear. The manager smiled — my request for lasagne had been accepted. Only now I was sure that this meal would not be worth eating so I summoned another waiter and cancelled the order. Instead, I was brought a plate on which each member of staff had deposited spittle.


1 Comment

  1. RasaM said,

    I love it!! one of your funnier entries.
    I used to be a waiter and trust me, they do spit in your food if you are an ass!
    I came close to doing it once, but she was too cute!:)

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