What is it about eating out that turns us into utterly unrecognisable tw@ts?
Why is it that we insist on saving our most ridiculously penile behaviour for the famished gob-laden forum of the public eatery?
Why is it that we are perfectly capable of pulling out a chair, putting our coat on the back, then sitting down, in any circumstance other than one where we find ourselves openly f*ckbumbling in a relatively full restaurant?
Why do we instinctively start pullw@nking chairs as if they weigh over a tonne and then create origami patterns of utter nonsense with our stupid clothes trying to arrange them in some kind of disfunctional order?
And another thing.
What is it about restaurants or pubs, that force people to irrelevantly act like grateful peasants being thrown scraps from the master’s table? Why is it that having paid for a sh!tload of food, we find it necessary to adopt some kind of overexcited humble-faced-pigtw@t impersonation the very minute a 15 year-old waitress appears with a plate of fat onion rings?
We’ve PAID FOR IT – stop this pantomime of uncomfortable generosity. It’s just dinner, not a selfless donation of bone marrow for a dying child.
But I say these things as if I’m not as much of as liability as the next mouth.
Only the other day I was sat in a beautiful little picturesque Portuguese cafe; small tables effortlessly cluttering a compact market street, amazing home-cooked food served by impossibly busy matriarchs wearing starched aprons.
Or at least it was, until I completely accidentally echo-shouted “f*ck” into a hot coffee cup, amplifying my terrible mouth shame in all possible directions and effectively silencing the entire area in one idiotic squeak.
My instant and genuine ‘apology’ was to loudly announce the word “sh!t”.
And it’s not just me.
I sat in a Japanese restaurant recently with a beautiful, intelligent woman who, to all intents and purposes, was completely normal when we entered the building and has, to my knowledge, remained entirely normal since.
As the Japanese waiter brought us the bill, he struggled valiantly with his slightly broken English to politely converse with us as best he could.
Spying the card reader, my generous companion took it upon herself to insist on settling the bill. Engaging the waiter in polite, but difficult, conversation, she remarked on the operational effectiveness of the clever hand-held device that she was using, explaining how it must make things so much easier.
The waiter, keen to chat and clearly grasping the gist of the conversation agreed, adding pertinently that it was, in fact, just like an ATM.
Just like an ATM.
To which, this once perfectly sane woman immediately shrilled “YES! ABSOLUTELY YES! It really IS just like the A TEAM! I always think that…!!”
I think she knew her mistake almost the second that the words left her mouth, having entirely re-routed themselves neatly around any functioning part of her operational brain. Because she looked across to me, hopefully, with an air of tacit desperation and slightly reddening cheeks…
“I think you’ll find he definitely said ATM…” I stated, helpfully.
The rest of the transaction was completed in silence, save for a polite thank youand goodnight, to the backdrop of me beaming, humming the theme tune to a certain 1980s television show.
Just like the A Team.