I had a table tonight – four ladies who were obviously close
friends and were quite fun. They had candid conversation over the
menus and a few glasses of wine. It took them a while with the menu,
and I came back a couple of times to check on them before they even
got to the stage where they could formulate questions. The first lady
asked me about a dish, it wasn’t really one of my favorites, plus it
normally has salsa on it and we were out. . . so she was begging to be
talked out of it.
“I don’t know, I was thinking about the Orange Chicken,” said
“You should definitely get the Orange Chicken.” I told her.
“Why? I’m just curious,” asked Lady Two.
“The tortillas are really forgettable. Orange Chicken, that’s
something you’ll dream about at night – if she went with the
tortillas, she’d have forgotten what she ate for dinner by the time
she goes to sleep tonight. Orange Chicken is definitely the way to go
– it’s not too spicy, but the sauce is the perfect blend of sweet
and spicy.” I don’t hide my love affair with some of our dishes
– if someone asks about one of them I am happy to paint them a
Lady One goes on to admit that the real reason she wanted the
tortillas is because of the tamale cakes – and the whole table
starts talking about how much they all love them, so I convince them
the way to go is to order that as an appetizer and then people can get
the main course they really want.
Now Lady Two wants me to help her decide between Orange Chicken and
another of my favorites. I tell her to get the other so everyone has
something different. It’s time for Lady Three to order.
“I don’t know – what am I going dream about tonight?” Lady
Three asks wistfully.
“I am so sorry, ma’am. We are out of sausages.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
For one long, long second I fear I have seriously misjudged this
tables comfort level with each other and me, since we have only just
started their meal. It’s a bit early to develop the playful side,
and I did deliver the line deadpan – which can take some getting
used to. But it was so perfect and it just fell out of my mouth –
one of those things that most of the time you think of hours later but
this time it was right there. . . so I said it.
The ladies looked at me. I looked at them.
We all started laughing at once.