A couple of nights ago, Jane and I made a last minute decision to go out for dinner. It was just the two of us. We tossed around a few choices, but settled on a wonderful Italian cuisine restaurant just on the outskirts of town.
It was fairly early, and the restaurant hadn’t filled up yet. This was wonderful, because by 8:00 or so, it’s always “reservations only” at this place. Within seconds, a young guy who looked about 14 filled our water glasses. Then before we could blink, a young woman brought a basket of warm bread accompanied by perfect little mounds of butter.
Our waiter soon arrived. He told us his name (we’ll call him Josh), and he couldn’t have been more cute, pleasant, accommodating and knowledgeable. The wine, appetizer and entree specials easily rolled from his lips… and you know when you feel kind of badly that the waiter went to all the trouble because you already had your heart and palate set on something else? Well… we ordered our meals (not from the “specials” list) and a large side of their famous sweet potato fries, and Jane ordered a diet Coke and me a beer rather than the 30-adjective wine special… but Josh was as friendly and gracious as if we’d known him our entire lives. He even said, “Excellent choices, ladies.”
Jane and I liked Josh.
I’m not sure how much time passed because Jane and I were talking and laughing… you know, about important things like dlisted and Danny Gokey (love him) and Kate Plus 8’s hair.
And then, with no “hot & spicy” disclosure or warning at all, a tall, tanned young man with very large biceps (I could see them beneath his starched white shirt) was delivering our entrees.
Hello? You aren’t Josh.
I was afraid to meet Jane’s eyes because we, well… laugh inappropriately. Yes, we do. And this sudden appearance of this red hot pepper with the large biceps bending low and close to fill our needs was just too surprising to take too seriously.
Then he said it. “Would you like some fresh ground pepper or red hot pepper, ladies?” Somehow the “ladies” part sounded different than when Josh said it.
Please. Please. Please. Do not meet Jane’s eyes. Pepper is just pepper. Right? (Even if delivered and applied by something just as red hot and, well… peppery.)
“Yes. Yes. Yes. Pepper. Please.”
Do not meet Jane’s eyes.
But we did meet eyes. And we both burst into stifled giggles that soon turned into raucous laughter. Stifled giggles always do that. But you know what? Red Hot Pepper didn’t have a clue that all the giggling came from that element of Josh-substitute surprise. Red Hot Pepper was just doing his job. Quite well.
Dinner was goo-ood! And we’ll be going back.