Friday, June 22, 2012

A reason to celebrate

Last Sunday, Fathers Day, I treated myself to dinner at a small local restaurant I enjoy. I don't have a dad and I'm not a dad (if some German kid shows up unannounced on my doorstep, calling me "Daddy" and asking for money now, they're pushing 30 and better have a damn job of their own) but I felt like treating myself anyway. Also, there is a woman who works there, and, in the indelicate phrasing of my Uncle Leroy, I've been trying to get into her Snickers. I'll refer to her here as Dotty because while that isn't her real name, it's a good name for a waitress server. She's flirtatious and quick-witted, which I like, but so far, she has been immune to my charms, which I don't care for. Some days, I do think I make progress. Last Sunday was not one of those days.

I was eating my meal, which was delicious, when the people sitting at one of the larger tables broke into "Happy Birthday". This kind of things happens at restaurants all the time. A few minutes later, the same table started singing it again. Weird. And annoying. A few minutes after that, they started singing it a third time. I got Dotty's attention and she came over. "Can't you do something about that?", I asked.
"What? They're just singing 'Happy Birthday'."
"Yeah, three times now. We get it; it's somebody's birthday. Obnoxious."
"Actually, it's not. The kids wanted to sing to their daddy but there is no Happy Fathers Day song. It's cute!"
"So there's not even a birthday? Well, that's much worse. They're singing illegally then. You'd better take control of this situation before the authorities get involved."
"Why don't you stop being such a grump?"
She walked away before I could answer ("Don't want to") and went over to the big table and talked to the mom and dad. Was she telling them that I had complained? Good! I didn't care. There's nothing wrong with wanting to eat a meal in peace without people jamming their stupid behavior with their kids into my life and I'll be damned if I'm going to feel guilty about...
This inner reverie was interrupted by the appearance of two (what I'm legally required to describe as) adorable tow-headed children, a boy and a girl who were obviously brother and sister and could barely see the top of my table, plus another dumpy older kid a couple of years older who was probably a cousin or something.
"Can I help you?"
The little girl said, "That lady (Dotty) says you're angry because you don't have any kids and nobody loves you." Her brother quickly followed with, "Is that true?" I responded, "Honetsly, no. Right now, that is not the reason I'm angry." The older kid just stood there with an exceedingly stupid grin on his face. Before any other conversation could take place, the little ones launched into "Happy Birthday" much to the amusement of the doofus cousin and everyone else in the restaurant, especially the kids' parents and Dotty. They didn't know my name so when it came to the part where they were supposed to sing "happy birthday, dear Cla-ark..." they stopped, confused. I took the opportunity to end the song prematurely by applauding loudly and yelling "YAY!". The mom, still laughing, said, "I'm sooooo sorry. We're just having a little fun!" I replied, "That's your minivan out there, isn't it?" Before she could answer the kids yelled, "Happy Fathers Day!" I said, "Well gee, kids. That was fantastic! Now I know the real meaning of Fathers Day! That made me so happy that I'm going to go out and adopt a whole bunch of kids right away. And that nice lady right there (Dotty) is going to help me raise them. That's right! But first, since you did such a great job, she's going to serve you ice cream. As much as you want! Your mommy and daddy are going to pay for it. And the nice lady is going to pay for my dinner. Isn't that great?" The three kids and I screamed "YAY!" at the top of our lungs. They want back to their table and I got up and left as Dotty and the adults at the table glared at me.
Yep. Happy Fathers Day.


ronnyelliott said...

You write my life. Thanks. I guess.

NumberWhisperer said...

You'll never get to her mounds, snickers or bit o honey that way, my friend.