Dec 10, 2006


Okay, so last night was not my best night, first off. After work, LP and I met my roommate, Laura, and local raconteur Dee Wheeler at a restaurant (which, for the parties involved, shall remain nameless) for some pizza and, for those who drink, drinks.

And, before I finish, let me explain something: each of the guys in the group has a "thing" that sets him off.

Mine is the awkward exchange with members of the wait staff.

So, anyway, we go to said establishment and find that there is only one seat available at their booth. We walk over and the man running the place - a very old gentleman - told us that we may not be able to put a chair at one end of the booth because of fire hazard concerns. They could be fined, he tells me. But, he says that he would go check.

Poof! he's gone to the back.

I assume that I could sit there for the moment, while we waited for our answer, and as soon as my ass touches the forbidden seat, a waiter taps me on the shoulder.

"I'm sorry, sir, but you can't sit there. It's a fire safety concern, and the Fire Marshall can fine us for this," the waiter tells me.

And then he just stares blankly at me. I can feel a female waitress on the other side behind me, and something - I cannot tell you what it is - rose up in me like vomit.

"There's a guy checking to see if we can be seated like this," I tell him. "I did not do this of my own accord," I continue. For some reason, I can feel anger flashing inside of me.

"I know, but you are still going to have to get up," he says, and continues staring blankly at me, a deer in headlights.

Maybe he is shy. Perhaps he sees in me the hatred that is clawing to get out, but his eyes are wide, like a deer's.

I stand up and say something. I can't remember exactly what it is, but it is something virulent and robust. It is also very loud, and everyone is staring at me as if I have just gone on a Michael Richards-style rant at this waiter.

I stand back, holding my head down because I know I have just embarrassed everyone with whom I'd been sitting, and wait for the aftermath. Initially, I expect to get kicked out. I don't think it's far from the truth, but I don't think anyone had the gall to kick me out at that particular moment, not with the look in my eyes.

"Whoa, what's with all the tension?" the waitress says, cleverly trying to diffuse the situation. "I just want to take some orders!"

So, there you have it: the rare, but existent, explosion in polite society, as best I can remember it. I don't do things like this often, but they do happen. It's like I need to do something embarrassing once every other month or so just to keep up a nice average.

The fallout from the incident was that a friend got embarrassed and left and I ended up leaving after ordering only a water.

I have more stories from that night, but this post has already dragged on too long.

Should I go on David Letterman and use Jerry Seinfeld as a human shield so I can apologize?

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