“I was grabbed by the throat and choked”the guy explained. “I used a knife to protect me. I can’t work here anymore!”
I turned my head slightly in his general direction only to have Fondy reproach me in French, a secret language understood only by her and me and about 260 million other people worldwide: “Ne faites pas cela!”
“Quoi?”I asked back innocently. Seriously. If the guy had wanted to ensure his conversation remain private, he wouldn’t be having it on his cell phone in the middle of a crowded restaurant.
As I was about to explain how I wasn’t really eavesdropping, merely checking out what our neighbor’s had ordered, Chokee snapped the cell phone shut and marched into the kitchen. An animated Cantonese discussion ensued as I feigned interest in the menu.
“Ready to order?” The waiter was suddenly at our table.
“Sure.” I flipped through the menu. “We’ll do the crab with the special spices.” In the kitchen – voices raised. “The yang chow fried rice.” Shouts. “And the sweet and sour fish.” Something is slammed and the alleged victim storms back out of the kitchen, incensed, crosses the dining room and stands defiantly at the entrance, arms crossed, legs wide apart should, I assumed, someone foolishly attempt to upend him.
“Great!”beamed the waiter, snapping up our menus and heading off.
“I hope we get served before the police get here,”I confided. “What if they end up confiscating our dinner as evidence?”
Well, we were halfway through our meal when the police did eventually arrive – three squad cars and some six officers who did their best to look if not concerned then at least somewhat sympathetic as the former waiter delivered his blow-by-blow account. Through the big front window that looked out onto the street, I watched him clutch at his throat, sweep his free arm wildly in front of him, and throw up his hands in surprise. The cops listened and nodded. I ate my sweet and sour fish.
We returned home in time for me to catch the scores of the late games and check out the response to yesterday’s entry. The results were pretty much as expected. Memphis and Kansas won big, and reaction to my tirade on modern society’s “Everyone’s a winner, baby” mentality was mixed. Yes yes, I realize kids are impressionable and need certain positive reinforcement. And I’d argue it’s possible to help them feel good about themselves AND help them accept losing as a natural part of growing up. It’s as simple as taking them aside if they ever come up short and just saying: “Hey, you gave it your best shot and even though you may not have won, you’ll always be a winner in my heart. Where it doesn’t really count.”
Belated congratulations to John Scalzi, author of May BOTM club selection The Android’s Dream and future guest-blogger, who received a Hugo nomination for Best Fan Writer, and John Picacio who received a Hugo nomination for Best Professional Artist. You can check out both of their blogs by clicking on their links in the blogroll.