Last Thursday I had a little bit of an embarrassing and funny moment…and it all happened because of one sentence. Perhaps I might add that it was made funny because of a mistake in a sentence.
I was having dinner with a friend at one our favorite sports bars. As I was thinking about my order I was debating back and forth between choosing fries or broccoli for my side dish. I know for some of you, there’s no question…it has to be fries. And, I was very tempted to order fries. My dining partner proceeded to tease me about it, and then our server even joined in. She also was quick to let me know that she couldn’t remember a time when someone had chosen broccoli over fries with chicken wings! When I decided to go with broccoli, I wasn’t trying to tread new ground, or prove any point to her…it was just what I went with as my side.
As we were waiting for our food, I noticed that we didn’t have any napkins on our table.
I looked all around and spotted a napkin dispenser in front of a fella at the bar. And from my view, it looked as if he had finished his dinner and just waiting for it to be cleared. So, I headed right over and asked him in a very polite voice:
“Would you mind if I took some of these fries?” Yep – I said fries. He proceeded to look around him to see if anyone around had any fries. As it turns out, no one around the bar had any fries as most of them had finished their dinner. It also looked as if some might still be waiting on their dinner. He then took another look around at the same folks. It’d only be less that a minute or two, if that. At this stage, I couldn’t help but wonder – what is going on? Why is he looking around like this?
Has anything similar ever happened to you? I was looking directly at the napkins when “fries” came out of my mouth. Also, the napkin dispenser was right in front of him and there was another one just a few places down. He certainly was not going to have any shortage of napkins. How could it be such a big deal to let me take just a few? I hadn’t asked for the entire dispenser – I’d only asked if I could take a few. What was up with that? Was he now going to give me a hard time about ordering broccoli? How did he know I’d chosen fries? Who would have thought it was such a big deal?
Finally he turned back to me and said: “If you see any fries, you can certainly have a few!” What? Why would he say that? Had our server shared with him that I had ordered the broccoli over fries? He then proceeded to say: “if you will hang out here for just a minute, I will order some fries and you can have all of them.” I asked him why was he going to order fries so that I could have all of them? I made a comment about how I didn’t need any fries – just a few napkins! At that point he kindly let me know that if I had asked for napkins, then he would have said “absolutely…take the entire dispenser – I have plenty.”
At that point, we both proceeded to laugh. I guess I still had fries on the brain, with all the talk about them when I placed my order. The fella then let me know that he was a little taken aback with my request, but because I had asked so kindly, he wanted me to have some fries…even if it meant ordering some especially for me. He also let me know that he thought I must have needed them pretty badly if had taken to asking strangers for just a few fries!
Okay, so I ask you – given any dinner at your neighborhood sports bar – would you choose broccoli, fries…or napkins?