Hi! I hope you’re having a nice Spring Break or, as we New Yorkers are apt to say, an “extended Winter.” Cue the violins playing and the Mid-Westerners wanting to strangle us or stab us in the eye with an icicle.
You may have noticed that I’ve been on Sabbatical (without pay or studying), during which time a few (hundred) funny things happened. Here are a few stand-outs:
1. The Jalapeño-tini Incident: At a restaurant, I order a drink called something like a “Jalapeño-tini”. It was described as tequila, jalapeño, and muddled lime. The waiter looks at me in a very serious way and says, “You know, it’s spicy.” I respond, “Yes, I can read. Can you?” and then I kick him in the shins (except that whole last part happened in my head).
2. The Gratuity Insecurity: I go for a massage at the hotel. They ask me to pay for the massage before I have the massage and when I look at the bill I see that there’s a 20% “service fee” added to the price of the massage. There is also a separate gratuity line which is blank and, I surmise, meant for me to fill in. I ask what the service fee is and the woman behind the counter responds “It’s explained at the bottom of the receipt” (bitch). “It’s a fee that is paid in full to the person performing the service.” So I ask what the difference is between the service fee and the gratuity and she gets pissy. I can’t be the first person to have asked this question. Needless to say, there was no gratuity. It’s called a service fee. But I did leave a tip: If you want a gratuity, get rid of the service fee.
3. Bunga-what?: Driving in a shuttle bus among parts of the hotel, we stop at the bungalows and a child on the bus asks her mother, “What are bungalows?”
Mom: They’re like small cottages.
Child: In what language?
4. Rice Pilaf: At a restaurant, my son orders branzino (I know!) which comes with a choice of sides. He chooses string beans (I know!). The waitress brings the branzino with a side of rice pilaf. We tell her that he ordered the string beans and she looks at the plate and says, matter-of-factly, “rice pilaf.” I sort of wanted to pull the string that was attached to her back to see what other words she could say.
5. Open mouth, insert foot: I was at a lovely baby shower a few weeks ago, seated at a table with a few women I had previously met as well as a few new faces. The topic of baby names comes up (shocking, I know) and we start telling funny stories about people’s names. I say, in a mocking and insulting manner, “I once went to camp with boy/girl twins named Daniel and Danielle!” Everyone laughs except for one woman who says “My name is Danielle and my brother’s name is Daniel. I actually really liked that our parents gave us those names.” Doh! I mean, only me. Needless to say, she was very gracious about the whole thing and I will keep in mind NEVER to make that mistake again. Until the next time I’m involved in a discussion about baby names.
Questions for you! How do you relay funny stories without hurting the feelings of those involved? Is there a way to write about friends and family without losing all of your friends and family?