Life’s Little Lessons Vol. 3February 1, 2010
Have you heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” It means making the best of bad situations. Here’s another “what if” situation for you to ponder, pulled from the 24/7 lemonade stand that is your life.
You’re out on a blind date. It’s been a pleasant evening, if a little expensive. You signal the waiter for your check.
As your waiter ignores you, you gaze deep into your date’s greyish-blue eyes. You think, “This could be it.” After several misfires and several thousand dollars, you may have finally landed a keeper.
Sure, the language barrier is slowing down the conversation and you seem to recall her profile photo being blonder and shorter, but all in all, an attractive woman.
The conversation has been a little awkward as she keeps inquiring about your personal net worth and bank account numbers. She also keeps mentioning someone named “Alexi,” who at various points is either in the import/export business, a pimp, her ex-husband or her current boyfriend.
In fact, discussion on this presumably armed and dangerous “Alexi” has chewed up a fair amount of the evening as you attempt to determine which country he is in currently and whether or not he has a valid visa.
There has also been a lively discussion about her name, which also keeps changing. The only constant that has held up all night is that she believes her full last name is “Parashkova.ru.”
Your waiter, having finished smoking a joint with the line cooks, returns to present you with your check.
There’s no way this is right.
But of course, it is. Your peroxided companion looks at you expectantly, while sneaking discreet glances at the total. Her dull grey eyes light up briefly when she spots the “$,” the only English word she’s familiar with.
You quickly do some mental math and realize that no single card in your wallet has that much remaining on it. You blindly flip through your cards and come across your “ace in the hole,” stuck between an Amway rep’s business card and a cracked condom bearing the phrase “Party like it’s 1999!”
Your Diner’s Club card, issued in 1981 and last used before the turn of the century.
Your waiter picks up the check and dubious credit card, staring at you balefully for a beat or two.
“Thanks. I’ll go have this rejected and be right back.”
Your date smiles vacantly while you gaze into the middle distance and explore your options. You also notice that all the silverware is missing from the table.
Finally your waiter returns with your card and barely-contained smirk. As you brace yourself for the inevitable, you notice that the adjacent tables are suddenly swarming with attentive wait staff, all very slowly and nonchalantly refilling water glasses.
“I’m sorry, Mr. X…” Except he says your full given name. Loudly.
“…but it is our policy to only accept REAL credit cards, not those issued in ads located near the back of the Saturday Evening Post, or those requiring a time machine and a bad moustache to verify.”
A burst of laughter escapes from one of the nearby waiters, inadvertently (and inappropriately) punctuating a patron’s anecdote, which had just gotten to the point where the surgeon found yet another inoperable tumor in his mother’s lungs.
“Our manager would be more than happy to work out payment details in person. If you’ll follow me…”
You tell Katarina Parashkova.ru that you’ll be back momentarily, gazing briefly and hatefully at her nearly untouched filet mignon/lobster combo meal and the several completely finished champagne bottles.
She tells you that she has to use the restroom. She gets up and heads to the ladies’ room, which she apparently believes is located somewhere in the parking lot.
As you and most of the wait staff make your way back to the manager’s office, you spy your vehicle passing by the front windows, driven by a pony-tailed and dangerous-looking man in an ill-fitting suit. Parashkova.ru is riding shotgun and displaying a new set of table settings.
So. What have we learned? Or more importantly, what haven’t we learned? After an experience like this, it’s probably wise to deal with only hypothetical questions for a while. It will keep you from realizing there are really no good answers to questions such as these.
Here’s an inspirational poster.
Coming up next on Life’s Little Lessons:
Shoplifting: My Anti-Drug