The Spill


Every now and then you get involved in one of life’s little comedies, if you’re lucky.

Out of town for the week, working long hours, missing my wife, my son probably just realizing I’m not home, things can get very dull. Yesterday, there was a long break between meetings, close to the lunch hour. A couple hours actually. It meant we could go out and enjoy a sit-down meal. Five of us went out, found a restaurant and sat down for what should have been a relaxing lunch.

Our waitress came by to take our drink order; a water, an iced tea, a diet Pepsi and two Stellas, one of them mine.

She came back a few minutes later with a loaded tray. As she passed behind one of the guys, on the far side of the table, one of the top-heavy Stella glasses started to rock back and forth, just a little at first but rapidly gaining momentum. I was mesmerized and not able to shout a warning. The next few seconds seem to pass in slow motion.

One glass fell over, she over-corrected causing the other Stella glass to lean precariously in the other direction when one last correction sent the whole tray flying. Water, iced tea, diet Pepsi and two Stellas mixed in mid-air, spraying in all directions.

Colin jumped clear of the first wave, only to knock his chair and jacket into the pool of liquid already on the floor. Amar, completely unaware, played a large role in the drama. His hood, jacket and pants were covered. All this happened while the waitress looked on helplessly… in shock.

On our side of the table we were just happy, giddy even, to escape the shower. I was struggling to get my phone out and camera turned on but missed most of the action. We were suitably worried, offering condolences and napkins while at the same time trying and failing, not to laugh. Nobody was seriously hurt.

This has happened or will happen to just about everyone, sooner or later. How you and your friends handle it is what makes the event memorable. The other patrons were all looking on, seeing how our table would react. When they saw us all laughing and carrying on, many of them smiled.

In the end, we wouldn’t get a free drink, a free meal, or anything else free… but we do have some good memories and stories to share back at the office and that’s priceless.

Our poor waitress was horrified, while we were making light of the situation. She couldn’t apologize enough.

Eventually, a new round of drinks came, in many separate trips.

Someone took her tray away.


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