I had a whole other post planned for today but as I was lounging a top my bed sans trousers considering whether to have another min-twister ice lolly or maybe just a cup of tea and dark chocolate Kit-Kat my deliberations were interrupted by the pinging of my email notifier. It wasn't yet another google alert telling me what restaurant waiters are up to in sunny South Africa or the latest from celebrity chef and swear master general Gordon Ramsay, but rather it was something a whole lot more interesting.
It was instead a bit of celebrity gossip, hot off the press and straight to me from a chum at another restaurant. Okay celebrity is pushing it and I'm not sure tales from a Belfast restaurant counts as gossip but it was still rather funny. It was still an amusing little anecdote sprinkled with a little star dust. We don't get much star dust round these parts.
Belfast is awash with rock and roll types this week what with the newly created Belsonic festival taking place in the city centre. Belfast is always awash with rock and roll types to be honest. But most will never get the "deal" they crave so much and will instead end up working behind the counter at their local branch of HMV or Clements Coffee Shop. Don't be bitter pretty ones, don't be bitter just have kids and live your life through them.
Anyway I'm drifting off the point. Now it appears that a couple of the bands entered a local restaurant looking for pre gig sustenance. Where are the rock stars of old? Eh what's with the visiting of nice restaurants and what have you? Surely they should be getting wasted on JD and engorging on Bolivian marching powder. Do you think Ronnie Wood stopped for a steak and salad before a show in his heyday? I very much doubt it, unless of course he was trying to pick up a waitress or twelve.
So in walk these two bands, all rock star like with their special auras and magnetically sexy personas. From what I'm told people fainted with the majesty of it all. Or maybe not. The troubadours were seated and orders taken. All were said to be quite the lovely boys. Lots of lovely manners on show and generous smatterings of please and thank you. All except one.
There is always one.
The flaming manager of one of the bands apparently.
The brisk rude type, with his phone stuck to his ear when you're trying to take his order, too cool to look at a menu or non-important person, say a waiter for example. He finally completes his loud, sharing with the room, phone call and eventually orders a bottle of french red wine.
Voila, says the young waiter and pours him a glass. But moments later he calls her back to complain.
"Do you realize this wine tastes very poor? It's been watered down" says he.
"Doubt it sir" counters she.
"Oh but it has" he says getting a bit sneery about it.
Our intrepid hero of the dining room floor explains using words of two syllables or less that being a French wine that it is particularly intended to be enjoyed with food thus it maybe somewhat lighter than he was hoping for. This was of course delivered without any hint of sarcasm but with a genuine desire to educate.
The rest of the table nodded along with her explanation.
"Takes this away and bring me a Rioja."
Ego tripping at the gates of hell thought the young waiter but she did indeed take the offending wine away. The wine was given to the manager, who was of course beside himself with fear at the thought of someone exotic being offended or upset whilst on his watch. He tried some from the glass and did indeed agree that it tasted watery. He tried some from the bottle but this tasted perfect. Something was afoot. He was unconsciously screaming such was his bewilderment.
Mean while the waiter had returned to the table to discover a less brazen somewhat sheepish looking band manager.
"Eh I eh er um don't need the Rioja now."
"Excuse me sir?"
"Yeah I seemed to have poured my water into the same glass as my wine."
Jesus shootin heroin was that guy embarrassed. But she let him away with it and the rest of the night was rock n roll.
Flaming red face I'd say.......
So have you ever embarrassed yourself in a restaurant? I do it about three times a week but that's another story/post.