Many years ago, when I worked at a law office in downtown Toronto, I had a friend with whom I would love to lunch.
I am using the word lunch here as a verb because when it came to my friend, lunch was not just a noun. It was definitely not a thing. With him, lunch was alive, it was something you did. It was an action, an activity – and an active one at that, if I may be permitted the redundancy.
With my friend, lunch was an experience.
Because at one point during lunch… it could be right at the beginning, it could be while waiting in line, it could be during the meal, or just after dessert… but sometime during lunch, it was all but inevitable that my friend would do something or say something stupid, bizarre, unexpected, ridiculous and, usually, quite memorable.
It was an average run-of-the-mill day when my friend called me up and said that his morning plans had collapsed and that he was ‘open for suggestions.’ Within the hour we were standing in line at a semi-trendy eatery around the corner from my office.
My friend was blithely gabbing away about the video project on which he was presently working. He was about two-thirds of the way through it and he had not quite decided yet whether it was merely awful or truly dreadful.
We were seated in fairly short order. He continued on about the project non-stop (my friend is a compulsive talker) when I suggested he shut his yap and tell the waitress what he wanted for lunch. Swinging back and forth on the odd metal chairs upon which we were sitting, my friend charmed our waitress and somehow managed to keep the topic of his conversation with her more or less on the subject of what was on the menu.
It was my turn to fill in the air time. My friend, pretended to listen to me while experimenting with just how far back he could lean in the chair without flipping over. I had to say that I was fairly impressed, although I had my doubts as to the chair’s ability to withstand such a work-out.
It was at this point that I realized that during his last back-bending stretch, the longish hair at the back of his head all but fell into the food of the young woman seated at the table directly behind him. Oblivious to the situation, my friend held his position, complimenting both his own skill and that of the chair’s designer. The young woman stared at my friend’s head as it hovered above her lunch. Had I been in her position, I could not have resisted the urge to jab a fork into his neck. Clearly, she was made of stronger stuff.
He looked up into the somewhat startled and puzzled eyes of the young woman and muttered a “Oh, I’m terribly sorry” in that kind of sincere yet off-hand tone one uses when accidentally bumping against someone in an elevator.
He sat up and began tucking into his lunch with a disturbing enthusiasm.
I am afraid I could not look the woman in the eye and, therefore, could not tell whether she touched her food after The Incident.
I did notice, however, that she had ordered the souvlaki.
Let’s face it… lunch can be boring. One way to inject a bit of fun into this run of the mill activity is to invite a loonie to share lunch with you.
I try to do so whenever I can and I have rarely regretted it.