Last evening started out innocently enough. SalGal and I met our friends, Kathy, John and Pam for sunset cocktails at a local patio bar. In my own meager defense, I'll just say, watch out when you mix champagne and passion fruit juice, okay? After about 3 hours of enjoying the company, people watching in the crowd numbering around fifty and ordering my fifth cocktail, the subject of self defense came up. Kathy is a big fan of the midlife gals and remembered that in my list of purse contents blog, I had both the whistle and a small canister of pepper spray just in case.
I whipped out the pepper spray to show the table that I was prepared in case we were accosted by some pervert at the bar, and Pam asked how it worked. I pointed it at a cactus behind our table and said, "Well, I think you push this little button forward and.....................
("Pepper spray (also known as OC spray (from "Oleoresin Capsicum"), OC gas, capsicum spray, or oleoresin capsicum) is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness) that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears.")
Oops! a brownish-colored spritz escaped the canister causing all of us to explode in shock and giggles. I had no idea that the wind direction would change at that very moment until we saw the table of ten next to us start to cough, cover their mouths as best they could and evacuate the area. As the fumes continued to travel, four more tables of shocked people jumped up and rushed toward the inside of the bar leaving only our table of ne'er-do-wells there in the corner. No one knew what was happening except us, and after realizing that things had gotten just a bit out of hand, I raised my hands and pointed to myself, because if anyone will accept blame for a minor gaffe, it is myself.
The waiter came out to our table with a look of complete horror as I explained the silly mistake I had just made. He was all atwitter and twitchy which caused more giggles of embarrassment from our group. I felt proud of SalGal, John and Kathy for not completely abandoning me at that point even though Pam had jumped ship at the get go and was standing with the shocked, coughing, sputtering crowd at the door as if she had never known us and was not a member of our group of middle-aged misfits. Once the pepper spray had fully dissipated, people began to return to their tables, and we thought the bru-ha-ha had blown over (pardon the pun).
After about ten minutes, our waiter walked to the table with our check. With as much dramatic flare as he could muster, he announced that the staff was very upset, that some people had left, walking their checks, that the police had been called...that they had come and gone which was a total lie, because I would have been in the back seat of a cruiser if that were true...and that they would appreciate it if we left and never, ever came back. A bit of an over reaction, wouldn't you say?
After we gathered our belongings, paid the check with a hefty tip and were walking out, I stopped at a few tables and told them that we had been kicked out. They were outraged at the staff, because they too had had a few too many cocktails by that time. They told me they loved me. They told me to keep the faith. I've never felt such support as they shouted their farewells with comments like..."You rock," and, "Fuck'em."
As we got to the sidewalk, John suggested that we walk across the street to a small club. I said that I could get us a table right in front if they were game.
Well, well aren't we the master of understatement. I love the way you call what you did a 'minor gaffe' when what you really did was cause an entire patio of 50 patrons to run screaming and coughing in horror, believing that a terrorist attack had occurred. They evacuated the premises for God's sake!
And let's see....who was sitting right next to the perpetrator? You guessed it, moi. Oh, yeah, KK that was hilarious. I would have laughed harder if I hadn't had a fucking cocktail napkin PLASTERED OVER MY MOUTH AND NOSE so I could breathe. And that little dickhead, pansyass waiter didn't deserve the tip we so generously gave him. I know he lied when he said people left and stiffed the waiters on their tables because everybody was back at their tables when we were so graciously THROWN OUT OF THE RESTAURANT! And who was the good Samaritan who suggested that you buy everyone in the bar a drink? I believe that was the coward Pam who ditched us like a bad boyfriend. JT and Kathy hung in there like the players that they are and stuck it out with humor and a fair amount of sarcasm even as Pam went running and hopping amoungst the crowd like a damn chicken with its head cut off.
So, downplay it as much as you want to. 'Oops!' Oops!? Are you kidding me? We should all be glad we didn't end up nekked at Ahbu Grabe prison camp with guard dogs licking the tears off our faces.
And I am never going back to that tacky place again. That'l show 'em.