When all is said and done, I like to think I give good facebook. Why, just the other day, my status update read:
[The NDM] got dressed up, went to the city, drank cocktails, watched a great show, drank more cocktails, didn’t fall over, caught the bus home and threw up. In that order.
Which summed up my recent Mothers’ Group Night Out quite nicely, with the omission of one or two important facts.
Such as that we drank piccolos of champagne on the train into town, which we hid in our handbags between sips, like teenage girls but classier. Or that I let Mistress M and KT give me a Generation Y hairdo. Or even that many of us had started drinking at 3pm.
And then there was the groovy bar in which the aforementioned consumption of cocktails took place. It was a strange and wonderful place. For one thing, the interior consisted of fake grass and garden furniture. But even stranger still, was the mix of clientele. On one table, there was a group of middle-aged men in anoraks, sporting “bum bags” (aka the more titilating “fanny packs” in the US), like they were on some kind of walking tour of the city. And on another table was the most sedate hen’s party ever. Despite their traditionally outrageous headgear (which politely alerted the public to their hen party status) they sat around like they were having afternoon tea with the local vicar. And what’s more, the party was starting to wind up and it was only six o’clock.
“What the hell is wrong with them?” I whispered to KT. “You’d think somebody was getting married or something…”
But KT was too busy eying off an untouched plate of sandwiches on their table. Which I myself had clocked the very minute we sat down.
“Do you think they’re going to eat that food?” KT whispered back.
“No. Do you think we should nick it?”
Of course, the waiting staff must have been onto us. While I say we were whispering, the truth is we were probably using our Outside Voices because of all that fake grass. Oh, and possibly because of all that alcohol we’d drunk, too. Anyway, the very second the last of the hen’s group left, the waiter swooped in to start clearing away the table.
But that didn’t stop us. Or, rather, it didn’t stop KT, who boldly went right up to the waiter and said: “We couldn’t help but notice those sandwiches haven’t been touched. Do you think we might have them, please?”
The waiter, a prim young man was visibly horrified. He was clearly someone who had never finished off a butterfly cupcake that somebody else’s two year-old had already licked the cream off, let alone someone who pushed the bounds of The Five Second Rule as far as five hours with alarming regularity.
“Those sandwiches, madam, are chicken!” he exclaimed. “And they’ve been at the table for over two hours.” And then he shook his head firmly at KT, and then, for good measure, looked over at the rest of us, and shook his head firmly again.
“Hey, I’m the one who says ‘No’ round here!” I felt like shouting. But then I realised that “round here” wasn’t my own habitat, and that there was no room in the Big City for the rather dubious food hygiene standards I applied in my own home.
KT, unruffled, came back to the table, her head held high.
“Well, it’s a waste of good food!” she exclaimed loudly, in her best mother voice. And we all tutted disapprovingly and muttered things about “the youth of today” and “what a sinful waste” until we had drunk enough cocktails to forget all about it. And when I threw up later, it had nothing and yet EVERYTHING to do with those chicken sandwiches.
Still, if it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer it if the prim young waiter didn’t find out I threw up later that night. I have a feeling he’d shake his head again and maybe even say “I told you so!”. And that just would not do.