Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I'm having the beef

The wedding reception cocktail hour was winding down and guests were seating themselves for the reception dinner. Marilyn and I finally zeroed in on our table which had only our spots vacant. Name cards perched on small decorative candle holders indicated who we were and by color our choice of beef or chicken. I tossed my cocktail napkin down and we seated ourselves. Immediately, guests around the table alerted me to the fact that my napkin had burst into flames. It had gone too far to pat it out by hand so I stuffed it in my water glass. With the napkin extinguished, I was able to focus on the next issue. My name card was also aflame and erasing my identity which may not have been a bad thing at this point. Grabbing an edge, I yanked it from the holder and dropped it in my water glass .
With all flames extinguished, I settled in to meeting the guests at our table who by now were removing their name cards from the candle holders and placing them a safe distance away. Aside from the ashes marking my place at the table and the faint smell of burnt paper in the air, dinner proceeded as normal.
As the server came by assessing each guest's food selection, I pointed to the red sliver of of my name card protruding from my water glass and said "I'm having the beef".

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