Monday, April 15, 2013

Scenes from a Genevan restaurant

"No wonder Simon and Gianna wanted to meet us here. It's actually modern," exclaimed Sapphire as we asked for a table to seat 'cinq' people and waited for the other two to arrive.

"I'll order a bottle of Rose. Everyone likes Rose and it'll go with pretty well any sort of Italian food."

Love Chunks surveyed the scene and then the menu, wincing as he did so. "Well, each dish is helping them pay for the renovations."

Sapphire, looking beautiful in her own chosen ensemble of skirt, boots and cute top, rolled her eyes. "Dad, that's Geneva for you."

He smiled. "You're right.  I'll try a glass of Cotes du Rhone red----"

"-----And I'll have a glass of that orange Aperol stuff, see?" Pointing wildly at a couple in the corner, "Remember me drinking it all the time last year in Germany...?  They've just ordered the same drink, which is the first time I've seen it here. I love that stuff!"

"Yes Kath/Mum," my two favourite humans chorused.

Gianna and Simon arrived, glad to see that we'd snaffled a table. "There's already a queue outside and it's only a quarter to seven," she said, sipping on the Rose. "What the....?" she swallowed only because it would be impolite to spit inside. "I'm sorry but this is awful!"

Simon and LC agreed.  "Never fear, I'll drink it," I said, worrying more about the cost of the wine and inwardly cringing at it going to waste.

"Peach iced tea for me, please," said Sapphire.  "Hey Mum," she whispered, tapping my arm. "Don't look now - I said DON'T LOOK - but one of the chefs over there has the Colosseum tattooed on his arm."

"So he has. No prizes for guessing where he's from." The completed half litre orange Aperol and first glass of Rose were working their magic. "So. Pretend that your life depended on getting a tattoo - on your upper arm, so it's mostly visible - of a landmark or living thing to represent yourself, what would it be?"

"Certainly not the Opera House," Sapphire said before turning to place her order.

"A flower of some kind," said Gianna. "Seeing as this year my birthday has a zero in it, I have been giving it some thought but haven't got as far as decided what flower."

"My girls," Love Chunks said, "but how awful would that look?"

"The Southern Cross for me," was my contribution. "It's time we took it back from the brain-dead bogans."  Sapphire shook her head in disapproval. "Mum, they'd just think you were their big white nanna."

"A British Bulldog," Simon said decisively. "But to overturn the racist element of it, I'd have him smiling, sitting on top of the Tower of London and wearing a Shamrock around his collar. My mum would like the shamrock."

It was then that we noticed the two real dogs in the restaurant.  The one closest to me was still a puppy and resembled our Milly crossed with a kelpie and a whippet and a whimsical dash of shrunken golden retriever.  Glass number three had me lean back and slur slightly, "Love your dog. What is she?"

"We're not really sure as she was a rescue dog from Austria," the man replied in a strong German accent.

At the table on the other side of us was a full-sized Boxer, his back almost the same level as the table.  Arse facing us, we were treated to an eyeful of his baked potato-sized bollocks.  Turning to face us (which we were all relieved about), he presented a very handsome but slightly huffy face.  His nose inevitably found her:  the cute Blonde Bitzer I was currently enchanted with.  His paws scrabbled on the shiny floor to reach her, knocking against the legs of his owners' table. A sixty-something man, clearly the owner, grabbed the dog and roughly shoved his head under the table, cursing loudly.

"That seems a bit harsh," observed Simon. "The dog's only doing what is natural..."

I leaned back to my Austrian friend and pointed to a spot just behind Simon's left elbow.  "There's a boxer over there who is very keen to meet your dog."

"But he mustn't," he whispered, "As she is on heat."

A fourth glass was swirling inside me yet even I queried the wisdom of bringing a dog on heat to the most popular restaurant in our postcode, with tables almost touching and overloaded with stemmed glasses and bread baskets.  "Oh," I said, turning back to my friends.

By the fifth glass, Gianna had had enough.  The Italian fire in her soul - and inborn knowledge of the language - saw her plonk down her calamari and square up to the Boxer's bully.  Never a shy petal, Gianna was obviously giving the bloke a goodly piece of her mind in her mother's native tongue, gesticulating at the dog and pointing towards the Blonde Bitzer behind me.  The waiters quickly intervened and magically found the Boxer family a table against the counter, presumably so that the dog could be hidden underneath and only have one side to escape from.

Things now settled, we enjoyed the meal. The food was indeed superb and the increasingly loud conversation, yelled orders to the pizza chefs and clacking heels on parquetry were adding to the chaos.  A downed sixth glass made me brave enough to lean back on my chair - now being steadied ever-so-subtlely by LC - and ask the question. "Why is your dog on heat?"

"She was supposed to be neutered on Tuesday but started bleeding, so the vet says he can't do it until next week-----"

The Boxer was there!  He'd broken out of his pizza and pasta-prescribed prison and was about to........."NO!"  Despite the imminence of a violent sexual scene and three separate groups of diners in distress, the packed restaurant remained oblivious, carrying on their own chats over carpaccio platters and wood fired focaccias.  Admittedly, things were fairly hazy in my Rose-saturated state, but pizza crusts and prosciutto may have been proffered to encourage the besotted Boxer to forgo his attempts at rooting in a restaurant and crouch back under his table.

"I'm not sure that food would normally dissuade a determined guy that easily," Simon muttered.

Our meal was all over by a tame 9:30 pm and Sapphire kindly held my elbow to add an element of safety to my sterling impression of a toddler walking down a flight of stairs for the first time.  "I'm sorry love, but I haven't set a very good example for you tonight, have I?"

She paused for a moment before smiling. "A drunk Mum, Gianna gettin' game and dirty dogs - remind me not to get so dressed up next time."


Red Nomad OZ said...

Wow! You sure know how to have a good time up there!! Dogs, dozy drunks and dickheads served by a tattooed waiter - sounds just like a downunder pub on Friday night!!

Cat J B said...

Ah Kath, that was gold! Love it!

Andrew said...

I had a good laugh at the ongoing 'it could only happen to Kath' tale. I have a different view about rose. Its time has passed. Rather than it being a wine that offends no-one, it is wine that pleases no-one.

Alexia said...

I'm falling off my chair here - with hysterical laughter!

Kath Lockett said...

RedNomadOz,just change the patrons (not us!) to rich and well-dressed and yes, it could be...

Thanks CatJB - all true!

But I looooooove Rose, Andrew and here it's really, really good. Except for the bottle I ordered at this place, obvs.

Thanks Alexia - if I hadn't been so distracted by the Rose, I would have been bright enough to take some photos....

River said...

"No Regerts", that's hilarious.
I really do think that man made a mistake bringing a dog in heat out in public. Into a restaurant with little chance to escape? Worse. Thank goodness the boxer got distracted.
Three of my kids have numerous tattoos each and I've thought about getting one, but that's as far as I've got. If I ever did take that painful step (I'm a sook about pain) it would probably just be my name, birthdate and blood group in a "bracelet" around my ankle, for easy ID in case of an accident. I feel no need to decorate the rest of my already beautiful (ha ha) body.

Elephant's Child said...

Oh huge smiles here Cath, but I think I would have left the dog on heat at home. And that boxer? Didn't have his mind or fortunately his baked potatoes on the job.

Kath Lockett said...

Yes River, thank goodness the Boxer boy was relatively easily pacified with pizza crusts! I only have one very small tattoo (in a non-publicly visible area) but would never, EVER consider anything with words in it.

Thanks, E-Child. I feel sorry for the Boxer, as I often worry about the aggression shown by his owner in public is likely to be far less than what he shows in private....

wilbo43 said...

A Kath, you have not disappointed your readers with that hilarious description of a night out. I wonder what would have happened if you had taken Milly along as well.

diane b said...

I always find it offensive to have dogs/animals in a restaurant but one on heat is ridiculous. Thanks for another laugh out loud post. we both really enjoy your writing. Tattoos..yuk.

Kath Lockett said...

We are actually thinking of taking her with us next time, Wilbo43 because she's very quiet and happy to sit on our feet under the table. However, being the jealous type, there'd be no way that she'd have permitted me to pat or chat to the Blonde Bitzer!

Thanks dianeb. I don't mind dogs in restaurants (under the table) but when they're ON HEAT that is just ridiculous.

FruitCake said...

Dog on heat not just outside the home but in a restaurant, no less.

Nice of you to show us yer tatts.

Bro In Law always warns people "if you go to Hong Kong, don't go to Pinkie's tattoo parlour!" The list of places he has been, as noted on left upper arm, includes "Koala Lumpa". Don't know if the problem was his accent, or a bottle of Rose.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

It really is strange allowing dogs in restaurants. I don't know of any here in the UK - unless its a guide dog of course.




Kath Lockett said...

PlasMan, maybe I could pretend that Milly was a guide dog of sorts. Adds the 'common sense' I need to make my way in regular society. Including restaurants....

Ah yes, FruitCake, the drunken tattoo or the tattoo in a foreign language. A friend-of-a-friend thought he had ' strength and honour' on his leg until a Chinese person said that it actually read 'Dry Clean Only' !

JahTeh said...

If Sapphire turns out to be a brilliant writer like her Mum, you're going to be in so much trouble when her memoirs are published.

Kath Lockett said...

Thank you JahTeh. I you've got me rather worried!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This might be the awesoemest post I've ever read in my entire time on blogger haha. You rock Kath :)

Kath Lockett said...

OpEx you have MADE my day. Made it!! :)

Jackie K said...

Don't know how I missed this post but love it! You have such a talent for writing about human and animal connections Kath

franzy said...

Before you get inked, don't forget that the southern cross is visible from most of the countries in the southern hemisphere ...

But fair enough, I'll play the game: er - upper arm, eh? I'll go for Monet's Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light. I love that painting.

Kath Lockett said...

This one, Franzy?'s+Portal+of+Rouen+Cathedral+in+Morning+Light&oq=Monet's+Portal+of+Rouen+Cathedral+in+Morning+Light&'d look like a burn scar!