By R. Doug Wicker
Recently, at an upscale, family-oriented bar and grill, two men sat next to us at a nearby table to my left. They were dressed in conservative business suits in a comical parody of unmatched bookends — a light gray suit with navy blue tie seated across from a navy blue suit sporting a light gray tie. After several minutes of rather boring talk, one of the men said to the other something that piqued my interest.
The man in the blue suit with gray tie said, “Have your ever had…What the heck do they call it when you want to say something but say something else entirely?”
The man in the gray suit with blue tie said, “Freudian slip? Is that what you’re thinking of?”
“Yeah, that’s it. Ever have one of those?”
“Just last week. Really embarrassing, too. I was at the airport checking in for a flight and I couldn’t get the darned automated check-in thing to work. I wound up going to the counter agent, who happened to be a very lovely young woman with huge, uh, well, really big assets, shall we say. She asked if she could help me and I said, ‘Yes. I can’t get the self-check-in machine to work, and I have a picket to Titsburgh.’ That was incredibly embarrassing. I apologized profusely, and she said, ‘That’s all right, sir. Happens all the time. Don’t give it another thought.’”
“OOOooo. That would be embarrassing.”
“Well, how about you? Have any stories like that?”
The other businessman thought for a moment before saying, “Yeah. Yeah. I did, in fact. Just last week. It was my thirty-fifth anniversary, and I took the wife out to her favorite restaurant.”
“Well, what happened?”
“My baked potato arrived, and I meant to say, ‘Honey, could you please pass the salt?’ But, instead, it came out as, ‘Bitch, you ruined my life.’”
Meanwhile, to my right sat a younger man who was having trouble placing his order. The waitress said to him, “Sir, I’m Lorin, and I’ll be your waitress this evening. May I take your order?”
The young man looked up at the waitress and said, “Yes, ma’am. You certainly may. I’ve decided I’d like a quickie, Lorin.”
Well, the waitress looked absolutely horrified. She said, “Sir, that kind of proposition is totally unacceptable. Now, what is it you want?”
“I want a quickie, Lorin,” the young man repeated.
Now the waitress was really miffed. She gave him a stern look and said in a low, menacing voice, “Sir, this is a family restaurant, and I’m not that kind of woman. I will not tolerate this kind of thing again. For the last time — what …do…you…want?”
The young man tapped his index finger on a spot on the menu for emphasis and in cadence with his words. “I…want…a…quickie…Lorin. I want it hot, and I want it now.”
I’ve never seen a waitress get so upset. Next thing I know, she hauls off and slugs the guy, who holds his hands over his face and yells, “My eye! My eye!” The waitress ran off, presumably to go get the manager.
Being the ever helpful sort, this was when I decided I’d better intervene. I leaned over and whispered to the young man, “You know…I believe that’s pronounced, ‘Quiche Lorraine.’”
R. Doug Wicker is the author of two mystery novels, The Globe and Decisions. He is a graduate of Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan. He attended college for two years at Clemson University before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. His stint in the Air Force began a thirty-four-year career as an air traffic controller, serving with both the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, Wicker lives in El Paso with his lovely wife, Ursula, whom he married in 1978. He enjoys writing, reading, travel, art, photography, gourmet cooking, fine wines, and bridge (the game, not the structure). To learn more about Doug, visit his blog.