We took Doug's brother, Dennis, out for supper Saturday night, to celebrate his birthday. And he just had to remind me of an incident that I had tried to banish forever from my memory.
Many years ago, we had met a large group of friends, including Dennis, for dinner at a very nice restaurant prior to all of us going together to hear the Cathedral Quartet in concert. The restaurant featured a dessert buffet...a very long table filled with all kinds of tasty treats.
Being an avid chocoholic, I headed straight for the chocolate tort, beautifully displayed on a lovely pedestal cake stand.
Although the tort had already been cut into individual servings, no one had yet taken a piece. Undeterred by the prospect of being the first, I picked up the serving utensil lying next to it and, with that in my right hand and a dessert plate in my left, attempted to serve myself a piece of that tort.
I had barely touched the cake stand with the serving utensil when it collapsed, falling off the back side of the table with a clatter and the dull thud of chocolate tort hitting carpet.
Of course, everyone at my table was saying, "Did YOU do that?" And those at other tables were just staring and pointing and whispering to their companions. At the commotion, a man came running from the kitchen, looking from me to the mess at the dessert table.
Hesitantly, I asked, "Do you work here?"
He again looked from me to the disaster at the dessert table and said, "I USED to," as if he was about to lose his job because of me.
But, in the end, he was very nice about the whole thing. It turned out that the pedestal on that cake plate had been cracked. It broke in two at the first touch of the serving utensil, dumping the tort onto the floor and embarrassing me beyond words.
But my "friends," as well as my brother-in-law, have very long memories and are not at all shy about reminding me of the incident.