Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Allow Me

Last week, Mater and her chum N patronised a little, local eatery, and each scoffed a small mushroom quiche, chips, a half-stuffed egg, and a salad with red onion, tomato, corn and dressing. I'm not entirely sure what a half-stuffed egg consists of; perhaps the chef gave up in the middle and decided to fashion the salad instead.
In any case, Mater deemed it supremely delicious food when all was said and done, and she was happy to pay for her portion and N's along with it.
"No," said N with emphasis; "I'm paying."
"I'm paying," said Mater, "and that's an end to it."
"Let me pay," N waved a fork-laden hand. "It was my idea to come here."
"And I agreed," Mater added, laying a defensive, ready hand on her own utensil, "so I should pay for us."
To save time, we can jaunt merrily along to the end of that line of chatter, because it was rather lengthy: the sun set, the cafe emptied of diners, the staff began to stack chairs on top of chairs and tables on top of lampshades, or near enough to it, I'd wager.
The pair did at last reach the happy compromise that Mater could pay- this once.
The winner fist-pumped the air. N sighed an ever so slight soliloquy.
Off they trotted, up the street into the cool of the December evening.
After a spell, N, inwardly sensing that something was afoot, abruptly stopped walking.
"You did-" She turned to Mater with a deepening frown. "You did pay, didn't you? After all that?"
After a gasp of horror, Mater was gone, beating a path back to the cafe, leaving behind her a cloud of dust so thick that N, whose house was a mere few doors down the street, was unable to get her bearings.
She's ensconced in that cloud still, as far as anybody knows, but the hearty quiche and half-stuffed egg should sustain her until the rescue party come out to look for her.
Winning the argument is not enough: the victor really ought to do something with the prize.

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