It’s Spicy

Red green jalapeno characters

Hi!  I hope you’re having a nice Spring Break or, as we New Yorkers are apt to say, an “extended Winter.”  Cue the violins playing and the Mid-Westerners wanting to strangle us or stab us in the eye with an icicle.

You may have noticed that I’ve been on Sabbatical (without pay or studying), during which time a few (hundred) funny things happened.  Here are a few stand-outs:

1. The Jalapeño-tini Incident: At a restaurant, I order a drink called something like a “Jalapeño-tini”.  It was described as tequila, jalapeño, and muddled lime.  The waiter looks at me in a very serious way and says, “You know, it’s spicy.”  I respond, “Yes, I can read.  Can you?” and then I kick him in the shins (except that whole last part happened in my head).

2. The Gratuity Insecurity: I go for a massage at the hotel.  They ask me to pay for the massage before I have the massage and when I look at the bill I see that there’s a 20% “service fee” added to the price of the massage.  There is also a separate gratuity line which is blank and, I surmise, meant for me to fill in.  I ask what the service fee is and the woman behind the counter responds “It’s explained at the bottom of the receipt” (bitch).  “It’s a fee that is paid in full to the person performing the service.”  So I ask what the difference is between the service fee and the gratuity and she gets pissy.  I can’t be the first person to have asked this question.  Needless to say, there was no gratuity.  It’s called a service fee.  But I did leave a tip: If you want a gratuity, get rid of the service fee.

3. Bunga-what?: Driving in a shuttle bus among parts of the hotel, we stop at the bungalows and a child on the bus asks her mother, “What are bungalows?”

Mom: They’re like small cottages.

Child: In what language?

4. Rice Pilaf: At a restaurant, my son orders branzino (I know!) which comes with a choice of sides.  He chooses string beans (I know!).  The waitress brings the branzino with a side of rice pilaf.  We tell her that he ordered the string beans and she looks at the plate and says, matter-of-factly, “rice pilaf.”  I sort of wanted to pull the string that was attached to her back to see what other words she could say.

5. Open mouth, insert foot: I was at a lovely baby shower a few weeks ago, seated at a table with a few women I had previously met as well as a few new faces.  The topic of baby names comes up (shocking, I know) and we start telling funny stories about people’s names.  I say, in a mocking and insulting manner, “I once went to camp with boy/girl twins named Daniel and Danielle!”  Everyone laughs except for one woman who says “My name is Danielle and my brother’s name is Daniel.  I actually really liked that our parents gave us those names.”  Doh!  I mean, only me.  Needless to say, she was very gracious about the whole thing and I will keep in mind NEVER to make that mistake again.  Until the next time I’m involved in a discussion about baby names.

Questions for you!  How do you relay funny stories without hurting the feelings of those involved?  Is there a way to write about friends and family without losing all of your friends and family?