- When one of the women in my area had a birthday, some of us got together after work to have a drink or two with her. Eventually our number was down to four: Marissa (the birthday girl), Mandy, Peggy, and yours truly. We were having a great time and rather than see the evening end too quickly, I proposed to buy dinner at the Hyatt Regency, an offer accepted by all three in perhaps a tenth of a second.
Just off the lobby of the Hyatt there was a huge open air restaurant (perhaps named The Atrium, but I'm not certain of that), very nicely done - water meandering through the area in open marble channels, long glass rods slowly dripping water into those channels, linen, tuxedoed waiters, and a tuxedoed string trio playing music in a small pit-like area. As soon as we were seated we ordered drinks and began chatting.
A word about the social dynamics of this group: Peggy was a great tease, one who was particularly adept at getting two other people to disagree on something and then bowing out, sitting back, and listening to the humorous debates that followed, occasionally sticking a knife into someone's ribs; Mandy teased only occasionally, but more often with Peggy than with anyone else; Marissa was vocal but fairly conservative, and held strong opinions about everything; by now regular readers know that I enjoyed teasing also.
At some point Peggy said, "I can't tell if the water is coming down the inside or the outside of those rods."
Now *eye* had not paid close attention but had always thought the water was on the outside, and not stopping to realize that it was Peggy who started this, I immediately said, "The outside."
SMACK! This from Marissa: "The inside, of course."
I stuck my foot a little further into my mouth: "Are you sure?"
"Certainly. Go take a look."
I declined and surrendered.
A few minutes later I gave everyone a coin and suggested that we all throw the coins into the water and make wishes. We did, and Peggy asked Mandy what she had wished. Mandy said, "You can't tell your wish. It's a secret. If you tell, it won't come true."
I leaned over to Mandy and just as she was sipping her drink I whispered, "I wish the fucking water came down the outside of the rods." This caused her to spit her drink into her lap and onto the table, earning a round of applause, and despite persistent attempts by Peggy to learn what had been said, we managed to keep it to ourselves.
During the dinner the string trio began playing jazz. Peggy remarked that she enjoyed it greatly. I said I was indifferent to it, that I didn't understand it, didn't identify with it, but that I did like Dixieland Jazz.
PEGGY: "What do you see as the difference?"
DONNIE: "Well, I think Dixieland Jazz isn't as hard and cacophonous."
PEGGY: "Ohhhh, that's my favorite word."
MANDY: "What, 'hard?'"
- Mandy, Peggy, Betty, and I went to see Return of the Jedi after work. Or mebbe an hour before work should have ended. After the show we walked around the corner to a small bar to have drinks and discuss the movie. In this group, everyone was a tease.
During the conversation, Peggy expressed her revulsion over Jabba the Hutt. I asked her why he offended her so much. She said it disgusted her that Jabba ate repulsive frog-like creatures alive.
DONNIE: "Oh come now, Peggy. I'm sure you've eaten lots of things uglier than that."
PEGGY (looking at Mandy and Betty): "Anyone else have anything to say?"
And Mandy and Betty, two great teases, my comrades in arms, bit their tongues and left me hung out to dry.