I carry my notebook all round the area for writerly moments. This means I spend a lot of time mentally reviewing places for too loud music, wobbly tables or chatty staff (big no nos). My old favourite has been somewhat demoted recently…
Sitting down I shoved aside the milk, realising the tea cup was still half full I looked around and the woman on the next table, “Oh, is someone sat here?”
Her response, “It’s probably alright, don’t suppose anyone’s pissed in it.”
Confounded I mumbled something about “I thought maybe they had gone to the loo” but my voice trailed off.
Scowling as I scanned the counter for my order she offered a more cogent explanation, “There were two people but they’ve gone.” She laughed but I was just glad my toast had arrived so I could busy myself buttering it. The laughter kept catching me and I looked down to suppress it but it shook my shoulders in involuntary quivers.
In my mind I was debating whether she meant to say “spit in it.” I also couldn’t fathom why she thought I wanted to drink the leftovers rather than use the table.
I didn’t get my notebook out that day, I was too busy scoffing down my toast and willing the woman to move on as soon as possible so I could laugh out loud.