The Pause that Refreshes?

by Brian on March 23, 2011

in A Parent in Israel,Just For Fun

Purim in Jerusalem…and all the restaurants are booked solid. That didn’t stop our party of 11 from joining the merrymaking mosaic of Israeli society out to celebrate the defeat of the evil Haman some 2,000 years ago.

My wife Jody had the foresight to reserve a table at the uber-popular Caffit café far in advance. There was already a line out the door for the more spontaneous in spirit. With every seat taken, the poor waiters were overtaxed and, despite the faux-hula skirt costumes and the promise of big tips, their smiles were strained.

Our waiter did his best to take all 11 orders, including multiple shared meals, amid repeated requests for ice and extra napkins.

It was as the drinks came out that it happened. I didn’t see it coming – no one did. Suddenly there was a crash and a cascade of cold sticky liquid onto my hair, face, shirt and pants. Or maybe it was the other way around. Somehow, the waiter had dropped a ceramic tray with a glass of Coke Zero onto my head.

It took me a few seconds to take in my new wet reality. Every face at the table was staring at me in shock. The waiter behind me was quickly joined by another and then the manager, all instantly offering apologies and protestations that nothing like this had ever happened before. They were probably right.

As the wait staff mopped up around me, I checked for glass – miraculously I had been spared. Had the glass cracked over my head, I could have been sitting there in my own blood not just a mess of highly caffeinated (but no calorie) chemicals and syrup.

I was remarkably sanguine about the entire incident. My daughter took me to the bathroom but the Coke was already drying. As I walked back to the table, I felt like a mini-celebrity, as the restaurant staff appeared unusually deferential – perhaps they feared a lawsuit were I to pull a glass shard out of my favorite polo shirt.

The rest of the meal went off as well as could be expected given the overcapacity crowd – slow service, a couple of mixed up orders, but a truly extraordinary fried halumi cheese and mushroom medley over a bed of caramelized onions and mashed potatoes. The restaurant brought us dessert on the house.

When it came time to pay, Jody made sure that the bill didn’t include a charge for the smashed Coke. Not that I didn’t drink it – I’m sure I imbibed a considerable amount through my pores. But next time, I’ll take a straw, please.

I first reported on my “refreshing” experience on the Israelity blog.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Rachel Selby March 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I heard it’s called the Purim Special and they pick one customer to do it to every year. Congratulations on being picked!

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