Before you start reading this (substantially) true story, I feel compelled to mention that we writers are a hyper-observant bunch. It’s the cross we have to bear. Snooping, lurking, and eavesdropping–all in the name of information gathering–is a time-honored technique. We call such actions “research.”
Here’s how my birthday dinner went down.
This year, my husband and I chose to celebrate my birthday in the normal way. By stuffing ourselves. Who knew our evening would turn out to be far from normal?
We chose one of Ottawa’s most upscale dining establishments for the occasion. The food at Beckta’s is always amazing, the ambiance inviting, the service beyond attentive. Having said that, the stand-out for us was our very own private (make that not-so-private) source of entertainment.
After the maître d’ shook out our napkins and placed them ever-so-solicitously on our laps, it took me less than one nanosecond to zero in on two twenty-somethings at the adjacent table. The pair had managed to squish their two trendy butts into a teeny-tiny leather banquette intended to cradle one ass. They were sharing a plateful of something. Because they were fused together, appendages intertwined, each had only one free hand with which to eat the meal. Whenever something needed cutting, one of them stabbed the food with a fork while the other sawed away with a knife. The rest of the time, the guy popped morsels of food into his beloved’s mouth while the woman kept her arm around the guy’s shoulders. To stop him from escaping, perhaps? But I digress.
It became obvious, even to my husband, that hormones were flowing. More than flowing. They were gushing. Spouting. Surging. A veritable hormonal tsunami was well underway. And we’d scored a ringside seat.
By then, we were in stitches while speculating in whispers about what would happen next.
During the first course, much action took place at the next table. The pair was too wrapped up in their foreplay to notice our interest. Unable to tear our gazes from their antics, we compensated by praising our appetizers and feigning interest in fiscal cliffs, corrupt politicians, and other lively topics. Once finished, we shut up and eagerly awaited the sequel … and our main course.
When the food arrived, the heat at the next table had soared and appeared to be approaching the intensity of a blast furnace. Kisses were being exchanged, and when I say kisses, I mean long, sucking soul kisses. There was tongue. Lots of tongue. Tongue accompanied by smacking, slurping, liquidy-sticky noises. I assumed covert throbbing, pulsating, even occasional thrusting was on the rise. As I shoveled in my butter-poached lobster, I nearly rolled out of my chair trying to hold back my hysterical laughter.
By the time dessert tolled around, I honestly thought the woman would straddle the guy. I can only assume the table was too close for such acrobatics because I waited in vain for one leg to emerge and encircle his neck. Hey, she looked pretty limber. I didn’t want to think about what was happening beneath the table, so I tried to focus on my chocolate dessert featuring malted milk brulé, a marbled cornflake sandwich, espresso and white chocolate fudge, bitter chocolate cake, and salted caramel sauce.
Sadly, the rest boils down to a premature exodus that left us feeling empty, disappointed and disgruntled. The grand finalé never happened. At least not within earshot. Before I’d finished using my finger to wipe the last of the chocolate scroll-work off my plate, the couple had flagged down the waiter, paid up, and sprinted from the restaurant, all in the space of a few seconds. They didn’t even bother to say good-bye. In my opinion, that was was the least they could have done seeing as how we’d shared so many intimate details of their relationship.
Truth be told, we could have complained. We didn’t. Voyeurism can be loads of fun. We chose to sit back, suck down some excellent wine, devour amazing food, and enjoy one another’s company. And the free entertainment. On the drive home, we had the added pleasure of tut-tutting about their the lack of manners, not to mention zero inhibitions.
I’m certain there’s a juicy scene in here somewhere. It may pop up in my next book. And if I find a way to work it in, I make a solemn promise that readers will definitely learn what was happening beneath the table.