Who here hasn't had their ears chewed off at least once in their lives?
You know, that annoying-as-hell person who will just go Tyson batshit on your Hollyfield earlobe ...
Well it happened to me recently. I was at a wedding I was reluctant to attend, and let's just say the food was so bad it would have made the once famous Chef Boyardee very proud (apologies to those who see it as authentic Italian food- I know you're out there-baddabing baddabong).
It was a buffet-style meal, and I headed over (full well knowing the food would be blah) to the main table to try and fill my plate in such a manner that no one would notice I was unimpressed (aka pretending I would eat, only to head over and discretely
toss the food in the garbage or down the toilet- if I could somehow make it unnoticed to the washroom).
A couple of potatoes (always a safe bet, hard to screw those up) tossed onto my plate, some quinoa salad (also, doesn't take a Michelin-star chef to concoct a decent quinoa salad) and some smoked salmon (again, you just remove the wrapper, add some lemon juice, perhaps some capers and voila), and back I retreated to my table. I had of course added a couple of other items that were headed to the trash as an elderly lady pushed me to fill my plate while I was back at the buffet.
So sit we did. A very wealthy businessman and his wife were at our table. And one had to assume this wasn't the type of meal they were, shall we say, "accustomed to".
And then HE arrived. Yes, yes, you know him. The classic fool that one typically always finds at a wedding. The token conversation killer. A real motormouth. And sure enough, he sat next to this rich man and his wife and introduced himself.
"My name is Anthony...nice wedding eh?". Anthony bore a ponytail, a jedi-type beard (think Luke Skywalker when Rey found him hiding on some remote plant), and was reasonably well... disheveled.
And so the motor on that mouth of his began running. "So I just came back from Italy, yeah it was an amazing trip. The food was just soooo good". "Oh that's nice, yes it's such a beautiful country we've been there many times..." commented the CEO's wife.
Anthony rambled on "Yeah we had this incredible ossobuco with squid-ink & truffle oil tagliatelle the first night, it was like the best meal I'd ever had". "Oh that's nice...yes we love ...." the CEO responded, as he grabbed the rock-hard bread from the middle of the table, while his wife guided a humble mac n cheese sandwich from her plate over to her mouth.
"Yeah what about you guys, did you go anywhere this summer?" asked the windbag. "Well we went over to Vermont, we have a lovely cottage there...our family, kids all meet up every August and we..." "Oh nice. Yeah so anyways, we also went to the Amalfi Coast, the mountains there, the view of the turquoise waters, the seafood was just ...me and my girlfriend were just drooling the whole time...I mean I knew Italy was nice but everything there was breathtaking ....so then we got on a train the next day and we went to Rome, I had no idea how much history there was there, and again, the restaurants, even the smallest no name ones were so...." And then the barely tolerable became just too intolerable. The couple got up. "Excuse us we're just gonna head over to say hi to some friends who just got here we'll be right back" the husband said in what could have been close to being his last breath.
As the man and woman escaped the table like a couple of frightened refugees (and I do mean escaped- heck I was staring right at the exit sign myself) and walked over to see their imaginary friends, I noticed the woman discretely drop the barely-touched sandwich off on one of the counters. The babbling buffoon had managed, in this 25-minute conversation (more like a monologue), to suck this poor couple dry. Wiped, probably having no appetite left, they looked like they had both run a full marathon...in the Sahara desert.
Sapped, deflated, they left the reception hall with their tails between their legs.
But Anthony wasn't done. Visibly, he had a lot left in the tank.
As the remaining group at the table perspired profusely, stricken with severe anxiety (pretty sure one of the elderly ladies began hyperventilating) the question on all our minds was, how the rest of us were going to escape....