It was Saturday evening and my wife and daughter had plans which resulted in a Boy’s Night Out! We didn't really have a plan. We started by taking a drive to the local slot car hobby shop, but unfortunately they were not open. That is when my son said, “Let’s go get some pizza, I’m super hungry!” It seemed like a logical plan, and we needed to eat. Nevertheless, this is where the “fun” (note a sarcastic tone) began.
We entered the restaurant (10 minute wait) and sat quietly in the lobby, which is unusual for us. It had been a long day of playing outside, so I figured my son was just tired. As we were called to the table, my son reiterated that he was hungry and also a little thirsty. We sat down and were quickly greeted by our waiter who brought us our drinks and took our order. While waiting, we played the dot game. Do you remember the dot game? Players take turns connecting dots in attempt to complete and initial the most squares. It is a great game to predict, problem solve, and strategize. I digress… During the game my son said he had a little headache. Again, just thought he was tired and hungry. Our pizza arrived and then the “fun” began!
My son quickly stood up, put his hand over his mouth, and opened his eyes wider than I have ever seen. I asked, “Are you going to get sick?” I apologize, in advance, for the the graphic picture I’m about to paint. I started looking for anything that he could use to collect… well, you know... because the bathroom was too far away. The last thing I wanted was for him to “spray” all over the restaurant. I had no luck finding anything! So, I panicked and put my hand over his hand, which was still covering his mouth, and started moving toward the exit. The poor waiter came by to help. My son could not hold it any longer! Advice for everyone: never tightly cover a puke-ish mouth. It projects much further than you would expect, similar to placing your thumb over a garden hose. I felt horrible for the waiter! Due to all the commotion, the restaurant, typically filled with the normal sounds of a Saturday night, became eerily silent. My son ran to the bathroom to clean up, I quickly followed, and imagine that the waiter did the same.
This is when I realized that there are still good people out there. As we returned, the waiter looked concerned. Not because he needed to clean his shoes, but because he was genuinely concerned for my son and his well-being. He quickly asked if there was anything that he could do to help. A bit embarrassed, and both of us needing clean shirts, I proceeded to ask for our bill and a couple of boxes for the pizza. I could not believe the level of understanding, and at no time did the waiter look disgusted or upset. As he was getting our bill, we were still cleaning up, and the waiter’s assistant was doing the same by cleaning the carpet. The assistant looked at my son and said, “Are you alright buddy?” My son said, “Yup, I’m better now.” At that time, the young man gave my son a high five and said, “Stay strong little man!” Other customers in the restaurant started to smile and make comments such as, “Don’t worry,” “It happens,” There was nothing you could do,” etc. I think they were trying to reassure me more than my son, who seemed totally fine at this point. The uncomfortable concern and eerie silence soon returned to the normal sounds of a restaurant on a Saturday night, but with a bit of laughter as well. You see, the restaurant was filled by mostly families, and they all knew that it could be them next time!
The night ended with me doing a load of laundry to wash away the evidence, now I just wish I could wash it from everyone’s mind who experienced the “spray!” I am sure you all remember the movie Stand By Me… it wasn't nearly that bad, but still, it wasn't good! During the waning part of the evening, I contacted the restaurant's manager to give accolades to the wait staff. The manager appreciated the call and responded by saying, “no worries, that is why they make carpet cleaners.” I truly appreciated everyone’s understanding.
All in all, Boy’s Night Out was not what we anticipated. Nevertheless, it will be something that will not be forgotten and definitely highlights the kindness in others.
Stay Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!