Alps log grab bag: pub tables
Some stories fall through the cracks, some stories die at the publishing deadline. These are the remainders.
Day 15: During my four hour tenancy at Papperla Pub, I may have immersed myself in the surrounding tables. One table featured a local business owner, entertaining two friends. He calls the waiter’s name, Edwin, in alternating singsong accents. They make a joke of formal stilted English (“Thank you so very much Ed-win!”).
My favorite table of the entire trip saunters in an hour after I finish eating. They are an American family, and boy are they ever. A blonde Aspen mother, aloof pepper-grey father tethered to a phone (stepping away every quarter hour to take this one, hun), a brood of four, every one firmly lodged in the awkward era of adolesence. The daughter is excitable, and had
scouted the restaurant like a good herald (“Ma, Ma, they’ve got BURH-gers, Ma, look!). The big one, Lester, has a lumbering gait, and mumbles answers to the good Father’s questions, to which Father pleads directly to Mother, “what did he say? I can’t understand him,” of course in Lester’s presence. Lester, I hypothesize, is not a large taker in the family will. The little one is a prize winner, with a permanent IV of rocket fuel into his blood, rocks back and forth in his chair, a blathering stream of high pitches, like an infant performing a James Joyce reading. The middle one, bless his heart, is the only one with a chance. He’s bright, calm, observant, all demonstrated by his ability to use the WC independently and without incident. On his return: “How’s the bathroom here?” asks the reclined Father without turning his head, removing his sunglasses, or adding inflection to his voice. This is the bastion saint of hands-on parenting.
Daughter: “Mom, can you order for us? I want the piz-ZA.” “Okay, honey.”
Waitress arrives, signalling the climax of this story.
Mother: “okay we’ll have three diet cokes–” “ME too Ma!” “–okay, four diet cokes. And we want the nachos, but can we just have the cheese on the chips, and on everything else, the other toppings, on the side?”
Mother: “and a medium pizza, is that spicey at all? Please, no spices. And I’ll have the seared tuna salad, dressing–”
Waitress: “on the side?”
Mother: “on the side please.”
I have had enough sun, and move to the shade on the other side of the patio.