It was a fancy restaurant we went to. The waiter not only had a stiff upper lip, but the same surgeon had turned his nose up in the air too.
“What will you have sir?” he smirked.
“Wine!” I said.
“Which one sir?”
“Any wine that’s red!” I said pleasantly.
“What’s with the wine?” asked the wife under her breath.
“Good for the heart,” I whispered and smiled at the waiter. I waited till stiff upper lip along with equally stiff nose marched off, then rummaged in my pocket.
“You didn’t bring your wallet?” the wife asked worriedly.
“No, I’m looking for that piece on red wine!”
“You brought it along with you?”
“To show you,” I said pleasantly, realising red wine was making me pleasant even before I drank it.
“Why didn’t you show it to me at home?”
“Thought I’d show it, when I drank it,” I said then managed to bring out the crumpled piece of paper, “See what it says,” I said.
“I didn’t bring my glasses,” said the wife, “You read!”
“I didn’t bring mine,” I said, “Waiter will you read this for madam?”
Stiff upper lip fell, the upturned nose also.
“Could you please read this for madam!”
“I don’t read English sir!” whispered the crestfallen waiter and fled. Red wine, I noticed, made humble the proud, even before it was touched. I marvelled at its qualities.
“It is good wine!” I said.
“You haven’t had a sip yet!”
“I can feel it” I whispered, “Its effects are awesome!”
I sipped the wine. I continued sipping it. I sipped the second glass and then the third. The wife watched unhappily,
“What does the paper say about how much you should drink?” she asked as the waiter with suddenly fixed smile watched me try to read without glasses somewhat shakily from small printed page.
“I can’t read,” I said finally.
“You can’t read English sir?” asked the waiter happily. “He can’t read English!” announced the waiter to his colleague and to some Russians at the next table, who smiled sympathetically at him.
“Of course I can,” I said angrily and got up from my table.
We walked out of the restaurant; there was red wine on the waiter’s nose.
“How did the red wine get onto the waiter’s nose?” I asked next day as I nursed a terrible hangover.
“Through your fist!” said the wife, “Red wine good for the heart, but not good for man’s temper!”
“Also not good for wallet..!” I whispered as I paid the lawyer, then surgeon to get waiter’s nose back to stiff upper position.