We had a very awkward experience this afternoon at lupper. So awkward, in fact, that we'd argue it was j-awkward...
Everybody knows that The Hater shoots marbles; that's just his thing. We actually met on the marble-shooting team in college. And he teaches marble-shooting techniques now. The marbles have really come full circle, pun intended.
Anyway, we went with Little Brother yesterday after a marble-shooting tournament to eat at a restaurant. The story becomes more complex if you realize that The Hater actually coached Little Brother at collegiate-level marble-shooting tournaments, and that's how we know him. After the waitress brought the first round of drinks and bread, The Hater saw someone out of the corner of his eye: the coach who was the head marble-shooting coach when The Hater coached Little Brother, who we'll call The Ghost of Christmas Past.
Drama ensues if you realize that The Ghost of Christmas Past was fired from his marble-shooting job this past year... and neither Little Brother nor The Hater had heard from him for several months. And there he was, apron and all, working as a server where we were eating.
Little Brother panicked; there were many unresolved conflicts with he and The Ghost of Christmas Past. We had already ordered our food. He voted we stack some cash on the table and leave. The Hater thought we should ask for it to go. I trumped them both and said that we were already there, the food was already ordered, we'd already made accidental eye contact; we might as well stay.
Little Brother directed his attention to his cell phone and sent out an APB to other marble-shooters he knew. The Hater grabbed a crayon and pretended to draw pictures of Lyle Lovett. I was in a unique position where I could see the entire restaurant; my job was to nonchalantly watch but not watch so that we would always know where he was. I was scolded several times for not being as nervous as they were.
The Ghost of Christmas Past made every effort to not walk by our table. The Hater and Little Brother made every effort to not make eye contact. I made fun of them both for being turkeys.
The Hater and Little Brother inhaled their food. They squirmed until I asked for the rest of mine in a doggy bag. We left, noting that it was, by far, the most awkward dining experience The Hater has ever had -- and one of the most entertaining ones I have had.
In retrospect, The Hater says that it would not have been as j-awkward if Little Brother hadn't been with us. He says that we probably would have spoken to him if it had just been us.
Knowing what we know now, there's no way we're going back to that restaurant for a while.