Cathy and I worked together a few years ago. Even after we both left that company, we remained friendly. When she got a new gig that brought her to an office building near mine, we’d meet for lunch occasionally.
One Spring day we wanted to get together but, for reasons that escape me, neither of us had time to sit down and eat. We agreed to meet and walk someplace to get lunch. The problem was we both wanted something different. I agreed to walk along with her where she wanted to go, then she’d walk with me, and we’d go back to our respective offices to eat. It was a pretty day, and we both wanted to get out.
First stop was the coffee shop in question that always sets me giggling. She bought a sandwich and a bottle of water. We recalibrated, and headed toward the offering of my choice. As we walked, she emoted about the gloriousness of the weather, some good news she’d gotten, several other topics, all accompanied by enthusiastic hand waving, and gesticulation with the sandwich bag and the water bottle.
Along the way, we met a woman who was a coworker of mine, who turned out to be a dear friend of Cathy’s. Cathy was delighted to see this friend—apparently they hadn’t spoken in some time—and there was more excited gesturing. As we continued on our way, Cathy expressed her pleasure at running into the friend, happily waving her sandwich and water to underscore her emotions.
We got to the deli where I wanted to buy my lunch. It wasn’t very crowded, but there were one or two people ahead of me. I got in line, and Cathy sat down to wait for me at one of the little tables they had set out. She put her sandwich bag on the table in front of her, and decided to open her water to have a drink.
She cracked the safety seal, and water spewed out in a fountain, fizzing everywhere. The geyser lasted whole seconds, sending water all over the table (although not on her sandwich) and the floor next to her. As the flood subsided, she sat there dumbfounded, staring at the puddles of water, I presume waiting for a dove with an olive branch. I confess, I started to laugh.
The woman who worked in the deli came out and mopped it up, and Cathy grabbed some napkins to clean up the table. I was still laughing when we left to walk back to our offices.
“Why is this so funny?” Cathy snapped (although to be honest, she wasn’t really angry).
“Because all the whole time we were walking, you were waving that bottle around like an overcaffeinated majorette in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Didn’t you know it was carbonated water?”
“No! I had no idea! And if you knew, why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I didn’t know!” I said. “I assumed you knew what you were buying. How do I know what you bought?”
Mind you, I was still doubled over in hysterics and practically in tears. She finally dismissed me as vicious and cold hearted. I laughed all the way back to my office.
Cathy no longer works near me, so I am safe from exploding carbonated water bottles at her hands, but the memory can still make me laugh to this day. Maybe she’s right—maybe I am vicious and cold hearted.
Have you ever had a bottle of water explode all over you? Have you had someone laugh at something you did so hard that they cried? Have you ever been declared to be vicious and cold hearted?