I Probably Am Vicious and Cold Hearted

When I’m out walking around near my office, there’s something I see that always makes me think of my friend Cathy. Sorry, that kind of makes it sound like Cathy might be dead. She’s fine, in case you were worried. We live in the same city and like each other a lot, but I rarely see her. You know, sometimes you just have those friends. Anyway, there’s a sort of coffee shop thing that I pass every now and then, and I think of Cathy when I do. I almost always have to stifle my laughter so the people around me don’t think I’m a mental patient out on a day pass.

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?


Aussa Lorens said...

Very few things in this tortured life are funnier than someone spilling liquid all over themselves.

Tracy said...

It's true. And we all find it funny, which makes us all evil, which I'm completely OK with.

Chris Dean said...

I must be a viscous, cold hearted woman as well, because I would probably have wet myself from laughter!

Tracy said...

Pretty much what I did! And do to this day :)

Margot said...

She got over it and forgave you, I hope. How do you accidently buy carbonated water?

Tracy said...

Yep no idea but she managed it!

SammichesPsychMeds said...

I've started taking vicious and cold hearted as compliments.

Tracy said...

Agreed. I think they imply a certain strength of mind and commitment to one's beliefs.

Liz said...

Haha. Yes! All of the above. When I do it to myself I expect the laughter at my expense. It's part of the social contract I believe!

Tracy said...

That's the thing--I totally don't mind being laughed at. I mean, you know, really laughed at. As in, wow I just made a complete ass of myself, didn't I? Like I said, she wasn't really upset either--I'm not friends with people who can't laugh at themselves.