My dad likes to take us out to eat, but sometimes I dread what he might do. Partly because he is sensitive about the server bothering us - occasionally when they come around he is short with them for interrupting our conversation. But also because of his sick sense of humor. He likes to mess with the server at times. Unfortunately, where we live, a lot of servers do not speak English as a first language. That means where an American might chuckle at the crazy old man, the immigrants stares back blankly trying to understand what he means. I can just hear their internal dialog: 'Surely he didn't just ask that. I must have heard him wrong. But then, what else could he mean?'
A couple weeks ago we went to a Mexican restaurant. They have a lot of strange stuff on the menu like fish with the head still on and quail. When the Mexican server came up to see if we were ready to order, my dad asks, "What is quail?" The man knows what quail is. He just like to watch people squirm. Problem is, I'm on the other side of the booth, squirming just as much as the server. Good lord, man. Leave her alone! Her English was very sketchy, so she was unable to describe what it was at all. She just said, "It's like chicken."
Then this past weekend we went to a local donut shop for kolaches and donuts. As soon as we walk into the shop, in front of a very large glass display of donuts, my dad asks the Vietnamese woman behind the counter if they have any donuts here. Her brows furrow and she frowns a bit at him. Thankfully, she was a younger woman, so she was able to bounce back pretty quickly. She laughs and says, "donuts?" as she peers down at the 100 baked pastries sitting in front of her. I force out a stoccato laugh, hoping to let her know he was indeed joking.
My dad left for Illinois this morning. He may be whacky, but I will miss him dearly.