28 May 2008


Ahh, the dinner check.

David and I sort of take turns treating each other, although he picks up the check more often than I do and more often at better restaurants. This doesn't stop me when we are at, say, Panera and he asks if I'm buying him dinner from considering looking at the nice young lady behind the counter in a way to imply that he is some dissolute man-twinkie, whom I am constantly imposed upon to buy things for. That would be fun. I really should do that sometime.

And I have a friend with whom I have dinner every so often who picks up the check unless I can either beat him to it or make a good argument as to why I should be allowed to pay it.*

Larry was in town last week and we had dinner on his birthday. And you'd think that seeing how rapidly he's aging (he is seven months older than I am and is rejoicing in his ever more encroaching senescence), his reflexes would be going, but no, when the check came he got to it before I had finished recognizing that it had arrived. "But it's your birthday!" I protested and his answer was that yes, and I would be celebrating his birthday by allowing him to buy me dinner. I couldn't argue with this logic. (He, after all, teaches law and is very logical.)

But it all worked out. I had lunch a couple of days later with Exploding Dave, who was in town on assignment for a while** and when the check came, I hooked it with Larry-like efficiency. When Dave started to protest I told him that he should just consider this as me supporting the troops. He conceeded graciously.

I'm starting to think of this as the informal law of the conservation of dining out funds.

*The time that he was an hour and half late and every waiter in the restaurant felt sorry for me until he finally arrived and then smirked at him, that wouldn't have been a good occasion to reach for the check. I didn't even think about trying for that one.

**And must be doing a very good job and we have had no ordnance explode in Silver Spring while he was here

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