Normally I find Al Fresco diners annoying. But one of my favorite couples snags an outside table and requests me as their waiter. Since the woman’s gorgeous I’m happy to oblige.
“Good evening,” I say, cheerfully handing them menus. “Nice to see you again.”
“Nice to see you too,” the woman replies. “How’s things?”
In her forties, tall, regal and brunette, this lady’s got an exotic feline quality that’s very, very sexy. My pupils dilate with desire. Whenever I see her I have to remind myself not to act like a goofball.
“I’m fine thanks,” I reply, my voice hoarsening. “Can I get you something from the bar?”
“I’ll have a dirty Grey Goose Martini,” Regal says teasingly. She knows the effect she has on me. I feel my heart speed up. Wow.
“And you sir?” I ask, turning to the husband.
European, handsome, self effacing and polite, the husband’s actually a nice guy who always tips in cash.
“I’ll have a Negroni,” he says.
“Right away sir.”
“Could you tell us the specials before you get our drinks?” Regal asks. “That way we can order when you get back. I know you’re busy.”
Beautiful and considerate. The evil part of my brain starts concocting a plan to bump off the husband. So what if he’s a nice guy? He’s got to go.
“Thank you Miss,” I say, my face brightening. “I appreciate that.”
“I used to be a waitress,” Regal says. Oh man. I think I’m in love.
”Tonight I’m recommending the wild boar chop,” I say, launching into the specials. “It’s prepared in a sauce of roasted red peppers, onions and black olives.”
“Mmmm,” Regal moans.
“And if you’re in the mood for seafood we have grilled swordfish in a sauce of…..”
Something warm hits my chest.
“Oh no!” Regal shrieks.
I look down. Something that looks like Elmer’s Glue mixed with green phlegm runs down my shirtfront. I recognize it immediately. It’s birdshit.
“Isn’t that lovely,” I say.
SPLAT! The bird scores another hit. This time on top of my head.
“Oh my god!” Regal yelps. “He got you again!”
“And I just got a haircut this morning,” I say weakly.
“Maybe you should get out of the way,” Regal suggests.
I step to one side and look up. A pigeon, perched on a ledge, peers down. I swear he’s smirking with his beak. If I ever get my hands on that little bastard I’m dropping him in the deep fryer.
The husband hands me his napkin. “You know,” he says, “In my country that’s considered good luck.”
“I’m never visiting your country,” I say, half joking.
The husband laughs. The wife looks at me piteously. Maybe the birdshit was payback for lusting after a married woman. Jeez, talk about instantaneous karma.
“If you’ll excuse me I need to go clean up,” I say.
“Take your time,” Regal says sympathetically.
I go inside. Holly the hostess stares at me bug-eyed.
“Oh man,” she says. “What happened to you?”
“Birdshit happened to me.”
“It’s in your hair!”
“Let me help you,” Holly offers.
Back by the men’s room Holly helps clean the bird crap out of my hair.
“God some of this stuff is blue,” Holly says. “Makes you wonder what it ate.”
I briefly consider the urban avian diet. Maybe my pigeon ate month old hotdogs for lunch. Dung beetles for dessert? Perhaps an amouse bouche of decomposing hobo?
“I’d rather not think about it Holly.”
Luckily the bird feces washes out of my hair. Good. Something tells me my tips would go in the toilet if I left it in. I change into my backup shirt but my tie’s a total loss. I throw it in the garbage and head out onto the floor.
“Where’s your tie?” Fluvio demands. I tell him what happened.
“That’s good luck,” he says, obviously pleased.
“What else can a man say if a bird shits on him?” I retort pissily.
“You’ve had some good luck lately.” Fluvio says. “You’ll get over it.”
Fluvio’s comment stops me in my tracks. He’s right. I’ve had good run of luck lately – for the first time in a long rime. I shouldn’t get bent if a bird craps on me. Worse things can happen.
“You’re right Fluvio.”
“I’m always right.”
I go back outside. Regal’s husband orders a $200 bottle of wine. After dinner he leaves a crisp hundred dollar bill as a tip. I hate to say it but Fluvio’s probably right.
Maybe birdshit’s lucky after all.