So I’m telling an eight top the specials on an especially clamorous Friday night, shouting to make myself heard above the din, when I hear a dog barking.

No not outside, somewhere on the side aisle! Mystified I stop mid sentence and look in the direction of the canine vocalizations. The woman at that table is opening and closing her mouth and I swear everyone thinks she is the one barking.

“What the fuck?” the hard charging corporate CEO type at my table exclaimed.

“I believe some one is having a psychotic episode sir.”

I walked over to the offending table. Just as I was about to ask the barking lady if she had skipped her morning dose a little dog peeked his head out of the handbag on the seat next to hear and went “YIP YIP!”

Now I love dogs. I have a little dog myself. But Vietnamese cuisine is not on the menu and if the health department showed up we would be well and truly fucked.

The woman ignored me and was barking back at her surrogate child as he happily squirmed in her handbag.

“Madam, unless it’s a seeing eye dog, it can’t be in here.”

Angrily she looked at me. “I take him EVERYWHERE!”

“Not today. Please take him out of here.”

In a huff the woman took her pooch and exited stage right. Her dining companion was busy staring at the floor willing it to open up and swallow her whole. Where before there had been the roar of a crowded bistro on Friday night – now there was only silence.

I went back to my table where a chorus of laughter and “Good jobs” rained down on me.

“Brings new meaning to the term doggy bag.” I deadpanned.

The woman took her food to go.

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