Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roll with it

I feel like I've been fairly serious and introspective lately. So now for something random and irreverent! But first, a disclaimer:

I’m not a mean person, I swear.

That’s important to make clear right from the start;  I could understand how there might be some confusion about that after reading this. Because ‘this’ is all about falling, or rather the best falls I have witnessed. Don’t judge, it’s common knowledge that as long as the person is ok, falling is funny. My family lives by this rule and often after one of us has done something ridiculous that lands them on the ground, you can see a crowd of concerned passersby crowded around, while the rest of the family is doubled over in hysterics. This is usually cause for glares of disgust from the passersby, and encouragement for the person on the ground to milk it for all it’s worth, making the rest of us look like horrible people. But the universe tends to balance out. None of us are particularly coordinated (except my brother who is a gymnast, but that just means he can fall in even more spectacular ways). So we get our laughs in while we can, knowing full well that next time it could be any one of us getting laughed at.

But for self preservation’s sake, this will not be about the falls occurring in my family (although there are some awesome ones). They read the blog and it would be remembered. But that’s not a problem, we have been witness to some pretty spectacular falls. And while I reiterate that I’m not a mean horrible person, I also can’t claim to be the concerned passerby. Family or not, as long as the person is ok? Totally fair game. I’m the one trying not to laugh until I’m an acceptable distance away. And I’m ok with that.

Oddly enough, both of my Top Two Witnessed Falls occurred in Miami (by which I mean Coral Gables, but Miami is shorter to type).

So here they are for your pleasure:

2. The Shorty Roll

Shorty’s is my favourite BBQ place. It’s in an odd spot, and not somewhere I’d necessarily choose to go had I not been told about it, but it is incredible, and if I only had one night to eat out while in Miami, it would be there. The food is good and the portions are large. I won’t ever NOT finish what’s on my plate…but I also won’t be able to do anything that involves any sort of movement afterwards. The Shorty Burger, which is everything a burger should be, was my first meal when I got home from Cuba, the pulled pork is Heaven on a plate, and my entrée of choice, and the fries and corn on the cob complement everything. They also make their own BBQ sauce. Absolute happiness. 

Inside the restaurant it’s family style seating at picnic tables. This is important. So this actually occurred at the epic first meal back after returning from Cuba. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Cuban food – to the point where my family is still not unconvinced that I chose Cuba merely as an excuse to eat rice and beans for three months (I won’t say that didn’t occur to me, but I maintain I had other motivations as well), but anyway, after three months there, I wanted my first night back to be something super American, and a Shorty’s burger fit the bill. So my brother and I were sat there, indulging ourselves, when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.

At a picnic table perpendicular to us, a man who was, well, ok he was rather large, the kind of person who looks like bbq is more than just an occasional treat, had started rolling. Yes, rolling. His legs trapped under the table, he couldn’t move or catch his balance, and he rolled backwards off the bench! Due to his impressive waistline, it truly was a roll and not a fall, and it actually happened in slow motion, almost graceful (a la the Fantasia hippos...). The general noise and chatter stopped and people looked stunned, with thoughts of heart attacks, I’d imagine, racing through everyone’s mind. But it wasn’t a heart attack, and he wasn’t even unconscious or anything. In fact, he lay on the floor, still holding his corn on the cob, looking just as stunned as everyone else that he was now on his back with his legs in the air. I’m pretty sure he had just leaned too far back and then the momentum caught hold and there was no stopping after that. Kevin and I quickly turned and took a huge bite of burger to avoid laughing out loud. The man rolled himself upright, and maneuvered back onto the bench. Embarrassing? Yes, but not enough to walk away from a full plate at Shorty’s.

1. Walk of Shame Wipeout

The other epic Miami fall occurred during breakfast at Einstein Bros Bagels, another staple during my Miami visits. I should also mention that we are not morning people in my family, so breakfast is more accurately brunch, meaning that we arrived, at the very earliest, at 10am. But that’s being optimistic. As we stood waiting for our bagels, two girls walked in, and oh my goodness they were quite the picture. They were so very clearly wearing clothes from the night before: ripped stockings, 4 inch (at least) stilettos, hot pants, tiny ‘going out’ tops, hair that at one point looked as though it had been styled within an inch of its life, but was now all over the place, breaking free of that extra hold, and of course, smeared raccoon eyes. My parents, brother, and I exchanged looks. We didn't know what was going to happen, but we were ready to watch whatever it was. What can I say? We love a good show with breakfast.

The girls ("This is such a walk of shame isn't it?" "Mom how do you know that phrase?") toddled around in their sky high heels, making their way to the front of the line and then over to wait for their bagels, right by us. We went from exchanging looks to avoiding ALL eye contact, because we are not subtle and would absolutely start laughing upon confirmation that everyone else was also thinking the same thing. Our bagels arrived. Kev and I started walking to the door while my dad waited for the other tray. And then: Disaster! With a loud WHAM, one of the girls WIPED. OUT. We’re talking legs sprawled, top askew (although thankfully still covering everything!), hair even more mussed, and raccoon eyes wide in shock, and then closed in embarrassment. The other girl, who may still have been drunk, wobbled around anxiously, while my poor father who was somehow right in the middle of this, tried to figure out how to react. Kev and I had to leave (sorry Dad) and stand outside while we burst out laughing.

We gathered ourselves slightly and found a table and parked ourselves. My dad came out and laughter resumed. Then the girls emerged. There were empty tables, but they went straight to their car. And ate inside of it. Where we could all still see them. Then they drove off.

SO many questions flew around our table. They had a car. Why, then, did they not go home to change first? Or why didn’t they go through a drive through? And if they were too embarrassed to eat at the tables, why not drive away before eating in their car only drawing more attention to themselves? And clearly they were dressed to go out, so had to have known that if they drove, they would have to stay somewhere over night. Why didn’t they throw an extra t-shirt or pair of sandals into the car for next morning? Or why didn’t they steal a t-shirt from whoever they spent the night with? …then my mom gave us the MOM look and told us to stop being inappropriate so Kev and I resumed eating. But seriously.

So there you are, my Top Two Witnessed Falls, that are still talked about every time we return to the scene(s) of the incident(s). I also have my Top Two Witnessed Collisions, but those will have to be saved for another day. My karma is probably already on shaky ground. And it's only Wednesday...

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