Last week I left my debit card at a fine dining establishment. And by dining, I mean Texas Roadhouse. And by fine I mean that their dinner rolls are like crack to me.
Anyway, I didn’t realize my mistake until the next morning when I went to get gas and discovered that I was credit cardless. So, back to the restaurant I begrudgingly went, hoping that I had left it there.
I walked through the doors. It was lunchtime. I asked the hostess if my card was there. She told me she’d go check and wandered off. I stood standing where she left me, looking at memorabilia on the wall, annoyed that I was there at all.
Then a commotion erupted somewhere in the restaurant. People were yelling, people were running, and suddenly a group started gathering around a certain table.
My curiosity got the best of me, so I shuffled around the corner to see what was going on. A woman was on her hands and knees next to a table where a young married couple was still seated. She was reaching both arms beneath the table. Her husband knelt high beside her, also gazing under the table, saying something into the darkness.
It was an odd scene.
At first I thought someone might be hurt.
Then as I got closer (but not close enough that they’d know I was snooping), I could hear what they were (rather loudly) saying.
“Come on out of there!” the woman on the ground said loudly. She was frustrated.
“Sweetheart, you need to come out!” the man kneeling beside her said less loudly. He was smiling.
The people at the table were sitting as if they were in complete shock and had no idea what to do or how to respond to whatever it was going on.
I knew what had happened. Someone’s kid had run from mom and dad and hid under a stranger’s table. It happens. I know, not that exciting.
But then the man at the table pulled himself out of the booth. “Here, let me get out of your way so you can get her,” he said. He started laughing. His wife was suddenly now giggling hysterically as she watched him exit. And just as the child’s mother crawled further under the table to extract her child, a tiny girl popped out from beneath the table, right up onto the bench that had just been vacated.
And she was naked.
I’m talking buck naked.
She didn’t even have socks on.
She was smiling as big as the day she’d one day get married. She couldn’t have even been two yet.
Dad stood up quickly and yanked her off the bench.
Mom crawled back out and stood up, embarrassed as all get up. “I’m so sorry,” she said as she took her child from her hubby and raced off toward the bathroom where I assume the original escape took place.
Dad attempted to explain to the married couple what had happened as the laughing man took his seat at his table again. People everywhere were laughing. “She had a bad accident and my wife took her into the bathroom to change her clothes and…” Dad said.
Both the young husband and the young wife cut him off to tell him it was okay, it had made their day, it was so funny, it happens, etc. etc.
Just then the hostess trotted out with my debit card in hand.
And as I laughed myself out of the building, I was suddenly not so annoyed that I had left it there. That was some funny stuff right there.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing