With only time for a quick lunch between appointments yesterday, I decided to treat myself to the best fried dumplings in town at Marco & Luca’s on the Downtown Mall. Six to-die-for dumplings in a luscious soy sauce/concoction for three Dollars is the perfect light lunch when I’m on the run. Though they may not be the best things for me to eat, I don’t do it very often. And today as I often do, I promise myself I’ll have an apple when I get home to try to balance out my food sins. It’s way too chilly for gelato at Splendora’s, so no worries about totally caving on my food plan there.
I sit on my usual stool in the window looking out over the Mall and start diving in with my chopsticks. I’m a klutz with these crazy eating tools and almost always end up picking the dumplings up with my fingers taking dainty bites. The sauce begins covering my once clean fingers, leaving them too sticky to pick up my glass of water. When I pick up the paper napkin it sticks to my hands and I have to peel it off. So I dip my fingers into my water and using a paper towel provided at the tray station, clean myself up. It’s a messy, indelicate and embarrassing way to eat if other people are watching. But if I don’t get somewhat cleaned up right then and there I’ll be unable to pick up my purse and jacket and make a beeline to the ladies room where I can do the job right.
Half way through my first dumpling, I notice a young man standing in the middle of the mall, with his adorable West Highland Terrier. They appear to be waiting for someone. Out of the corner of my eye, I see another man approaching with his own dog, a large, mutt that towers over the terrier.
Both dogs wag their tails and lunge at each other trying to get into that nose to butt position that dogs do when first meeting. But both men pull their pets back and the man with the large dog continues on his way up the mall, leaving the first man and his dog behind.
The terrier looks frustrated and tries to follow the big dog, but his leash is held too tightly. He looks up at his owner’s face then lifts his little leg and pees on his man’s shoe.
I’m laughing so hard I almost drop my second dumpling in my lap. It’s not an out loud laughing. I’m laughing to myself. From behind it might look like I’m having a seizure for all the shaking I’m doing. But nobody notices. I watch the guy suddenly feel something warm and wet on his foot. He bends down, feels his shoe and sock. He looks down at the dog who looks back up at him with tail wagging. The man looks around as if to make sure nobody is watching, then bends down and starts rubbing the dog’s nose on his shoe. He is saying something to the dog, but since I’m inside, I can’t hear what I imagine is a tirade about where one shouldn’t lift a leg. It all reminds me of an old slapstick movie.
My inner laughing and shaking revs up a notch as I pick up my third dumpling. When I pierce it with my teeth, it explodes sending a stream of warm sauce up in the air and on to my glasses. I now look out through dripping, brown lenses. Everything is blurred and sticky. I’m in a state of shock. Did anyone see this happen? I’m too embarrassed to look around. With dripping fingers I grab a paper towel, dip my glasses into my glass of water and clean them off. When I look out the window again the man and his terrier are gone. The last laugh must be on me.
Lesson Of The Day:
Don’t laugh too hard at other people’s follies, lest you become a folly yourself!