Have you ever had an otherwise pleasant dining experience marred by the fact that you sat next to some blowhard? It happened to us last night.
I didn’t notice the couple when we passed their table and were seated at the next table over. As soon as we were seated, however, I heard the guy’s droning nasal voice yammering non-stop, with nary an interruption from his unfortunate dining companion. I tried hard to tune it out — really, I did — but his voice was so loud and insistent in explaining some mind-numbing workplace occurrence that it kept intruding into our dinner table conversation. I think he was a professor or literary type; at one point he actually held forth on how quotation marks should always precede punctuation marks. (Seriously!) This tweedy tool was so dull and self-absorbed he could have bored his own mother.
When the couple finally left it was a relief, but there was one last moment of interest. As they were gathering their things, the guy, perhaps experiencing a faint moment of self-awareness, finally asked the woman a question, about one of her friends. When she said the friend had been on a respirator for 45 days — I swear I am not making this up! — the guy didn’t know what to say, so he muttered something, then said, brightly, “let’s do it again soon!”
I sat with my back to the couple and I never turned around, although I was tempted. I’m not sure what the appropriate etiquette is in that situation, although I expect it doesn’t involve telling the Leaden Professor to shut his yap and stop boring the entire restaurant with his dim-witted yakking.