Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ahhh, Small Town Living

Last night we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. As we arrived and were seated, another patron kept squinting at us in a kind of unfriendly way. At first I thought she was just being rude, but I quickly figured out she was trying to figure out who we were. How sad, I thought, she's all alone at the restaurant.

Then the staff of the restaurant began to try to gently escort her out the door. She was shuffling her feet and very unsteady. How really sad, I thought - she's obviously got a vision problem and maybe some other health concerns. And how nice that they are helping her get to her car. At about this point I began to worry about how she had GOTTEN to the restaurant with these medical conditions. Something was not adding up.

Then, the staff of the restaurant went to a neighboring table, where two couples, acquaintances of ours, were eating, and asked the men something in a quiet voice. The men got up, and one cheerfully went to the woman to offer her a ride home in her car while the other guy followed in his car. How nice, I thought. These guys are bailing out this poor, blind, shuffling (young) woman so she can get home.

As soon as it was appropriate to do so ("appropriate" in small-town lingo being approximately four seconds after the door is shut behind the woman and the two men), I asked the wives what the story was. And here it is:

Apparently the woman got so drunk from the one Long Island iced tea she ordered while waiting for her to-do order that she was unsafe to drive home, and the staff at the Mexican restaurant would not let her drive herself home. (I suspect either an underlying medical condition, a contraindication with prescription drugs, or that the woman had been drinking before she got to the restaurant, but that's really beside the point.)
It turns out that one of the guys, C, was celebrating his birthday when he got conscripted to this duty! What a nice guy! Also, because he's Hispanic, the woman he drove home assumed he was the owner of the restaurant - but at least she said nice things. *sigh* C was very gracious at all the appalling, vaguely racist things she said during the drive home. *double sigh* He also told us that she had trouble a) getting to the street she lived on, and b) identifying her house once they were on the correct street.

This tells me a number of things: 1. Have a designated driver if you are going to drink anything at Casa de Oro (or anywhere, really). 2. The staff at Casa de Oro will not let you drive home if you are drunk. They may ask other patrons to help, but they will make sure that you and your car get home safely. 3. Good people will help out drunk people in this small town - even if they are perfect strangers to one another. 4. Racism, benign though it might have been in this case, is still alive and well (not that we didn't know that already). 5. When you do good deeds, they become funny stories.
Happy birthday, C!!! Hope it got better and better as the night went on!

No comments: