Last weekend we had the perfect weather for going out side and exploring the world. By ‘exploring the world’ I mean sitting outside on a riverside café terrace sipping a beer with a friend (not the same beer because that would be creepy) and watching the ducks play chicken with passing boats.
As relaxing as this environment can be there are a few things to be wary of. At any moment you could be dive bombed by a duck, sprayed by a passing boat or accidentally drop something into the water. The café had obviously taken this last risk into consideration since all of the menus had little foam flotation devices attached to them. This seemed to suggest that the menus were frequently lost to a watery grave. Unfortunately I found out just how frequently when a sudden gust of wind pulled the menu out of my hands and dropped it into the water amongst a group of ducks. The sounds of people from near by tables trying to suppress their laughter told me that my menu dunking had not gone un-witnessed.
The menu was already too far out for me to reach myself and the ducks showed no signs of helping as it slowly drifted farther away. Instead they simply looked at it with confusion, then disappointment and finally utter disdain that it was not food. If they had taken the time to examine it more closely they might have realized they could have used it to order as much food as they would care to eat (as long as they had a way of paying the bill of course).
Since they were too rude to help I had to embarrassingly inform one of the waitresses of my lost at sea menu. They obviously had a plan for just such an event because one of the waitresses retrieved a rather long fishing net from behind the bar. The only other use I can imagine it had involves a customer ordering the fish meal. Since the ducks did not seem bothered when she started waving the net around near them (in order to retrieve the menu) I got the impression that the café did not server roast duck. However, I had not had enough time to study the menu to really be sure.
Unfortunately the menu had already drifted out too far for the waitress to reach with her net. When she then climb over the railing and lean out above the water I started to wonder if I would be held responsible for the drowning of a waitress as well as the lost menu. Since the café had already seen fit to attach flotation devices to all the menus it might have been a good idea to also make inflatable water wings a mandatory part of the waitresses’ uniform just in case they followed the fait of the menu they were trying to retrieve.
As the waitress leaned out over the water the ducks finally started to show some interest and approached. Maybe they had finally worked out what the menu was for and thought she was coming over to take their order or they just find the idea of watching someone fall in the water as funny as humans do.
Luckily the waitress was saved from an early bath when she was able to enlist the help of a passing boat. The boat had to circle a few times acrobatically to get close enough but managed to avoid spraying us.
By this time the whole café had stopped to watch the events unfold and clapped when the menu was spared a death at sea. I almost felt like I should have taken a bow but instead I returned to my seat with my soggy menu. This time I clutched it very tightly as I browsed its offerings.
Some where down the river a ducks quack sounded a little too much like laughter.