So I'm having Tofu Kew Sunday night, with my friends Beth and Helen, at Little Bangkok on Cheshire Bridge, and I'm laughing and having a good time talking about Helen's husband's fear of getting a massage by a pretty little masseuse, and his belief that he might suddenly "rise to the occasion." Unwittingly, I scoop up a light green object on my fork. Next thing I know, in goes a pepper!
The pepper is crunchy and slightly sweet; and then it explodes inside my mouth. Life takes a slightly unexpected detour over the next few minutes. At first, my mouth just loses feeling. But about 10 seconds after the numbness sets in, the pepper brings the heat!
I cough a little, and sip a little diet coke. Then it happens. An attack of uncontrollable hiccups sets in like I've never had before. Tears well up in my eyes. I can actually see the atomic aftermath eminating from my cheeks. Small, short, loud bursts coming far more rapidly than I ever remember for a case of the hiccups.
In a panic, I envision my proper, southwest Georgia mother staring at me with a glazed and fiery disapproving look. My table mates at first look horrified, and then little smirks creep up on their faces. The person at the table straight ahead looks up in dismay. I've distracted his conversation. Suddenly, it feels as if the whole room is starring at me.
My lovely and kind waitress comes over and pats my back asking, "You okay, you okay?"
Horrified of having hiccups in public, I take my water and step into the small, empty waiting area, slightly out of public view. The tiny lady behind the cash register has nothing else to look at but me in my most indelicate state. An odd thought comes to my head. "Is this what Tourette's feels like?"
To my surprise, the hiccups pass rather quickly. I go back to my table with a few too many sets of eyeballs watching my re-emergence into the dining area. But I say with a smile, "What the hell? Ain't y'all ever had the hiccups before?"
Well, instead of Helen's husband, we now had something else to laugh about. Maybe karma was getting me back for earlier making rude gestures and suggestions as I pondered the poor man's potential massage dilemma.
Instead of treating me like I have a disease, a diner or two passes by and asks if I'm okay, or comforts me with a hand on my shoulder and a smile. Guess there was no need for embarrassment after all, huh?
We pay our check and stand around outside my car as Helen smokes her prized after dinner cigarette. Then I notice a rather, tall, odd looking figure out of the corner of my eye. My head turns to the left and I see a person peering into the darkness of a parked car at the corner of the building, about 50 feet away from us.
I notice the man has a mask on his face. Not a Jason or Michael Meyers mask. But a pig snout over his nose with some sort of bushy wig on top of his head. The figure notices me looking at him and he starts to adjust his nose, making obscene gestures as he does. Then he stumbles across the street (no easy thing to do on this part of Cheshire Bridge Rd).
Such was a night at Little Bangkok. Oh, and the Tofu Kew was delicious, pepper withstanding.