On holiday my wife and l were eating with another couple one evening. The guy was okay, he was another cyclist, but l didn't get on too well with his wife.
It got to the pudding stage and her cheesecake wasn't right. There were a couple of specs of red on the plate, possibly someone had cut themselves in the kitchen. She wasn't happy, which was fair enough.
There was a bit of a conversation about this. If it was blood some of it might have been on the plate before the cheesecake went on it. Blood might have soaked into the biscuit base. She could end up ingesting it. She might catch something nasty. With that in mind she was trying to attract a waiter.
I asked her if she minded if l cut the cheesecake in half. "No" she said, "I'm sending it back, l don't want you messing about with it. That's rude."
I shrugged but let it slide, "So is the way you have just talked to me" I thought.
The waiter took it away.
"So you're still having the cheesecake?"
"What do you mean by that?" She said.
"Well" I said. "I've worked in kitchens. If you're busy or don't care you just change the plate over and send the same thing out again. Also, everything costs, you don't want to throw things away unless you have to."
"Oh," she said. "They wouldn't do that sort of thing here."
A cheese cake / the cheese cake, came back out of the kitchen. She looked at it. She studied it HARD. I could see her wracking her brains to remember what the last slice had looked like.
For an uncomfortable 15 minutes the cheese cake remained on her plate, uneaten, with everyone pretending that they hadn't noticed.
I used to be an auditor. You learn not to trust anyone.
I felt a bit bad about putting her off her pudding - but bearing in mind the cheesecake could have made her sick did l really have a choice?