Item to bring up if there's a lull in the conversation (or, space for blog comments, I suppose): What's the worst (or funniest) thing that ever happened to you in a restaurant? Everybody's got a story; they either laugh or cry.
There's even a Web site devoted to the subject -- www.dinnersfromhell.com. Both patrons and servers contribute and some of what they say is funny, some is disgusting, some just plain dumb. Sadly, there's plenty of whining too.
Well no wonder. After many years of eating out and/or talking to other people who eat out often, I've experienced or heard about some doozeys. The time a couple, who happened to be my parents, were waiting for their dinners in a small, now defunct place when the cook walked out of the kitchen and marched through the dining room yelling, "I quit!" Or the time when a reader was on what must have been his zillionth cup of coffee when the boss called the cops to get him out of there. Or the time when my lobster fell to the floor during service in a restaurant in Mexico and it was whisked back to the kitchen and appeared on a different dish about two minutes later. (I recognized a claw.)
Which brings me to my point, or The Question. See Paragraph One.