Last night, after work, I met Toby Joe at one of our favorite wine bars in Brooklyn called D.O.C.. Keith, (Toby’s coworker), and Gerry joined us. D.O.C. has some of the best cheeses I have ever inserted into my face. And their sandwiches look delightful, though, considering the diet and all, I haven’t had one. Instead, I order the goods (cheese) sans the bread. Last night, we ordered a cold-cut/cheese and veggie platter, a cheese and mushroom and pasta fondue of sorts, and a plate of real Parmesan cheese—the kind that makes your face hurt. We sipped on white wine from Italy and conversed.
D.O.C. has a dark, wooden interior. One might even be convinced that they are dining at someone’s personal estate while vats and vats of aging wine lie in a cellar below. And if you’re facing the interior of the restaurant, with your back to the street, you can convince yourself there are vines crawling up the windows acting as natural curtains that unveil the rolling hills of an Italian countryside. There is a candle on every table. And they help ease the atmosphere. Shadows flicker on every wall, casting the outlines to human hands and the reflections of wine glasses.
I could sit there for hours. And I have. It combines four of my favorite things: wine, cheese, candlelight, and conversation. From what I have been told, D.O.C has aided in getting a many a men laid, too; first date or not, the boys are bound to score. Ladies cannot refuse a man after sipping fine wine by candlelight.
Last night, considering I’m generally a sure thing for Toby Joe, it was all about the conversation and not so much the wooing. Two bottles into the evening, the waiter came over to fill our glasses with the remainder of the second bottle and to ask if we wanted anything else. Gerry brought up the fact that we were still waiting on one more dish, but otherwise, we were OK. The waiter, not catching the last bit of what he said bent down a little closer to hear him. Behind him there was a candle.
Ooooo, that’s a bit hot.
Gerry realized what he was referring to immediately.
Yeah, there’s a candle there. Are you OK?
Yes, I’m fine. I’ll get the other dish.
The waiter turned to leave. And that’s when we saw the flames. Our waiter’s ass was on fire.
Gerry leapt up from his chair. Both Keith and I stopped talking as if the tape making up our words had suddenly run out. I’m not sure what Toby Joe was doing. Gerry began to say something.
I’m not trying to get fresh with you but…
… And that’s when Gerry began slapping the man on the ass repeatedly.
And we all stared in open-mouthed shock.
After the initial shock wore off, I snorted like a wild boar every time the guy walked by. While that’s unbelievably rude
– I am aware – it became a reflex. I simply could not control myself. And to think, later that night, he went home and told a girlfriend or a wife, “I lit myself on fire tonight and this table of four laughed at me.”
I’m still laughing at him and his new half-shirt. I will laugh at this for years if not forever. This is as funny as that time Toby Joe was on Pixar’s a Bug’s Life in Walt Disney World and one of the little mechanical termites moved back and forth over his sphincter on the seat below and his entire body went rigid. But that’s a story for another rainy day indeed.