Dancing for who?

Sometimes these days, even when you're social distancing you could use a little more distance. Hold on! Don't run off. This isn't about COVID but the coronavirus might have led to it.

I was having lunch and the seating was limited. She was sitting in a booth with two older folks who appeared to be her parents. The parents appeared to be in their 70s. She was in her 50s, I'd guess.

Their lunches had come and gone and at first I thought they were being just a tad inconsiderate by lingering at the table while others waited to be seated according to capacity limits, but I learned they were waiting for their check and waiting and waiting.

She was telling the folks about her latest visit to the doctor who had told her she wasn't getting any younger and needed to take better care of herself.

She tended to talk a bit loud. Loud enough that when she broached the topic of her various test results and what she went through to have them done, the family across the room made eye contact with me and we all grimaced.

She was going on about her various ailments and her folks seemed to have dozed off. At least it looked that way their heads were on their chests and Pop seemed to be asleep.

That's when her phone rang she left it on the table and commenced to use the speaker phone option.

It was her husband.

"You still eatin'?" he asked.

"We're waiting on the bill," she explained to him and everyone else in the place. "What do you need?"

"When you come back, stop and get me a coupling for this line," he said. "I need a "

She interrupted "Can't you just call them and tell them what you need? I'll forget. Call them and tell them exactly what you want and that your wife will stop and pick it up."

He told her he didn't have his phone handy and couldn't call wherever it was that had the coupler.

She said OK, but me and the woman across the way gave each other a questioning look if he was calling her, why couldn't he call the shop?

She hunted up a pen and smoothed out her napkin.

"OK I'm ready," she said.

What came next was somewhat of an Abbott and Costello "Who's On First" bit only involving two-inch and one-inch pipes with male ends and the need for a double-female end coupler.

She wasn't getting the idea and he wasn't explaining it very well.

All of a sudden, the older gentleman jolted awake and fairly shouted out "Is it threaded or pressed?"

She felt the need to repeat the question although I would think the distant husband might have heard the older man without the use of the telephone

"PVC," answered the husband.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked somewhat indignantly.

"The pipe is PVC," husband answered.

"Can't you just call them?" the woman implored.

"Gray or white PVC?" the old man blurted out.

The family across the way covered their mouths to hide their chuckles.

"Would you folks like some dessert?" the waitress asked the woman.

"Do you want me to bring you a dessert?" the woman shouted at the phone.

"A what?" asked the husband.

"Gray or white PVC?" shouted the old man.

"I'll come back in a few minutes," said the waitress.

"Stop staring," the mother across the way whispered her children.

"I'd have a piece of apple pie," said the husband.

"I'll get it go," said the woman.

"Well I'm not coming there to get it," said the husband.

"If you did you could stop and get your own coupler," the woman said into the phone. She then made quite a show of ending the call.

The waitress came and took their plates and other debris away.

"Would you like dessert?" the waitress asked.

"He wants apple pie," the suddenly-involved older woman said.

"I don't want pie," the old man said to no one in particular.

The family woman across the way choked on her soda when she tried to stifle her laugh.

"I have to stop and get that coupler," the younger woman replied. "I don't have time to mess with pie."

The waitress handed over the bill and hurried away with the dirty dishes.

"Did he say if he wanted white or gray?" asked the old man.

"I don't know," said the younger woman. "I have to get going I have to work tonight."

The older woman added, "Oh I wish you didn't work at that place."

The younger woman, now looking desperately for the napkin with the coupler sizes on it (I'm fairly certain the waitress took it away with the dirty dishes), said, "Momma, it's my job. I'm dancing for the lord"

And just like that they were all gone and the silence in the dining room was deafening.

No time for pie?

White or gray PVC?

Dancing for the lord?

The mysteries of the universe are many these days.

The author is the editor of the CLARION NEWS.