Ever find yourself eagerly anticipating the answer to the question, “What the hell just happened?” I seem to be searching for the answer to this question a lot lately; in the car, at restaurants, at work, etcetera. Seriously, what the hell just happened?
I’m in B2 Burrito Bistro yesterday afternoon waiting to pick up order #175, minding my own business, when out of nowhere (turned out to be somewhere actually) several thousand droplets of cold liquid arc over my head. It’s as though I’m standing on one of those hidden fountains in a park. You know the ones. You’re taking a picture of a statue one second and the next you’re getting an enema from some clever landscape designer that probably installed hidden cameras in the bushes so he could laugh at the freshly irrigated colons of his unsuspecting victims. You know, those ones.
The aroma of my free shower was familiar to me immediately. Slightly skunky, yet somehow pale and golden, like the fading sunshine of the fifth of May south of the border. Like melted gold nuggets strained through a gym sock. Like a freshly-picked ear of corn taped down to the most popular seat on a city bus. Like a…well you get the idea. It smelled both good and bad simultaneously the way bad beer always does: good because it’s beer, bad because it’s bad beer.
At first I thought that perhaps someone who recognized me thought it would be great to say hello with something cold and wet the way a dog says hi by rubbing it’s nose on you. This idea seemed ridiculous before I even finished constructing it so I decided to investigate.
I turned around to learn more about my attacker and found myself face to face with a guy who looked like he thought I was going to fit him for concrete shoes. (Do I look THAT mean??) I was slightly irritated at being soaked in beer before I turned around and discovered that the person responsible was sorrier than a dude wearing a banana suit in a gorilla pen. Before I finished my turn the stranger, baseball cap askew, mouth agape, beer dripping in his hand, started into one of the most awkward apologies I’ve ever been party to.
“Oh my god buddy I’m so sorry. That was ridiculous.”
I gathered my composure and considered giving a speech about the failure of mankind and society in supporting his fellow lunch-goer by not dousing him in cold, crisp beverages, but before I could say anything else he ran to get napkins. Sweet. Suddenly I’m being patted down like I’m going through security on the way into a Santana concert, the pungent odor of Mexican lager fresh in my nostrils like autumn rains on a recycling center. I tried to ward off the well-intentioned beer dispenser.
“Don’t worry about it man, I smell like beer all the time.”
Yeah, because you want to tell a stranger your deepest flaws before introducing yourself. I’m so glad I didn’t say something clever instead like, “Boy that was quite a coronal discharge.” But instead I decided to go the route that made the poor guy feel like I thought I deserved to be splashed with Corona on my lunch break. Apparently they gave him a lime, and I’ve covered myself in Corona enough times to know that the moment you turn that bottle upside-down to get the lime to the bottom…you generally end up in a situation that calls for paper towels.
I bet this guy didn’t expect to touch another man with napkins during lunch.
I got my burritos and shoved my handful of condiments and beer-soaked napkins into the bag with them. Somewhere in the back of my head a voice whispered, “retreat.” I listened.