This may or may not be a true story

I went to the beach this past weekend with…some people. And while I was there, these…people and I decided to go out to dinner at a fairly nice restaurant in town. I’d eaten there before and was glad to go back, because after all, most everything on the menu is fresh seafood smothered in some kind of rich delectable sauce. What’s not to love?

So me and my…posse…go out and have wine and sangria and yummy salads and the most deliciously buttery, warm, fresh grouper in the whole world, which just happens to be covered in, oh yes, golden smooth bearnaise with just a hint of heat. After this orgasmic meal we’re all sitting back in our chairs, fat and happy, eyes glazed over in ecstasy when suddenly I hear next to me:

“SHIT! Shit, shit SHIT!”

And at first it doesn’t register, you know? You don’t really equate someone screaming “shit!” with a nice restaurant. You don’t automatically think, Yes, that’s something that totally happens here all the time, when you see the woman that gave birth to you your dinner partner leap from her chair at the table and scramble over top of you to get out and away. Away from what, you ask?

Away from the cockroach.

This nice establishment, it seems, has a little problem with bugs. Now granted, I’ll be the first to admit that we live in the extremely hot and humid South, where roaches (or water bugs or Palmetto bugs or whatever you want to call them) like to hang out. In fact, I’ll also admit right here on The Interwebs that we’ve found a handful in our house on occasion. Roaches like to either a) come in out of the rain to find a nice dry spot or b) come in out of the dry miserable heat to find some water. Odds are likely that if you live here and your house isn’t brand new and built on a concrete slab you’re gonna encounter one of these things at some point in your life.

But I bet you didn’t figure you’d find one RUNNING OVER YOUR FOOT in a swanky eatery. Me neither, and my table mate didn’t think so apparently, what with the SHIT SCREAMING SHE DID.

So here we are, drunk on mostly wine but also some food, and the other four of us are looking around quite befuddled because we don’t exactly know what’s going on. I mean, we know my mother this woman has abandoned our table and run for the hills but at first we aren’t quite sure why, and then we hear her saying something about a roach and can someone please get the manager and then the next thing I know, my aunt another one of our nameless table mates has pulled the maitre d’ to the side to start asking for the bearnaise recipe and Oh, don’t worry about her, it was just a little Palmetto bug and so tell me will you, did Chef use this or that in his sauce and do you see, Elizabeth, do you see how I’m distracting everyone from this minor little scene with my recipe request, do you see how no one NO ONE AT ALL notices what’s going on here? and so then I walk out the front door because my cell phone is ringing and I think someone else paid for my meal but I’m not sure because in the all the hubbub I might’ve yelled at the table next to us with its rubberneckers and therefore wasn’t paying attention to the bill and LOOK! Here comes the crowd! And they’re acting like it didn’t happen.


We get in the car to go back to the beach house AND NO ONE SAYS A WORD. Someone points out the pretty white lights on the water, someone else points out our friends’ beach house and would ya looky there it seems they’re home this weekend but NO ONE MENTIONS THE SPECTACLE.

This, Internet, is why I love being part of a Southern crazy go nuts family group of people. Shit like this happens. Maybe. On the one hand, the liquor might have made you hallucinate a little, but on the other hand, probably it did happen. Until you mention it later and people are like, Huh? What are you talking about? I recall nothing of the sort. And so then you’re left to wonder whether you’re actually crazy and all that, er, stuff you did in college is coming back to haunt you or whether all the other people are crazy and you’re the only normal one.

But then I get a text message saying that there’s an INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT! at the farm, except that I’m two hours away and so I call my dad to find out what’s up only to get his voicemail and so should I worry about it? Well yeah, maybe, so I call my brother only he’s not answering his phone either and WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH MY FAMILY TONIGHT? It’s all good the next day, though, when I get the message from my dad that says, in all its Southern accent glory, “There was an intrudah at the fahm, honey, and that intrudah…was me.”

So yeah, whatever notion I had that maybe I’m the normal one was either totally confirmed or completely debunked, whichever way you look at it.

5 thoughts on “This may or may not be a true story

  1. Josie says:

    I love this in so many ways. I am a firm believer in if you don’t discuss it, it’s not real. Useful in wholesale denial of gross dining conditions, not so useful when trying to avoid longstanding, deepseeded family issues and/or therapy.

  2. RUTH WOODLEY says:


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