I delight when friends visit from Scotland. My joy at their arrival is surpassed only by my happiness as I wave goodbye a week – or, God forbid, two weeks – later.
However, I was particularly glad to say farewell to two recent visitors, Roddy and Alex, long-time Scottish friends. A most embarrassing moment happened in a steak-house. We managed to order steaks and red wine without any obvious faux pas. However, half way through the meal, Roddy whispered urgently, “I have to leave right now!”
“What’s wrong?” I enquired. He explained. After their meal the two ladies at the next table had put on their coats and left. Roddy noticed they had left half a bottle of red wine. Not wanting to waste it, he emptied it into our glasses.
I reassured him that the ladies had obviously ordered more than they could drink. “It’s not okay,” he said in terror, “They’re back. They were only having a cigarette!”
With that, Roddy went to the loo, leaving yours truly to make a red-faced explanation in primitive French. Thankfully, they saw the funny side of it and Roddy was released from his self-imposed exile.
The only bright side to the whole embarrassing affair came when the ladies asked which country we hailed from. All three of us answered in one voice, “England!”
Father Steve Gilhooley
Our Lady of Faith, Roman Catholic Church, Lausanne.