My sister and I have had many incidents through the years when we have laughed so hard we could hardly talk. There is one incident in particular that “lives in infamy” in our memories. We went to a family reunion together, a road trip of 800 miles, it was the first family reunion that she and I attended together that was with the brothers, sisters and cousins of our genetic father who died in a plane wreck when I was 3 months short of being 3 years old and my sister was 3 months short of being born. I went the first one of those reunions I have attended, these relatives have them every year and my mother and stepfather had always been invited but never went, with a close friend of mine the year previous to the one my sister and I attended. The family reunion is a story of its own which I will save for another time, this story is about the funniest dinner I have ever had and possibly the most fun one as well. To make the events leading up to this dinner very “minimalized” let me suffice it to say that for the most part it was a very fun road trip with a certain amount of stress but my sister and I are very good at traveling together, when one of us needs to stop for any reason we always happily do so, and enjoy each other’s company and have the same tastes in food and enjoy eating. On the last day of this trip when we were 3 hours from home (the place we journeyed to for the reunion was 8 hours from where we lived so we made it a 3 day trip – 1 day to drive to the location of the reunion day for the actual reunion event and 1 day to travel home) and we were both hungry and were approaching the last small town on our way before we would be in a very large city at 5:00 if we waited any longer to eat. So we decided to eat at the convenient location and it was a well known “resort” destination so we had high expectations that the food would be good. When we entered the hotel we sort of got an idea that the place was a bit pretentious but didn’t see any reason to let that deter us from having dinner. We first went to the bar to have a cocktail and relax a bit from the 5 hours of driving we had just completed. My sister and I walked into the bar and we both ordered Bloody Mary’s from the fairly old waiter that asked us what we wanted. It was the most boring one we had ever had and we started giggling when we both sipped on it and thought that very thought. A very young waiter noticed us laughing and came over to ask if we needed anything else and I told him that we wanted to have dinner there when we finished our drink. He told us that he would put our names on the “waiting list” and walked away. My sister and I looked around to see who was waiting and there was absolutely no one in the bar or restaurant and we exchanged a smile with each other over the thought that we would actually have to wait for something when there was no one around. We finished our drinks and walked into the restaurant and were greeted by a middle aged woman who asked if we had reservations even though there was still no one there. We looked around and saw almost all empty tables but politely replied that we had the waiter had put us down for a reservation. The woman looked in the reservation book even though I couldn’t see very well upside down it is obvious there weren’t very many names in it. “I don’t see your name here but if you will be done by seven thirty I have a table that isn’t needed until then, will that work?” My sister and I looked sideways at each other and replied, “If it takes us more than an hour and a half to eat there would have to be a problem. Oh sorry, that will be plenty of time, thank you.” The lady took us to a table in the fairly large and totally empty dining room, though I did notice four people had just come walking up to the reservation desk as the lady led us to a table. The table was by the very large window overlooking the scenic river that the hotel and restaurant were named after so we could at least look out at the beautiful setting the place was in even if the people working there were a bit on the “snooty” side. The place might be a bit on the pretentious side but hopefully the food would live up to our expectations as it looked like it possibly could. The waiter came to the table and asked if we wanted a beverage while looking at the menu and we couldn’t help ourselves so we asked for “a Bombay Martini, shaken not stirred.” Our order didn’t even get a smile from the waiter and he turned and walked away. As soon as he walked off another man came to the table and said something with a very heavy accent that we figured out were the specials of the day but there was no way to understand what he had told us. It was time to look at the menu. “So did you understand any of what he just said?” “Not much, it was more like he had marbles in his mouth than an accent, kind of odd if you ask me. I guess I don’t want any of the specials since I don’t know what they are after hearing that odd snob explain them to me in some language that I don’t think exists.” We started to laugh. “I didn’t know dinner was going to include entertainment as well as food but this should be fun, or should I say funny, as well as tasty I hope.” Just about then the apparent maître-de comes over to the table behind us and we can over hear him explain the specials to the people at that table and it sounded just the same as when he mumbled the words to us. After the man walked away from the table one of the diners at that table said out loud. “What did he just say the specials are? I couldn’t understand anything?” Another person at the table answered. “I didn’t hear them either because his accent was so strong.” Upon hearing that my sister and I looked at each other and laughed fairly quietly. There was a small room with two small tables in it which was off to the side of the main part of the restaurant and we watched as the maître-de and two young men dressed in waiter’s uniforms walked into it and we heard the maître-de address the young men in perfect English. “I want you to move these two small tables together and cover both tables with one tablecloth and put a fifth chair at the opposite end from the doors leading in here and set the table with place settings for five and then let the hostess know when it is ready. Do you understand what I want?” The two young men replied in the affirmative. I looked at my sister and we didn’t have to say a word before we burst out laughing. A waiter walked over to the table and looked at the two of us. “May I ask you what you are laughing about?” “Yes you may ask and then you can answer why the maître-de talks so weird that no one can understand him when I just heard him speak perfect English to the help?” “I had a feeling that was why you were laughing, he thinks that it will impress the customers if he has an accent.” “It is impressive alright; it is impressive what an idiot he is. No one is going to order the dinner specials because they can’t understand what he is saying.” “Let me help you with that part then, we have a seafood special with a crab cocktail, a small lobster tail and large prawns that are grilled and served with a drawn butter dipping sauce like the lobster tail along with risotto and a green salad. We also have broiled lamb chops served with a wine reduction sauce that is served with a stuffed baked potato and sautéed green beans.” “When I couldn’t understand what the specials were I was going to order from the regular menu but now that I know what they are I want the seafood special.” My sister order the lamb chops. As the waiter walked away my sister and I burst out laughing again. The waiter brought a basket of bread and a plate with an assortment of raw and pickled vegetables with a small dish with dipping sauce and placed the food on the table along with glasses of ice water. Then the fake maître-de brought us soup and said something else that was unintelligible as he set them in front of us. That was the last straw, as soon as he turned away we started laughing so hard we were practically choking on our soup. The people at the other table even looked at us but all we could do was try not to look at each other because if we did we immediately burst out laughing. The waiter came back to the table and he smiled a little bit. “Your dinners should be ready in about fifteen minutes, is there anything else you would like before then?” We managed to choke out an answer. “Thanks but I think you have brought us enough to keep us happy until then.” The waiter brought out our dinner in about the fifteen minutes that he mentioned and set plates of very fine looking food in front of us and then asked if we wanted fresh ground pepper on anything. I noticed that the small red potatoes that were mixed with new white potatoes had been trimmed up to look like mushrooms and couldn’t resist making a comment. “Yes I would love to have pepper on everything and could I also get some butter for my mushrooms?” “Actually those are all potatoes, the chef just likes to make the food look nice and trims the red potatoes up to look like mushrooms but they are really potatoes and I would be happy to bring you some butter as soon as I finish giving everyone fresh ground pepper that wants it.” He looked at my face when he finished talking and he could tell by the smile I was sharing with my sister that I already knew that there were no mushrooms in the potatoes. He didn’t say anything but my sister then made a priceless comment. “We will make sure we put that in our review.” The waiter kind of acted a little nervous and walked away to get the butter I had asked for. We had ordered a nice bottle of wine so it gave my sister’s comment some credence and we were dressed up in the nice clothes we brought for the family reunion that we didn’t end up wearing (because we arrived on the day of the reunion instead of a day early like we had thought we were doing, that is also another story) so we could have been working for a magazine so instead of paying cash like we had originally planned I put the meal on my company credit card just to complete the rouse of eating at the restaurant for an assignment. We had an excellent meal and the most fun I have ever had at a restaurant.