I believe everyone has the unusual (if small and odd) super power. Mine comes in the form of an ability to cause strangers to want to help me with things of not great consequence.(1)
This can take many forms, but most often involves small favors in retail or foodservices. I’m the queen of using expired coupons, getting items on sale when the sale actually ended yesterday and returning things without receipts. I’m not obnoxious at all about these things; I just ask really nicely, smile (somewhat pitifully, I’ve been told) and am more often than not the glad recipient of largess. Many times I don’t even ask — I just get samples and freebies and other goodnesses — I think it has to do with the fact that I consider it part of my “job” to be pleasant and entertaining when I’m shopping.
Sadly, this gift doesn’t extend to anything truly large (no Ed McMahon on my doorstep with a Publishers Clearinghouse Check), though I have streeeeeetched it (more than once) to include convincing the policeman that he really wanted *not* to give me a ticket. (And, yes, for this I am *incredibly* grateful!).
This weekend my powers were in overdrive (2) . First, on Friday night we went to Blue India (more correctly known as Tandoor India), my favorite Indian place because they actually make the Chicken Tikka Masala *very* very mild when I ask for it very* very mild (which is always). Most places assume I mean “somewhat mild” or maybe “not quite as hot as they normally make it” or even “we can’t make it mild, hope she doesn’t notice” and I end up miserable with burning lips and aching belly. I Do Not Like hot food. Or even, by most people’s standards, “warm” food.
So anyway, despite the fact I haven’t been there in person for a year or two I think our waiter must’ve recognized me (maybe he recognized the voice that’s placed many many takeout orders, always for Chicken Tikka Masala *very* very mild?), because when aklikins ordered the buffet and I ordered my standard, he asked me if I wanted any bread, then kindly said that Adrian could share his bread with me from the buffet! Adrian came back with the thin, crunchy peppery stuff (I wanted naan, but there was none), so when our waiter came back I asked him if there were any naan, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t bring me a basket of naan fresh from the oven!!
Then, as if that weren’t enough, Adrian got these donut-hole-looking things for dessert. As our waiter was clearing our plates, I asked Adrian if he was going to eat his donut-hole-things (using that phrase, I think). Adrian declined, the waiter finished clearing our plates, then returned with a little bowl with two more of the little donut-hole-things, in a hot butter sauce with some sort of cream pudding on top for me! He told me what it was called as he was presenting it to me, but I was too busy making gleeful noises to capture the name. Sad, because it was delightful, and reminded me (surprisingly) of something from my childhood…
Then Saturday we headed to Nantucket Grille, home of: the only lobster roll in the area that I know of (yum! a perennial craving since my trip to Maine); a really charming, recently-displaced-from-Southern-California-waiter, who was distressed by the cold, yet eager to keep me well-stocked in potato rolls (and brought me a sample of slaw!); *and * wonderful cupcakes. (Amended: the cupcakes are quite good. The icing is *excellent* and is piled high!).
As we were departing, I stopped by the pastry case to get a few cupcakes “for the road”… I remarked aloud (yes, there are actually *some* of them that do stay *inside* my head) that I was basically “in it for the icing” and I’d just buy a tub of that if I could. One of the managers was passing through the bakery area as I said that, was amused, and responded “I’ll get you some icing!”
And, well, I jumped up and down like a little girl.
Which cracked her up.
And resulted in me getting a tub (TUB!) of icing! And they wouldn’t even let me pay for it because they’d been so amused by my delight! (I did still buy the cupcakes. All three of them, which was all they had, assuaging my guilt somewhat).
(1) I also cause grocery store lines to come to a complete and total grinding halt….waaaaay before I even get to the cashier (so, no, it’s not me “being difficult” that causes it). It’ll be some odd combo of normal-if-they-occurred-one-at-a-time-but-unbearable-if-they-all-happen-at-once-things like: travellers checques; a new trainee coming to take over the register (who doesn’t even know the code for bananas!!); the register running out of tape (after the new trainee comes over of course; and I guarantee he doesn’t know how to change the tape); the use of an out-of-state drivers permit (not license) to purchase cigarettes (it’s a permit, but she’s old enough to buy the cigarettes … yes, this confuses the trainee); etc, etc.
You get the picture. Strangely this only happens in regular grocery store lines (Harris Teeter, Food Dog, etc.) not in Target or Trader Joe’s (hear the angels? they just chorused), so I really don’ t have to deal with it all that often anymore since I only venture into a “real” grocery store once in a very blue moon.
That said, if you see me in line at a Harris Teeter, do yourself a favor and choose a different line. You can thank me later. :-)
(2) Adrian hypothesized that somehow the powers are enhanced by cold. That may be the case, but it’s still not enough for me to consider moving north. Anything below 20F is Too Cold For People. Period.