It has become a thing — this business of paying another person’s tab in a restaurant or grocery store. Not only is it a good thing but there is much fun to be had, assuming it doesn’t backfire on you.
Let me give you a f’rinstance.
Last week, Eric and I went out for noon lunch. Eric is kind of a joker — always was, always will be. As we were talking and laughing (sometimes at volume, given challenges to hearing in a noisy restaurant) Eric noticed a group of women at a nearby table glancing over at us.
When it appeared we had finished eating, the waitress brought the bill and Eric said, “Give it to those ladies over there.” And the waitress, being well accustomed to dealing with smart-alec codgers like us, went ahead and did it, quick as a wink.
Well, Eric hadn’t expected that and hollered “Wait, wait, it’s just a joke,” when the other diners shot us dirty looks. They went back to talking between themselves, and we, having dodged that embarrassing bullet, continued our conversation.
We sat talking for another ten minutes after the women had left. When we were ready to leave, we called for the bill and were informed that, “oh, those ladies paid it after all.”
So I suppose that when we go out again, we are going to have to buy lunch for someone else, and hope they subsequently pass on the favor. It will be a hoot.