Its your Birthday so you can darn well have whatever I decide you can have...

Yesterday lunchtime a group of four were booked in for lunch, they'd requested a 'nice' table as it was a Birthday celebration.(You'd be surprised how many diners ring up and make this sort of request,I'm often tempted to respond with 'oh I'm very sorry we only have nasty tables').
Anyway,I sat them on the biggest table in the centre of the pub in full view of the bar,fireplaces and blackboard menu.All bases covered.
The Birthday Boy was how can I put this pleasantly? Quite senior,and not very quick on his feet.
As they perused the menu the wife was overheard to say:
'Well ..its your 87th birthday today so you have WHATEVER you want,have a look,WHATEVER you want I say'
When we went over to take the order the old boy asked for the sausages.I was just  making a note of this when the wife pipes up:

The old fella looks back up at the blackboard, frantically searching for something else and feeling under pressure I'm sure, as the other three had by now ordered.
The wife raises her eyebrows and says:
'You can have a rump steak, that'll be a treat,cooked medium to well done please'
As the order went to the kitchen,I was already fearful.
In our experience many older people tender to cope better with easier textures.Generally, even with fish they favour the bottom feeders,flat fish with tender flesh as opposed to the meatier varieties,so how an 87 year old was going to cope with a M-W done steak was mildly alarming at the very least.
I was also mindful of  the Danish Chocolate Biscuit cake incident and the 90 year old tooth which was unfortunately displaced.Shudder.

Not long after the meals were served,an unearthly gutteral sound began to emanate from the party table.The Cynical One and I looked at each other without speaking.We knew immediately what was happening.I wished the sound away. I'm good in a crisis but medical ones aren't my forte and anyway I have no training in the Heimlich manoeuvre.Diners at the other tables put down their cutlery.There it was again and they were bloody centre stage due to having the winning ticket on prime table jackpot.There wasn't a single person there that couldn't see what was happening.
The wife seemed unconcerned.She continued chatting to the rest of the party.The Cynical One admirably went over and enquired if everything was allright and would they like a glass of water.
At this point the wife whacked the old boy on the back with some force,at the same time saying very loudly: 'BREATHE'
Thankfully this seemed to do the trick.Thank God.I had already visualised the headline in our local rag:
'87 year old chokes on birthday tea at local Inn after winning prime table jackpot'
We can purée if required.

As the plates were cleared we noted Old Boys napkin had been placed over his food(always an ominous sign)none of which had been eaten,well some briefly then obviously returned to the plate.
He apologised.

As the pudding order was taken,the wife turned to the Birthday Boy and said 'I don't think you should have anything else,we don't want to overdo it do we?'

I could have cried,a bit of ice cream might have soothed his poor old throat..


Food Urchin said…
Bloody hell, what a sad story
Aww, poor old boy. I feel like hunting down and feeding him sausages until he pops.
Nicky said…
Bless him :(
Anonymous said…
My dad is 87 ,and he too chose sausages at his Carvery, birthday dinner. And I was glad he was so enthusiastic to eat . Sausages or not, if its what he wanted, who am I .......
One of these days...if I were you I'd get your lovely self on a first aid course. x
How old was the wifey ? This is so sad in an aww sort of way.
UrsulaFletcher said…
OMFG that made me laugh and cry at the same time :(
TheBoyandMe said…
Awww, the poor old chap! I'm not being funny but at that age it could be his last bloody birthday and she completely ruined it!
Young at Heart said…
that is sooooo sad!!
Alison Cross said…
You know, you can see the entire marriage, right there in your post, NS.

How sad that he didn't get what he wanted. But he's had a life-time of that I'm betting.

Ali x
Alison Cross said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wally B said…
I know that table very well. The suasages would have been my dad's choice too. The poor old sod would have loved them.
Anonymous said…
What a sad story, pity you weren't "out" of steak! Mean lady
PS Ive booked a first aid course!
Oldsoul-the wife looked a lot younger maybe in her late 60's,thought she was the carer at first:(
Anon-I WISH id thought to say we were out of steak.Grrrr.
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