At dinner last night, Tim and my father and I all ordered Margaritas.
I opted for the Cadillac with Don Julio reposado tequila. Those other two got the house.
Good luck explaining to them about the bottle of Pancho Villa-wouldn’t-piss-in-it tequila they ordered. Anyway.
The waiter brings the drinks: Pinot Grigio for my mother. Coke for my sister. Coke for Chiara. Then he places my drink in front of me and announces it (as it deserved):
“the Cadillac, Señor.”
When he goes to place my father’s leper of a margarita before him, my father chimes in loudly:
The waiter pauses in mid-action, the watery concoction disguised as a margarita suspended mere inches from the tabletop. He looks at my father.
“Ford!” my father again cries out, beaming at the poor waiter.
We all sit still as statues, confused or petrified; no one has the foggiest idea what we should be doing.
“Chevy!” my father yells.
By now, people at other tables - human resource managers in town for conventions, families of Iowans just vomited forth from cruise ships, chain-smoking New Yorkers happy to have someone other than the waitstaff to sneer at - are all pausing in their conversations, forks arrested halfway to mouths, to stare at our table.
And still the waiter holds that drink above the table in front of my father, perplexed.
And still my father beams his toothy smile.
“Cadillac.” says my father, gesturing at my margarita.
“Chevy! Ford!” he exclaims, pointing at his, still hovering before him in the waiter's hand.
With a sigh of either final comprehension or relief, the waiter chuckles briefly if unconvincingly and quietly and places the margarita in front of my father and then hands the other to Tim.
I take a deep breath and resolve to eat quickly.