Israel Stories

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Slurper

I have very few pet hates and none of them are really earth shattering or out of the realm of what might be considered normal. If my socks are not sorted into shades, my shirts hung in alphabetical order according to make and my shoes sorted by season, I just lose it. But seriously, my biggest hate is noisy eaters. Having to listen to someone eating like a cement mixer is frankly the worst mental torture I can think of. Gum is the worst, but soup definitely comes a close second.

The restaurant was packed. The noise was deafening. American yeshiva kids yelling from table to table, four Israeli taxi drivers all apparently called Achi discussing their best fair of the day and the hub of families and friends laughing, arguing and chatting.

Above all this rose the noise of a slurper’. He sat there oblivious to world slurping his soup. Every slurp sounded like tearing paper magnified a hundred times. And it got worse. The slurper was sitting right behind me, with his head barely inches from mine, in this most crowded of restaurants.

I couldn’t carry on my meal. I felt sick angry and frustrated. I practiced my best sarcastic lines like ‘my, your soup sounds nice, can I wallow in it with you’ or ‘I didn’t know they raised pigs in Jerusalem’. The sensitivities of the others dining with me, plus a certain amount of English decorum prevented me from venting. But that didn’t stop me planning an attack with an outcome nobody could have predicted not even me.

Anybody who has read my blog will know that I have a near pathological hatred of cats especially the ones that use my garden as a toilet and playground. I cured my cat problem with a hose, some very cold water and lightening reactions (actually it was mainly the hose and the water.).

Now my plan was coming together. I asked the waiter for a jug of water. Then as he brought it to me I stood up quickly, startling him, he lost balance and as I went to catch him I bent his hand back so the water poured over Mr Slurpy.

Well that did the trick, sort of. I spent the rest of night begging the manager not to fire the waiter, explaining the whole story to him.

I went to get my coat still on the back of my chair. As I did I slipped on the water and very ungracefully sailed into Mr Slurpy. My shoulder hit the table sending his food in all directions.

Purple faced, I retuned to begging mode. His wife came up to me and with an expression of ‘thanks mate you’ve done me a favor’ whispered “thank you, he is such a noisy eater, its so embarrassing and I was looking for an excuse to go home, you’ve saved me”.

Always like to do my bit for shalom bayit.

See me in the Jerusalem Post online edition and in the Jerusalem Post, In Jerusalem print edition


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