Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Bill please - To good ol' times!




'Oh, goody-good! Ricky and family will be coming for the party too,' thought Shaina. That made it five families for dinner. All that remained was to confirm the table reservation at Ho-China, currently a popular eat-out. Soon everything was set and she confirmed the time and the venue of the meet on the Whatsapp chat group she had specially created for the occasion, her 35th birthday!
The boisterous group met on the designated day and what fun it was to catch up with old friends! Back-slaps, air-kisses and hugs were exchanged, kids' hair sufficiently ruffled, cheeks pulled and ohhh-cho-chweet-ed!
Old college mates, Tina, Ricky, Ayesha, Vipin and Shaina had finally caught up with each other on  Facebook. Fourteen years had passed since they'd last set eyes on each other, but it seemed just like yesterday. 
The large cake ordered by the gang, in honor of Shaina's birthday was duly cut with fanfare and a lot of cake-smearing! Conversation, double-helpings of food, desserts and drinks flowed freely, aiding the bonhomie of the evening!
Conversations ranged from, 'So what are you upto these days' to 'How Brexit could have been avoided' to 'The latest holiday destination' and leg-pullings like 'How the awkward Vipin had transformed thus and landed such a beautiful wife!'
Everyone profusely thanked Shaina for organizing such a fantastic get-together and forcing them all somehow, to make it to this event!
Around 11 p.m, Mr Shaina rose with a contented sigh and started, 'Hey, listen guys, I have an early morning flight to catch tomorrow and the kids look practically asleep, I'll take them home by a cab. Shaina darling, you drive yourself back and enjoy the party okay? Bye folks, see y'all soon,' and with a casual wink and flying kiss to Shaina, he took off.

Within minutes, Shaina received a call and she moved aside to take it. She signaled to the gang waiting at the table that she couldn't get the network, so she was going out to take the call. 
The clock ticked to well past 11.30 p.m, spouses started shifting uneasily and kids started drooping but there was no sign of Shaina. Her phone responded with a 'switched off' message.
The hosts of the party had vanished with no trace and the waiter was hovering around restlessly with the bill. 'Told-you so...should never have come...how typical of your friends' and other barely restrained mutterings abounded.
Eventually the bill was settled and the company made their way out with ill-disguised bitterness!
Just as they were exiting the venue, they spotted the missing Shaina, hurrying along from the parking area. Spotting them, she exclaimed, 'Ohhh, you guys are leaving? Aww, my poor babies got too sleepy is it? Naughty Shaina aunty! The network here is unbelievable! Had to walk down two blocks to get it! Hey! You settled the bill too....ohh, you shouldn't have! I know its my birthday and all....tch,tch, you folks are too sweet! Next time it's on me, promise? I hope you picked up the cake? I'd told them to pack it up, there's no point in wasting a good cake, is there? No, you didn't? Never mind, I'll take care of it....see you all soon dearies!'

After hugging them all warmly in farewell, off she headed to collect the remains of the celebration

So, that dear folks was our category two, yep you guessed right - the MIA's!
I had a tough time cooking this one up, hats off to real-life MIA's, amazing people!

Do join me again for the next episode in the Bill please series!



DISCLAIMER: 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


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A quick recap to help you understand what Category 2 -MIA refers to: 

I have managed to segregate people into six categories based on their distinctive reactions upon sighting the bill. I also hasten to add that one cannot be indefinitely slotted into a particular category, after all human reactions vary according to situations, don’t they?

The MIA (missing-in-action) guys with their incredible disappearing act belong to the second category. Rather than muscle about or debate over the bill, these chaps prudently avoid any such exchanges by vanishing from the scene the moment they perceive its arrival.
It is as good a time as any other to check out the wash-room facilities of the set-up, have a puff, attend an emergency call or just disapparate, they decide.
They are convinced followers of the opinion – Escape while you still can. 
Of course, they are not shallow enough to gloat over their escape; instead they’ll sadly remark, ‘Oh, paid already? Missed it! It’s on me next time, promise?’




 

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