The waiter approached with the diet Coke, fizzy water with ice and a slice, two pints of Yorkshire Pale Ale and a Cherry B and then, for some unfathomable reason, emptied the whole lot over Noel.
I was hit by the aftershock, a few splashes and an ice cube but Noel took the full force, as the beery watery combination soaked through his shirt, jeans and the Sponge Bob Square Pants boxers he was wearing for a bet. As he stood up he made his own beer puddle, the slice of lemon slid down his shoulder and the cocktail cherry bounced across the floor, coming to rest at the sweet trolley, watched by every single person in the room.
There was a stunned silence as Noel removed the lemon slice and announced, ‘Well, THAT was refreshing!’ The waiter was very apologetic to Noel as he sprinted from the Calverley Arms to our home nearby and then again as he returned after changing clothes. Not apologetic enough, it turned out, as when the bill arrived, there was no mention of the incident. With a little prompting there was a half-hearted offer of one free drink and one free desert. Err, no, we said, that wasn’t good enough, Noel had been thoroughly soaked and I’d missed out on the cherry from the Cherry B. After a little too-ing and fro-ing, they offered 20 per cent off the bill, which considering there was ten of us and the bill was over £200, was a definite improvement. Our only regret was that if they’d made that offer in the first place, we’d all have had the lobster.
The splashathon was in honour of our friends Helen and Matthew, who were visiting from Switzerland, bringing their gorgeous two-year-old Emily to meet us all. I took a photo of Emily, but sadly not of Noel and the soaking, for which he is very grateful!