pump boys and dinettes
sometimes birthday presents come from surprising places

was it my best birthday ever?

On this date, 25 years ago, in the middle of our first-ever trip to Europe, I had my birthday dinner at a small town in France.

We spent most of the day driving north through France. I can remember stopping at one place for a beverage and a dinner roll, and thinking "is this going to be the highlight of my birthday?" I tried not to say anything, but it was kinda depressing.

Then we stopped for the night, and went to a restaurant that was next to a creek and had outdoor seating. The seating was a bit haphazard ... folding chairs and tables ... and the proximity of the creek meant the ground was damp. At one point, as I was making some brilliant comment about some very important item, I started to sink. The damp ground was swallowing up my chair, and slowly but surely I dropped down while everyone else laughed. OK, I laughed, too ... face it, by that point we were all drunk.

We weren't the only drunk ones, but more about that in a second. First, the food. I ordered a plate of various meats. What arrived was a huge basket full of salamis and hams and sausages, along with a knife. I was told to cut off whatever I wanted. This was, as you can imagine, my idea of heaven.

About that other drunk person. When the first bottle of wine arrived, my soon-to-be brother-in-law who later became my ex-brother-in-law but who was important to this story because he was the only one of us who spoke French, this fine fellow invited the waiter to join us in a glass. Which he did. After that, every time we refilled, the waiter refilled as well. On through the night we went, until I couldn't take it anymore and I wandered off to take a leak (my bladder worked better in those younger days). I get to the bathroom, but someone is there, leaning against the wall and pissing, so I wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, the guy emerges ... and yes, it was our waiter. Seems I wasn't the only one with too much liquid in my system.

By the time this post appears, I'll be spending my birthday in Spain, alongside John and Katie, whose anniversary falls on June 20, as well, and who will be with us for the Nerja leg of our vacation. Hopefully, I'll have something lovely to report then.

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