I had a rare, slow day at the office today. I can still hardly believe it. I even got to eat lunch with Mr. Zoom. This never happens here. To me.
At our old firm, we ate together way more often than we didn't. When the check would come, Mr. Zoom would hand over his debit card so that we could get out and get back to the office on time. I regularly tried to thwart [yes, I said thwart] his writing in of the tip and the signing of the debit slip. That only meant we were going back to the office and I didn't want that.
Frustrated, he would sit opposite me and try to figure out if feigning disinterest was best or if threatening me with no cookies would get me to behave. "Zoom, come on. It's 2:15. We need to get back to work." "Zoom, give me the pen." "Zoom, stop jiggling the pen so I can't write." "Knock it off, monkey/knucklehead/wife."
Today when the bill came, I snatched the pen away. He went through the faces and noises. I started to get full of myself and would put the pen where he could grab it and then I'd yank it back. Laughing. Then I got the idea to try and mark him a little on his hand with the pen.
I knew he'd hate it, but I didn't know it was a fuse leading directly to an OCD bomb. I got him good on the palm of his hand. When he realized it, he used my full name. "ZOOMITY ZOOM ZOOM! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
He should totally know the answer to that already. But he keeps asking.
"Why?" he said as he tried to get the ink off of his palm. "WHY?" I was shocked by his reaction - as I anticipated something more along the lines of "That's it, I'll just go get another pen and deal with you later." I was sensitive though, and I started to laugh. A lot. And every time he'd grab his soda glass to use the condensation to get more ink off of his hand, I'd laugh even harder.
"you KNOW about me and the washing of the hands and such!"
"Yes, I do. But honest, I didn't know it would get you THAT bad. Wish I had. I'd have used that one earlier." More laughing.
Lucky for me, he started laughing too. And when I thought we were over it, he'd start going after the palm tattoo I'd given him again. Which would make me laugh even harder, and that would make him get the giggles.
There were tables stuffed with children that had to be more than half our age, and none of them caused the kind of scene we did.
As we walked back to the office, I said "I haven't been out of the office for lunch in so long, I don't know what to do with myself!"
He replied "Well, you can cross sketch book husband off the list."