Wednesday, August 25, 2004
this stretch of sidewalk - at the foot of the reina sofia museum in madrid - grew sunnier and sultrier as the day progressed; prospective customers, spying the swathe of shadow where we were lucky to be sitting, scraped tables and chairs toward the comparative coolness.
at the first sign of this shameless impertinence, the ferocious little waiter lurking in the doorway leapt into action: wagging his finger, waving his yellow cloth and muttering "no! no! no!", he dragged the same tables and chairs right back to where they had been in the first place, and where they stayed, empty, hot to the touch, until the next group strolled by.
the whole pantomime was repeated several times in the course of our rosés and our patatas bravas, and had us whispering, "uh-oh" - and then, "no! no! no!" the moment we saw passers-by debating a bit of furniture-rearranging - and giggling helplessly into our glasses .
we were, of course, touched by the plight of those thwarted and thirsty - they settled under the parasols two doors down - but it was slapstick, and it was summer, and laughter is a splendid thing.