When I was a kid, my mother and one of her coworkers would take me, my brother, and the children of my mother’s coworker to the beach each year. Naturally, we ate out a few times, and one such incident strikes me as boldly standing out.
We attended a small diner where several things went wrong. First, a witch was sent to our respective booths. She had white hair and a scowl, which terrified Ms. Debbie’s daughter and caused her to cry loudly for several minutes.
Second, the witch almost swallowed my younger brother whole. She begrudgingly brought us our drinks, huffing and puffing the entire time, and my brother, being a thoughtful child, reached up to try to help remove the glass from her hand so the poor hag would not have to carry it all by herself.
She turned red, then purple, then white with rage; her face matched her hair as she bellowed, “DO NOT TOUCH THE DRINKS UNTIL I HAVE SET THEM DOWN LEST THEY SPILL AND I CONSUME YOUR SOUL AS EXACTED RETRIBUTION, MORTAL CHILD!”
My brother quickly moved his hand away and cowered in the corner of the booth.
As if this wasn’t enough, the cook was a troll. A hairy troll. From Canada. And apparently, hairy Canadian trolls like to eat their seafood raw and frozen, because when Ms. Debbie got her shrimp, it was not cooked whatsoever.
Gigi took a bite and explained this to us later.
But because Gigi and Debbie were good people, they decided the witch should get a tip.
I decided she shouldn’t.
My greater instincts took over, knowing that we could not allow the witch to win this war. She stuck out her tongue at us and grinned evilly as we walked away from the table; I knew she would be cackling in the back with the hairy Canadian troll, celebrating her conquest of terrible service rewarded with three dollars, and even though I could have appealed to higher senses of ethics and kindness, I didn’t.
In the bathroom, I took a deep breath and went into ninja mode.
I sprung out, ready for action, and slipped back to the table. I dropped my sunglasses; “OH, that’s where I put this, k thanks!”
The three dollar bills on the table accidentally slid into my pocket, and I skipped all the way to the exit.
The next day, we returned the money to our respective mothers, who pretended to be horrified by our actions but were secretly impressed that we had avenged everyone’s honor against a scary old witch and hairy Canadian troll.
And luckily, she’s never found us, all thanks to my ninja skills.