Every year on Christmas Eve Nathan and I go the the Olde Ship for a traditional British meal and celebration. They give us crackers at the beginning of the meal, and we pop them, groan at the stupid joke, play with the toy, and wear the paper crowns while we eat. This year we couldn't go on Christmas Eve, so we went tonight instead. We dressed Judah up in his little Santa outfit and took him with us. It was very cool. We love the pub feel, and all the drunk people you could ever want. We sat at our little corner table eating our tomato (toe-MAH-toe) soup and lamb shank and chicken pie (veggie puffs for Judah). It was perfect. The only thing we missed this year was the British servers. The Olde Ship used to only hire British ex-patriots, and the women who used to wait on us had great accents and called us "Love" and "Dearie." Our waitress tonight was about 22 and about as California as they come. I suppose that accounts for the confusion at the end of the meal.
She was clearing our plates and Nathan said, "I know it's a little early, but do you think we could get some crackers?" She said, "Yeah, no problem." And I got all excited, because I love me them little paper crowns. A minute later the waitress swung by our table again and dropped a bowl full of individually packaged Ritz and Saltine crackers before speeding off to the next table. We stared at the crackers for a second before Nathan yelled at her back, "No, not THAT kind of cracker!" But she was already gone. For a minute we wondered what to do, and then Nathan said, "Quick, put those in your bag." So, feeling like an 85 year old woman living on social security, I swept the whole lot into Judah's diaper bag and we stood up to leave.
At the door Nathan turned to the hostess and repeated his request for crackers. She said, "Sure, I can get you some. Like, just regular eating crackers?" No, NO! Like popping crackers! Dumb jokes and stuff! Where have all the British people gone? She headed back to the kitchen and finally returned with two crackers (the popping kind) wrapped in red and green foil paper. Ah! At last. I was ecstatic. And I'm wearing my crown as I type this. Just kidding.