Oh, Dad, I almost forgot. One night, while I was in Reykjavik, I went to dinner at a really nice, traditional Icelandic restaurant inside an old house. It was a linen tablecloth and waiters-in-ties kind of place, that specialized in local seafood. I didn’t have a reservation, so I had to wait for a bit for a table. The bar was in the attic, up a narrow, spiral staircase. The roof was pitched, so you couldn’t stand up all the way unless you were in the center of the room, and it was furnished with all this lovely, comfy, overstuffed furniture with lace doilies on the arms, like you’d see at your great aunt’s house. It was small and cozy and warm, and kind of dim in the candlelight. People were dressed nicely, sitting about sipping wine and cocktails, waiting for their tables for dinner downstairs.
There were no chairs available, so I squeezed in to a spot at the end of the big, blue velvet couch, next to an elegant elderly couple. I had a touch of a cold, and my throat was a bit sore, so when the waitress came, I asked her for my daddy’s tried-and-true Texas cowboy cough syrup: a double-shot of Jack and a sugarcube or two, with a good squeeze of lemon, which I swirled and warmed over the candle on the coffee table. Oh, so good when you’re feeling a little off. Goes down easy, and I don’t know if it really helps the cold, or if it just makes you not care about the sore throat, but either way, you end up feeling better, which is the goal. It was so good, I had another one.
The next thing I knew, the waitress was shaking my shoulder and saying “Miss, Miss…your table is ready downstairs.” I opened my eyes, and realized I was sprawled out across the couch, drooling and snoring like a pirate! I sat up with a snap, and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and looked around. The sweet, elegant elderly couple who had been sitting next to me were in chairs on the other side of the room — I had chased them away! Oh my god, how embarrassing! And clearly, as they were there before me, the restaurant had obviously bumped me to the head of the line, just to politely get me up and out of the bar and sobered up! Icelanders are very polite.
Well, far be it for me to refuse, so I just gathered myself up and slunk (it’s a word, I looked it up) out of the bar and downstairs to one of the best lobster dinners of my life. And no, the dinner waiter did not offer me the wine list. Haha! Just as well.