A rarity. A beautiful summer day in New Jersey. Low humidity. Low ozone. Low particulate count. The perfect day for an outdoor engagement party for a sweet young couple.
At the next table, working on his third or fourth beer and an equal number of shots, a fellow guest declares loudly, "Waterboarding is not torture."
After all, what other things could you possibly talk about at an engagement party for a sweet young couple.
I turn to the guy, lean in, and ask sweetly, "You really don't think it's torture?"
"Nah. Scary maybe. But not torture."
I lean in even closer. "Well there's the swimming pool. Want to see for yourself?"
His jaw drops a bit as he looks over at the shimmering blue water of the swimming pool. He's working hard on his reply.
"We don't know how to do it," he says.
"We can look it up on the computer," I counter.
It gets quieter and quieter around us as the vibes radiate outward: There are guests behaving badly. I feel a twinge of guilt for the sweet young couple.
"I'll get wet," he says, and he knows that was not cool because somebody at his own table snickers. "I don't have extra clothes," he elaborates.
"So strip down to your skivvies."
Now he's angry. He knows he's being fucked with by someone who hasn't had three or four beers and an equal number of shots. And this is his last best argument:
"Hey, I've been eating all afternoon."
"What, terrorists get to wait 60 minutes after eating before being waterboarded?! Maybe puking during waterboarding gets us all the best secrets!"
After my embarrassing self-congratulatory cackling subsides, there's a brief silence. It's over. The guy and his snickerer-buddy get up and wander away.
Can't wait for the wedding reception.
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