by Angela Wright
The disaster happened as we were about to have our dessert. I suppose I should have warned the waitress. Uncle Josh in the full flow of a well polished anecdote was a health and safety issue, with his expressive and expansive use of his arms and hands.
‘And you probably won’t believe what happened next’ Uncle Josh barked, apropos of what I have no idea, having lost both the plot and subplot of the story several minutes ago. He threw his left arm out to demonstrate the next part of the narrative, just as the harassed looking waitress was about to place the wobbling pyramid of Eton Mess on the table. Uncle Josh’s arm knocked it sideways, and sent the dish of cream, meringue and strawberries hurtling towards the floor . The resulting explosion of shattered glass and pink and white goo sprayed the waitress, floor, and a man on a neighbouring table enjoying his steak and pommes frites. Heads turned at other tables, and there was much apologising and embarrassment on both sides as the mess was cleared up.
Later, as I paid the bill, I noticed Uncle Josh looking deep in thought and smiling to himself. No doubt this little debacle would soon be finding its way into his vast repertoire of stories, complete with a re-enactment with his arms of the moment of impact with the Eton Mess.