RICKTER SCALE: Making the case for a wandering eye

RICKTER SCALE: Making the case for a wandering eye

Rick Stiebel | Columnist

In Jerry’s defence, the waitress was undeniably beautiful.

Jerry had invited a group of friends to dinner at a West Shore restaurant to celebrate his wife Mary’s last day at work after 43 years with the government, a major accomplishment worthy of sharing on so many levels.

I won’t mention the establishment’s name because they refused to pay me to include it, and I have changed the couple in question’s names to Jerry and Mary to protect the guilty.

The joint was jumping on that particular Friday night, and our server was run off her high heels trying to keep the food and bevvies coming for the customers upstairs and downstairs in her section.

I will grudgingly admit under oath that I am partially to blame for what happened next. But in my defence I was kind of, sort of, only trying to order another drink for the bride, and sat trapped on the wrong side of the table the dozen of us shared.

I had already attempted several times to get a server’s attention without success whenever one appeared, only to disappear just as quickly. That’s the reason why I asked Jerry to intervene on my behalf, and that’s the story I’m sticking to.

She was dressed in a black dress that fit like like a velvet glove, cut low at the top and short at the bottom. She would have fit in as well walking down the runway at a fashion show in Paris as she did navigating her way between the tables in that crowded lounge.

Mary was involved in conversation with the couple to her right, but it took less than a blink for her to notice what was unfolding where Jerry sat on her immediate left. Depending on your perspective, Jerry was either politely pleading for some service, or Mary had caught him red eyed in the act of ogling.

Although all Mary said was “You were checking her out, weren’t you?,” it did create a cone of silence that hovered over our table briefly.

I can say with certainty that the internal reactions of the couples in attendance appeared to be gender based, an even split between “Oh yeah” to “Oh no.”I would also venture that any couple who has stayed together for the minimum 25 years that was the average at our table have long ago worked out the ground rules if caught in similar situations. In Jerry’s defence, his response was the best by far.

“I was just trying to figure out what her mother looked like,” Jerry said, a superb spur of the moment line I immediately filed for future use.

Thanks, Mary, for including us on that enjoyable evening of retirement celebration, and may the years ahead overflow with the best of times. And thanks, Jerry, for coming up so quickly with something that had the bride and I laughing out loud all the way home.

•••

Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.