Thursday, August 10, 2006

Atlanta, Part IV - The Night Of The Broken Cigarette

Okay, this is the last Atlanta post and then this blog will return to its regularly scheduled nonsense.

The Night Of The Broken Cigarette started out like any other (well, any other night in which you attend a publisher's party and make plans to crash another). Jax, Jo Marie (not pictured), Lara and I hopped into a cab and headed over to Rays In The City for the St. Martin's party. Never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the events to come...

We arrived about a half hour into the festivities and as things hadn't really gotten too hectic yet, we were able to secure a table. That was our first stroke of genius. As the place filled up, tables (and chairs) became a hot commodity. We were soon joined by wickedly good author, Ronda Thompson. It was then that the supernatural talents of the wait staff became apparent.

With snake-like flexibility and uncanny quickness, they would deftly remove any discarded items. A crumpled napkin would barely touch the tablecloth and a hand would dart in and take it away. Wily women that we are, we decided to test the staff. But of course, we had to make it interesting. So we set up a particularly difficult arrangement to maneuver. Below you see Lara arranging glasses and the candle holder around our bait -- the squeezed lime.

And so we waited. Waiters buzzed by, their eyes darting to our table top but none seemed brave enough to take on our challenge. A few even paused, glancing at the lime longingly but alas, they shied away.

Then it happened. A lone soul went in for the clean-up. I had my camera at the ready. As soon as he touched the lime, I yelled, "Stop!" He yanked his hand back, unsure of himself. I reassured him I only wanted photographic evidence and cajoled him to touch the lime so the picture could be taken. He obliged me, the sweet boy, as you can see for yourself.

There were other interesting events that night such as the table visit from the very happy Jenny Bent, my chat with RITA winner Lori Handeland, Jax's chat with author Susan Squires, our ability to make Ronda Thompson laugh until she cried and while I'm not sure I should mention it, I think Bob Mayer was under the impression I was trying to pick him up at one point.

Obviously, there are no pictures of that.

Why, you ask, was this post titled The Night Of The Broken Cigarette? Settle down, I'm about to tell you. Not long after the lime incident, Ronda decided to go out for a smoke. She had her cigarette in hand when more silliness ensured, resulting in her cigarette breaking off right at the filter.

The cigarette hadn't even touched the table for a second when a hunky waiter came up and asked her if she'd like another. We were in awe. Did the service run so deep? What else could they provide? She declined but we immediately speculated where that replacement cigarette would have come from if she'd asked for it. Lara guessed he would have pulled it from behind Ronda's ear, like a Vegas magician. I wasn't so sure. I wondered out loud if it wouldn't have come from somewhere a little more...hidden.

Ah well. Somethings are best left to the imagination, don't you think?


  1. Ahhhhh--the satisfaction of the magical waitstaff. Sure wish we'd had one of them at our dinner on Saturday night. We had droopy the half-dead dog for a server at Pacific Rim. He moved at the speed of a stepped on snail. And then he "lost" one of the credit cards and told our friend that she'd just have to call the CC company and cancel and he was sorry.

    Mind you, we couldn't figure out how the hell he'd manage to "lose" the CC walking from our table to the register.

    And he never even offered to comp her meal. Luckily for him, he "found" the CC on the tray. I still think he should've comped the meal for his stupidity and lack of social skills.

    Napoleon Dynamite would've been a better waiter.

    Eat your ham, Tina!

  2. Next time, get the pictures of you and Bob ;)

  3. Oh what a night. Thanks Kristen for posting and making me laugh all over again. Kristen, Jax and the romance diva group should make themselves rentable during conferences to assure the attendee a good time.:)


  4. I don't smoke but I'm pretty sure I'd take whatever a hunky waiter offered me, lol. You Divas had far too much fun at RWA :) I'm getting a kick out of reading all the blogs.