The thing is I never know where to sit.
And I always hope to do better this time.
But as I plunge towards the seat next to the Funny Smart One, somebody outruns me and throws their bag on the chair with Olympic precision.
Ok, that settles it. Once again, I am wedged between the Drunken Chatterbox and the Self-Obsessed Bore.
There is something as implacable as a rainy November afternoon in Basingstoke about where you have stationed yourself. You are there for the duration of the next fraction of the Earth’s spinning class and there is nothing you can do about it.
And just as dinner comes to an end and you start to see the light of dawn (not literally, one hopes), here comes the bill. And there is always a self appointed Guardian of the Bill. And once the G of the B has stood up, glasses halfway down nose wrinkled in concentration, bill in hand, you know it can only go one of two ways.
The first approach is the communist one. Right, there are 10 people here, you are to dish out 27.52 whatevers. Don’t care that you here had 28 beers and half a cow and you over there in the corner had bread, peas and water. We are in this together.
The second one is the liberal school of thought. Why don’t you all put in what you owe? Oh jolly good. The Drunken Chatterbox has stopped droning on about his fishing trip to Scotland last year. He is now tasking you with adding up his beers and finding the forever elusive price of mashed potatoes on the menu.
Oh joy oh rapture, we are done. Nothing to do but look forward to our next dinner.