Wendy and I are in Nova Scotia right now on what threatens to be a yearly tradition. We are visiting some friends and ended up out for dinner tonight on the patio at a little pub in Wolfville. The fish and chips was good but not exciting, but the entertainment was great. The waitress serving us was funny and entertaining and there was a lot of great back and forth between us and her at the outset. At one point she was delivering our food and I noticed that we didn't have any ketchup so I hopped up to grab it from another table. She joked about how she was going to get me to fetch other stuff for the table and not bother doing it herself.
We spent the rest of the meal making jests about me getting up and carting away the food or otherwise helping out with the meal in lieu of the waitress doing it. At the very end she cleared away three plates and laughingly suggested that I get the last one myself after wandering away to take the rest of our stuff to the kitchen.
Now most people would think this was amusing, but they wouldn't do anything about it. Other, braver types, would hide the plate and pretend to have taken it in to the kitchen. Not me though, I had to take it in myself.
And here is where my understanding of the rest of the world conflicts completely with my sense of what the right thing to do is. Of course I know that I am not supposed to cart my own plate into the restaurant kitchen, and of course nobody would actually *do* that.... but how can you not? Somehow the rest of the world just sits in their chairs and laughs instead of rocketing out of their seat and running that. I don't quite get it.
At any rate I took my plate inside, fully intending on finding the kitchen and depositing the plate there, when I ran into two other waitresses who took the plate from me with some puzzlement and brought it to the kitchen themselves. While that wasn't exactly what I had envisioned, it was close enough.
When our waitress returned she noted the missing plate (and, undoubtedly, my gigantic grin) and looked around for it, assuming I had hidden it behind me or something. I told her that I had taken it in, and her look of utter panic was just too precious for words. She was assuming that I had gone into the kitchen and scraped it myself and maybe done something else likely to get her fired or at least yelled at I suppose. Once she accepted that I had really done that and made sure that I hadn't really just wandered into the kitchen she calmed down a bit but was still flummoxed that someone had actually taken her up on her dare.
A few minutes later I was headed in to visit the bathroom prior to leaving and the waitress was walking with me. She joked that I should now head into the kitchen and help the dishwasher with his work... then looked at me with a hint of real terror and said "Wait, no, don't really do that!"
Because obviously any reasonable person wouldn't do that. They wouldn't take the joke that far. But this guy, maybe he was just that intent on getting a good story to tell later.
I wouldn't have, because I don't want to get her fired. But when betting on whether or not I will do something weird and way beyond social norms just for a story it is always wise to bet on craziness and story generation rather than doing what is expected.