Saturday, July 14, 2012
Yesterday I met my friend for lunch at one of Laurel's finest restaurants: good food, fine wine, ice water in goblets, wait staff dressed like penguins, white table cloths, napkins, etc. After our waiter brought our salad, Carol, who lives in Florida, said she'd been following the Penn State story with great interest since coming up to Maryland this week. The coverage in their paper at home had been sketchy.
Carol was saying, "Joe Paterno liked to say he was just an ordinary guy living in a little brick house, but actually he had ---"
"Yes, that's right," chimed in our waiter who was passing by at that moment. "The ones who get the big pay at these schools are the athletic coaches, but it's another story for the professors . . ." He continued on in that vein for a moment, then remembered he had salads for another table. He moved on, but stopped on his way past us again to pick up the thread. A few more remarks and he was off again to the kitchen. But he wasn't finished. At the doorway, he wheeled and returned to our table to deliver his concluding statement.
After he left, we could only look at each other and grin in amazement. When it was time to get the bill, we had trouble attracting his attention. "Try mentioning Joe Paterno again," I suggested to Carol.