Today's whinge begins with a prose portrait. Imagine if you will the following scene. You are sitting in a pub or restaurant and in front of you sits a delicious glass of beer. It is perhaps your last beer of the evening. (This is deck-stacking, but I'm ranting so stay out of the way.) You have taken a shine to this beer, and the more you drink, the more greedy you get. You consider offering your pub-partner a swallow, but it's just too good. That kind of generosity is for full glasses, when you have enough to spare. Bit by bit you lower the level, savoring ever longer-lingering mouthfuls of fine ale. (Or lager, yes, but please, don't interrupt.) The amount of beer gets dangerously low, and you start taking ever smaller sips to preserve the beer. At a certain point, you leave just enough so that it will suffuse your sensory apparatus with a long, lingering aftertaste that will take you out into the night and, possibly, follow you into your dreams.
And then, at that moment, a waiter strafes the table and snatches the glass without even slowing down. "Wait!--" Nope, it's too late. That last swallow is headed for the drain. And there you sit, despairing, like a child whose ice cream has fallen off the cone.
I grant that the above scenario may seem far-fetched to you, but it happens not-uncommonly to me. And it happened last night at La Buca, a nice little Italian restaurant nearby (where, it must be admitted, the waiters are not so clued into the whole beer etiquette thing.) Perhaps I'm weird. Perhaps this behavior is aberrant enough that anyone engaging in it should expect to have his glass whisked away as a kind of penalty for lollygagging. But dammit, I paid for that glass of beer, and as a consenting adult, I should be able to do anything with it I damn well please, including lollygagging.
DON'T TAKE MY GLASS UNTIL IT'S COMPLETELY EMPTY.
Thank you for your attention.