Yesterday, I had the pleasure of going out to lunch with a friend. I have been a bit under the weather for the past couple of days, and when my friend called Sunday morning at quarter to 11 (I was still asleep, mind you), I was a bit groggy, to say the least. But when she suggested a favorite local New Mexican (you read that right, New Mexican) restaurant, I couldn't resist.

In my semi-ill state, I admit I was somewhat reluctant to go out to eat. My friend even pointed out that we could just take a rain check until next weekend, or something. However, once my mind kicked into gear, there was no stopping it, and it was bound and determined to rationalize going to the restaurant today. Here are some of the things it came up with:

1. New Mexican food rules.

2. New Mexican food rules.

3. Green chile is packed with vitamin c, so it's really good for you.

4. Green chile will help clear my sinuses, because it's hot (translation for non-New Mexico English speakers: "spicy).

5. New Mexican food rules.

At this point, allow me to clarify one point. Many people see the word "chile" and think of "chili," the soupy stuff with meat in it. [Note: this next line is for Missy, a la Dan Brown] That's a common misconception. Chile with an 'e' is not only a country in South America, but also a form of pepper. In New Mexico, the native chile is green, and hence it is called "green chile."

Now, on with the story. I managed to come to, and as I got ready to start the day, the thought of lunch actually helped me to start feeling better. By the time I arrived at the restaurant, I was feeling a thousand times better. After being seated, our server went to get us water as well as chips and salsa. Enthralled, we attacked the chips with gusto. The salsa was a red salsa, with all variety of small peppers chopped up inside, and was a welcome snack.

We ordered our food, waited a bit, then it came, and we proceeded to inhale it. It was wonderful. After gorging ourselves, we relaxed and ate our sopapillas and drank our water. We continued for a long time after, reveling in our meal. It was bliss.

Anyway, while we were relaxing and chatting, a middle-aged couple was seated at the table next to us. They were, for the most part, uninteresting, so I paid them no mind. That is, until, as luck would have it, a hilarious situation started playing out before our very eyes.

Our server, who was extremely attentive and very nice, did not happen to be present in the man's time of dire need. Apparently, the big guy was not what you would call "cultured" to the ways of New Mexico. By this, I mean he didn't take kindly to the hot (spicy) food. To my utter delight and amusement, the guy drained his entire glass of tea in hopes of putting the fire out.

Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, this did not do the trick. He began sputtering words, and suddenly couldn't seem to sit still. His wife looked nervously around for any wait staff. Meanwhile, I had lost all track of conversation with my friend, unable to take my eyes off the spectacle. Fortunately for me, my friend also had noticed, and she too was eyeing the situation with an amused grin on her face.

It was in his moment of dire need that the big guy proved to us what a total jerk he was. He waved down one of the managers and demanded a new server, saying quite loudly that he felt the current server was neglecting him. After the manager left to find our server, I had a good mind to tell this guy to mind his damn manners, and be a man, but before I had a chance to, he started to turn really red and looked so much more pathetic, that I burst out laughing.

I'm sorry, but I have little sympathy when people who are jerks get themselves into situations like this. It's poetic justice at its best. Now, whether or not the big guy learns anything from this experience does not matter. I am fairly certain that this does not change his attitude or his ways, and he will most likely continue treating people badly. But just this one moment of comeuppance was worth it. Aaaaaahhhhhh.