Wife and I and our best friends (he a doctor) were having dinner at a famous steakhouse in Brooklyn (no names here, let’s just call the place Peter L.). We were digging into our steak and as a family was leaving the room, an older gentleman collapsed, motionless, to the floor on the way out.
Now, mind you, going to an expensive place like this is an extravagance and I wasn’t about to let the fact that there was a dying man a few feet away from me spoil the meal. The people at the table next to us agreed (they had the restaurant’s famous “Holy Cow” sundaes in front of them, and those darn things melt) so we all continued eating as the drama unfolded. I mean, we are New Yorkers, right?
My friend however, being a doctor, felt he had no choice. Since nobody else there answered the call, he was on the ground with the guy, giving him CPR. So, this was going on for quite a while as we waited for the ambulance to come. I finished my own portion of steak (while my friend was still working furiously on the guy). I looked at my friend’s plate. All that un-eaten steak. So lonely, not fulfilling its purpose, a sad thing, to be sure. God cries when a steak goes un-eaten at Peter L., right? So I reached over and started eating my friend’s steak. I mean, he was spending his time working furiously on that guy 10 feet away and his steak was getting cold anyway.
Finally the ambulance arrived and took over for my friend (who had in fact saved the guy’s life). So, Dr. Friend was royally pissed off when he came back to the table and half his steak was gone. You snooze, you lose, fella.
The maitre d’ said “no check” for our table, since my friend had spared them a headline they didn’t need about a guy dying in their place after eating. But Dr. Friend stared me down. “All right. Sheesh!” I said, as I gave the waiter the full tip myself. I mean, my friend’s wife ate too, right? Don’t you agree my friend ripped me off?
True story from 2007.