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What Happens When You’re Not Looking.

June 7, 2012

People say, “love happens when you’re not looking,” in my case, impromptu fireworks happen when you’re not looking.

But let me get this started correctly for you…

There are few things I enjoy more than a spring/summer evening outside with a glass of wine.

And that is exactly how my evening started.

Being that Pittsburgh is among the nicest places in the Universe, I was enjoying dinner and drinks with my Chief-Resident-to-be (T-minus 7 days) in the courtyard of a serene little Asian fusion restaurant in Lawrenceville.  We had settled into a nice conversational rhythm (discussing anything and everything Pittsburgh), and had placed our orders with Jason – an effusively cheerful waiter with fabulous black rimmed glasses.

Somewhere in the middle of our discussion about creating a monorail between Michigan and Pittsburgh, I heard a noise, followed by a “thud” against my head, With some sort of survival instinct, or perhaps fear, I reflexively picked up my menu, to protect my left ear.  Next thing I know, my menu has deflected a smoking green ball to the ground, where it proceeds to bounce along, finally coming to rest between two tables near ours.  Green smoke is spewing from the equivalent of an iris, as the ball rolls wildly in place (not unlike Professor Alastor “Mad Eye” Moody’s eye in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

There was mild commotion, most not knowing what had happened.  The two  30-something-year-old gentlemen (hereafter referred to as Purple Shirt and White Shirt) seated adjacent to us looked quizzically at one another and then at us: “Are you ladies okay?”

Stunned, but not worse for the wear, we both responded in the affirmative, while watching the smoke swirl.

White Shirt: “Should I grab it?”

Me and My Chief-to-Be: “NO!”

Purple Shirt: “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Us: “Yes, yeah, we don’t even really know what happened.”

Purple Shirt: “Oh man! Your reflexes were amazing!”

Me: “Well, they should be cat-like, I’ve only been working on them Hunger-Games- style for the past 27 years.”

Purple Shirt: “Are you a ninja?”

Me: “Um, obviously. Can’t you tell by the bright orange sweater and oversized sunglasses?”

Purple Shirt: “You’re an orange ninja. That’s what I’m going to call you. Orange Ninja.”

Me: “I LOVE NICKNAMES! In fact, I’m going to take that and run with it….might even shorten it to just initials: ON.  Love it.”

Purple Shirt: “Sweet”


The mini-explosive stopped spewing it’s bilious smoke, and a waiter manhandled it with a napkin, and brought us another glass of wine.  A plate of guacamole and half a tray of sushi later, we had happily returned to non-explosives conversation.

Orange ninja…”

I didn’t hear it at first.

ORange NINja”

Even the second time I wasn’t sure what was going on.


Third time’s a charm.  I broke conversation and turned to see Purple Shirt (a few sakes deep) waving a dessert menu at us. “We get free dessert because of your reflexes! Want ours? We’re too full.”

It was a very sweet gesture; though we were still working through a spicy tuna and yellowtail and scallion rolls.  It was also at this point, that Jason (remember our fabulous server?) came over, and told the “boys” that we would also be receiving free desserts, so they needn’t worry about trying to pass theirs along.

So, all in all, I’d call last night a success for three reasons: 1) I made three new friends, 2) it’s not everyday that you get hit by impromptu fireworks; and 3) I was bestowed with a great new nickname.


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