“And the Americans, they can't spell, can they?” the diner says to his companions, whom I suspect are there under sufferance, even (or perhaps especially?) his wife. “Like the way they spell 'colour'” he continues. “C – O – L – O - R. No 'U'! And centre! They spell it C – E – N – T – E - R... ”
I mean, he actually has to spell the words out proudly, and with great emphasis... like he needs to... like anyone wouldn't know?
I can't see the man himself; he is to my immediate right and to clock him would require me to make an obvious 90 degree turn of the head. It's enough that my ears are being assaulted, so I save my eyes for appreciating the alpine peaks on my lemon meringue pie and exchanging knowing glances with Mr SDS.
Yes, it could be so much worse – he isn't spouting abusively nor expressing his allegiance to right wing extremism – however, it's just so tiresome, and by the end of the evening I really have had enough. As I turn around to pull on my jacket I come face to face with this verbaliser of inane, high volume tedium and, maybe you had to be there, plus it may not be much at all, but that's when I find some very small degree of consolation. It's the moment when I notice his huge napkin – and it's tucked into his collar widthways, with corners pointing out jauntily to each side, like a stupid comedy bow-tie.