Last night, out for a meal in Falmouth with Person I have known since I was about fourteen, and shall henceforth be referred to as Best Mate (B.M.). She is an girl, and there is a candle between us as we peruse the menus, but romance is not in the air. We have been friends for too long. In many ways we are like one of those nineteen-fifties married couples who sleep in seperate beds with one foot on the floor at all times. I don't usually drag her into the blog thing as she doesn't read it, and so has no means of correcting 'mistakes', but she comes out of this one rather well, I feel
ME: I think I might be mildly autistic, you know.
B.M.: What was your first clue?
ME: The Dungeons and Dragons.
ME: Also I fear change.
B.M.: We all fear change. What are you having?
ME: Um, chicken kiev, I think.
B.M.: You had that last time.
ME: I know. I didn't like it very much.
B.M.: Have something else then.
ME: I will. I'll have something else.
We look at menus for a while.
ME: We could open a theme restaurant for autistic people. It would be called 'Quantusnevercrash' (see UPDATE below). And the forks would always be in EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE.
ME: Hoo. And-
B.M. That's enough now.
B.M.: Also, you don't recognize me in town, even when I'm jumping up and down and shouting your name.
ME: You go on tip-toe and murmur. It's not the same. But I am quite bad at... you know, the big picture. I'm better at details.
B.M.: We don't talk about you enough.
ME: You're right. Sorry.
I'm holding the menu at a low angle, trying to decide what to have.
ME: It's weird though, with the absent-minded thing. Sometimes it's, you know, not that funny. Today I was on the phone, and I kept trying to take my glasses off, but I wasn't wearing any, so I was just poking myself slowly and repeatedly in the eye.*
B.M.: Oh dear god.
ME: I know.
B.M.: No, you've set fire to your menu.
I have indeed set fire to the menu. I stare at it.
B.M.: Probably blow it out.
ME: I'll blow it out.
I blow it out. There is a large hole in the menu, and an unpleasant chemical smell is drifting across the restaurant, not adding to the other patrons' enjoyment of the meal, for which I feel guilty. The waitress appears.
WAITRESS: Are you ready to- oh.
ME: Your menus are terribly flammable. It's probably quite dangerous.
B.M.: Also, 'sorry'.
ME: Yes, sorry.
WAITRESS: Are you ready to order?
B.M.: I'll have the rack of lamb.
ME: Chicken kiev please.
I didn't like it very much. But I did tip quite heavily.
UPDATE: 'Non-U' (good reference) points out - 'Psst. No 'U' In Qantas. A true autist would know that so I think you're ok.
Otherwise, as you were.' Thanks Non-U.
*In fairness, I was arranging a meeting with the Head of Comedy for quite a large broadcasting channel**. But still.
** No I'm not, I got confused. But the person I'm meeting is much better than that and has produced some comedy stuff I liked very much indeed. Also, I haven't slagged this chap off on the interweb, which is a bonus.