There were flowers at the hotel to set the mood and nude statues to send subliminal messages. It was all reminiscent of that scene from Pretty Woman that all the gentle lady readers will well remember. (hint: strawberries).
There was even a beautiful fountain on the walk back that would evoke feelings of contentment and adventure maybe. Maybe.
The only problem was, well … it was the dates. Or more technically the nuts. Palm nuts to be specific.
At our lovely little sidewalk cafe, at a table for two, the host asked us if we were sure we wanted to sit at the secluded table in the corner. Sure, of course, why not? She pointed up at a palm tree over the table and gave her shoulders a little Barcelona shrug. Huh? Again she pointed up and wiggled her fingers while making a downward motion. At this point Kongo’s Spanish failed him so he smiled and just said, “Perfecto. No problema.” After three weeks in Europe the monkey could communicate in a variety of ways and the more vino he drank the better his Spanish became.
A few minutes after ordering wine and food. Mrs. Kongo opted for spaghetti (this turned out not to be a good choice) and Kongo chose a pizza pie, which by the way was delicious, things started dropping from the palm tree. Lots of things.
Palm nuts began pummeling Mrs. Kongo. At first it was funny. Sort of. A nut bounced off the edge of the table and caromed off onto the floor. Whoa. The happy couple just laughed it off. Then the palm tree began perfecting its aim — bang, clang, crunch, clink –and the nuts began coming in a faster sequence. Soon Mrs. Kongo was bracketed and we had nuts falling into her bowl of pasta (with collateral damage effects from the splatter) and into her wine glass. (Oh no!) The two monkeys began laughing so hard they couldn’t eat and still the nuts kept coming, evoking more peals of laughter. Soon the diners at nearby tables noticed the barrage and they began laughing too. Who knew that pine nuts falling into bowls of spaghetti was a source of such international humor?
Kongo suggested she just pick the offending bombs from her food and keep on eating as if nothing untoward was happening. Mrs. Kongo would have none of that. She was done. The nuts kept falling. The waitress delivering the bill surveyed the damage and her shoulders once again formed that little Barcelona shrug. What did these two monkeys expect would happen sitting under a palm tree anyway?
It is worth noting that during the bombardment, not a single nut hit Kongo or his plate and especially his wine. He was safe and snug on his side of the table. Monkeys like Kongo know where to sit in dangerous cafes.
As they left the restaurant and headed home they could still here the sound of pine nuts bouncing off the table and hitting the glassware.
Date night Barcelona.