It was after 11 on Wednesday night.
The little men had not yet rolled up the streets on a hot and humid night, and I, my daughter and brother were hungry.
Denny's is the only option for a sit-down meal after a day that has crawled into night.
We three night owls ordered our meals from a smiling-but-harried-by-the-couple-in-the-next-booth night-shift waitress, "Cat." (She was an excellent waitress.)
As we waited for our food we tried to catch up on conversations that rarely seem to happen in "normal" hours with my family.
And although our feathers by this time of night, could no doubt have used a good fluffing, we decided we three were superior creatures to the obnoxious ones in the next booth.
"Can we move, Mom?" asked my teenage daughter as four-letter words, one in particular ending in k, dripped like spittle from the mouth of a 30-something-aged man.
"We'd be able to hear him from anywhere in the restaurant," I said.
She rolled her eyes, a trait she gets from yours truly.
"He is providing an example of how NEVER to act," I said.
As I pondered whether asking the couple to tone it down would engender the opposite response, my brother asked if I wanted him to say something. No we decided, the man and woman did not look the type to quiet down graciously.
Did I mention the guy's eyebrow was pierced?
When I was a teen, piercings and tattoos were mostly seen on the pages of National Geographic.
Now, I support those dubious decorations as the personal decision of any child of mine over 21 and not living under my roof and eating my food.
"His mouth is bigger than his brain," my daughter said under her breath as the swearing seemed to increase in frequency and decibels.
(I laughed louder than ‘Eyebrow' was swearing.)
Eyebrow continued his loud rant, spit still dripping, about members of his family, the door he planned to slam in their faces and one sot who had made a pass at his "woman."
Apparently the blonde female with him was not his woman, for he called her "Ma" (although I do not think she was related to him.)
We three night owls decided Eyebrow was the worst sort of entertainment with his potty mouth.
A recent scene from the movie "Click" came to mind.
Adam Sandler's character uses his remote control to stop time, farts in his boss' face, then re-starts time.
Unfair to the waitress and cook, yet an appropriate revenge to be applied to our current situation if only such a remote existed.
My older brother thought up another.
"I'll give you 10 bucks if you can blow the paper off the end of the straw and hit him between the eyes," he challenged his niece.
(She laughed louder than Eyebrow was swearing.)
"I'll give you $20 if you can shoot the paper through the ring in his left eyebrow," I said, wondering if left or right brow piercing indicated a gender preference.
"He is an example of the kind of man not to date, EVER," I said.
"I know mom," she said and regaled her uncle with the advice she received from checker Mike in Safeway while we were buying roses for ‘Gramma'.
"Mike told me, ‘if your on your first date with a particular boy he doesn't bring you flowers like this, slam the door in his face,'" she said.
My brother, who is good about bringing flowers to the special women in his life, thought it was a bit harsh.
I wonder as I write this column, what kind of woman would put up with a man who injects four-letter words as his only adverbs and adjectives in conversation.
I recall a version of Cinderella that ends with the mean stepsisters walking away making snide remarks. Every time they said something nasty, spiders, snakes and bugs dropped from their lips.
Did Eyebrow's woman ever daydream of Prince Charming bringing her flowers while she is serving Eyebrow his supper?
Does she ever dream of her fairy godmother asking, "You settled for the frog. Why?"
"Did you enjoy your meal?" asked the hostess as we paid at the register.
Decent food, great waitress, I told her, but the people at the next table were pretty foul-mouthed (morons without the oxy prefix).
The hostess had seen the movie "Click" too.
And night owls hooted with laughter.