There's a restaurant here that I like to go to. It's quiet, they do lovely food, have generally good service, aren't stupidly expensive, and manage to be family-friendly while not being a kiddie restaurant. The layout is of lots of different "rooms", up and down various flights of stairs, but they've made the effort with accessibility - the main entrance and bar (and the toilets) are ground-floor and totally accessible, and a combination of Stannah stairlifts and ramps/level access fire escapes mean that while a wheelchair user can't access every table in the place, they can use most of them. Usually they ask if I can manage the stairs and make an effort to seat us at a table with as few stairs to contend with as possible. Yesterday, Pip had a few hours without the Littlun, so we decided to go there for a spot of lunch.
Mary and Pip enter the restaurant, and approach the reception desk.
PIP: Good afternoon, could we have a table for two, please?
The waitress stands in silence for a few seconds, staring at Mary and Pip in utter shock or possibly disbelief, before turning and running off up the stairs.
PIP: Was it something I said?
MARY: Maybe "table for two" has become a slang term for something unspeakable.
PIP: (peeking up the stairs) I hope she's okay.
Enter the waitress, slowly making her way down the stairs with much trepidation. She stares at Mary and Pip in silence.
PIP: Is everything alright?
The waitress continues to stand silently. Mary and Pip start looking about for another staff member, to alert them that their colleague may be unwell.
WAITRESS: (slowly, pointing) Walking stick!
MARY: (baffled) Yes, yes it is.
WAITRESS: (pointing) Out there. Fire door.
MARY: Excuse me?
PIP: You want us to go in the fire door out there?
The waitress nods and without waiting for a response, runs off up the stairs. Mary and Pip exchange a glance, shrug, and make their way back outside, round to the fire door, which is open, and into the restaurant, where the waitress is beaming proudly by a table with two menus on it.
Strangely - or perhaps not - once we were seated, the waitress had a full and complete grasp of conversational English, albeit with a lifelong Suffolk accent.