This Book Club Meeting Had More Drama Than the Book

Taran Underwood

funny /

There are a lot of way to make new friends as an adult, and the cool part of being a grown up is you can tailor your friend-finding to your specific needs. Sporty people can find new pals in kickball leagues, the socially conscious through community activism, and nerds have improv classes. But, if you are an incredibly fancy and learned individual who needs similarly inclined friends to swirl wine with while being haughty, book clubs are your go-to solution. Be careful though, because every new friend is also a potential new enemy you must defeat. All it takes is one miscommunication or maybe a series of tense exchanges, and boom, you’ve got a new arch nemesis. And the only thing worse than an arch nemesis is a smart and fancy arch nemesis. This was the lesson that comedian Stuart Laws saw play out in real life, while simply minding his own business at a local cafe.

In an effort to maintain a fair and balanced view of events, let’s consider all possibilities: maybe this woman thinks the other woman works there? Maybe she doesn’t understand how cafés work? Perhaps she had a cruel family who wouldn’t let her go to Paris as a child, to learn about how cafés work.

Okay so maybe she just has an incredibly respect for empty tables and doesn’t want to dirty them up with dirty plates? Or maybe she has empty table blindness? Or maybe she’s just kind of a weird jerk?

And now that she’s spoken, we can confirm, she seems to be kind of a weird jerk. But still, let’s not judge too harshly. Maybe she truly just doesn’t understand what’s happening here, or, you know, realize other people are around.

Her logic is sound, if you’re an actual psychopath who doesn’t believe other people have internal lives and feelings and needs, etc. It’s the kind of a logic a child might use, but that an attentive parent usually corrects early. This, my friends, is what happens when they do not.

Suddenly it becomes clear that the woman who initially moved the dishes simply thinks that dirty dishes are like hot potatoes. You pass them around, but never back, and whoever ends up with the potato at the end has to deal with it.

At this point one thing becomes abundantly clear: this story is taking place in the UK. It’s the only country on Earth where an argument of this magnitude could place entirely through the silent movement of dishes from one place to another.

Suddenly the fourth wall is broken and our narrator is almost drawn into the scene. Clean Plates Woman is obviously at this point worried that she has somehow gone insane, and she needs saving. Unfortunately we’ve all seen enough Game of Thrones to know that being the hero is always your last mistake.

This is technically an act of violence. Even though it’s against mugs, it’s still a horrific and unnecessary act against an innocent. Also the quick “pretend to be reading” escape method tells us she was clearly raised by cartoon characters.

Have you ever been just trying to get through your shift at the café, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman who has been driven mad by rudeness tries to pull you into a war of dirty plates? Consider yourself extremely lucky.

Finally, a reluctant hero, our narrator, steps forward in defense of the clean woman. But will it end the dirty plates woman’s tyranny? Does the café staff even have the power to end it? They have to, right? Otherwise the world would be nothing but café chaos.

This is the problem when you feud with weird jerks. Weird jerks truly do not care. They aren’t able to feel shame or embarrassment, and they certainly aren’t going to worry about what the café staff have to say about it. Luckily, these women will never have to see each other agai-

Oh dear. What is this, a case of old book group enemies acting out their book group aggression through dinnerware? An ongoing feud in the fiction section that’s manifested into some kind of plate war? What is going on??

This is their first meeting! This is, in fact, their first introduction to the book group in general! And DPW doesn’t even flinch in acting like nothing happened. She is truly unbothered by… her own actions. But CPW will never, ever forget.

She will not let this stand! CPW is a woman who believes in maintaining the fabric of society. She believes in the human race. She believes in mankind taking responsibility for the plates on their own table, or at least moving them to an empty one.

This is downright nefarious at this point. She’s trying to make friends with the leader’s friend, so as to climb the social hierarchy of the book group before the CPW has the chance too. She is truly this book club’s token evil genius, even if the rest of them have yet to realize it.

All the types trying to suppress their OCD tendencies right now are going absolutely insane. It’s almost physically painful how close to perfect this whole situation could be. And think how it could add to the book discussion!

Oh thank goodness. Now we can all relax. Except for, you know, the bubbling rage that is still very much boiling inside CPW. That’s still very much a problem and the rest of the group doesn’t even realize it. Book groups never do, at least, not until it’s too late.

Okay, because this is not an episode of Seinfeld, we have to ask ourselves if this incredibly bold display was actually the right move. It’s like that old saying, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Wait, that’s Batman. Sorry.

See, once CPW escalated, she entered into a battle of wills she was never equipped to win in the first place. DPW clearly does not care, and if there’s one person you never want to end up in a fight with, it’s a person who does not care.

It’s amazing to see that virtually everyone involved in this book group is blind to the real life drama playing out before their very eyes. They’re merely pawns in this game, and they don’t even know it!

So maybe CPW’s finisher is subtle, but in the end it might win the day. However, this book’s affect on DPW relies on her ability to see her own flaws, which is something she doesn’t seem at all capable of doing.

Imagine being in an already awkward social setting, namely the time after a meeting when people engage in light chatter, but the only person there that you actually know is now certifiably your mortal enemy.

Unfortunately, we, the people of Earth, are not blessed enough to have viral marketing ever be this good. However it’s likely the sales of this book are about to go up ever so slightly. So there’s a bit of silver lining in all of this.

Suddenly we’re extremely concerned about Patrick. Does he even know the kind of tension he’s waded into? Does he realize he’s in a situation that could escalate at any moment? These are women who silently rearranged plates at each other just a few minutes ago. They’re capable of anything.

Okay, at this point it’s hard to tell who the crazy person truly is. While DPW’s original sin was truly heinous, CPW’s inability to just let it go and move on, even after sitting through an entire book club meeting, is what we might call a “bad look.”

Poor Patrick has no idea what he’s a part of now. He’s aligned with a force he can’t possible understand and being influenced by forces whose strength he isn’t equipped to appreciate. What will become of gentle Patrick and his many laughs?? We’re invested now.

These are incredibly loose guesses we’re going to take with a grain of salt because, well, DPW could be thousands of years old for all we know. Her demeanor suggests she is someone who isn’t easily rattled by mortal affairs. So look, all we’re saying is, maybe she’s a plate demon sent to torment mortals?

Oh, we get a fake ending and a real ending. It’s like buying the DVD and getting to watch the director’s cut and alternate endings. Except you just bought a DVD of women shuffling plates angrily at each other.

This is a little too much. It’s just not believable in a real world scenario. Honestly, a café employee, who we’ve established is in their teens or early 20s, asking you what’s wrong when you’re crying? Who could possibly buy that? Cafés are basically places to cry and break up with significant others undisturbed.

It looks like DPW has won the day. And not only that, she’s gotten away with putting plates in the wrong place. Are there truly no heroes in the world today who can stand up to a monster like this?

Honestly, we all are. This has truly been an emotional rollercoaster. And one none of us asked for, or maybe even deserved. Yet, here we are.

Is this a happy ending? Or is this a villains final blow? Was DPW trying to be nice by paying for CPW’s cake and tea? Or was she doing some kind of weird tea-based flex to follow up on her plate-based violence? Who is the hero and who is the villain? As with every good drama, we may never know.