Last week we held a farewell party for one of my superior officer. She has ended her duties here and had a new project going on in her native country.
I am not going to describe the party, but I am going to give you an anecdote, which, seen from your perspective´┐Żnot mine, may be funny.
But first, a little bit about this superior officer of mine.
She hails from one of the many British Colonies that gained independence in the forties. She is a middle-aged woman, with hair neatly tied in a bun, skirt that ended below her knees, loose blouse and vest, and a pair of comfortable looking shoes. All in all, she is the motherly type kind old lady with a voice that reminds me of Mrs. Doubtfire. She always looks like that. The only change in clothing I've ever seen is when her native country commemorates its independence. That day she wore her country's traditional clothes.
One day (probably a year ago, probably more) she called me to her room and asked me to sort out some problem happening at that time (I kinda forget what the problem was, but it was quite serious). I said I would check with the technical people responsible for that. She thought this was an excellent opportunity to know the technical side of our office and proceeded to accompany me into the Master Control Room.
She was holding a half eaten donut in her right hand. Remember this. This will be the important part of the tale: the half-eaten donut.
So she came with me to the MCR, holding the donut, and when we got there proceeded to ask around and sort the problem out, during which she handed me the half-eaten donut.
'Could you hold this for a second, please,' she said.
'Okay,' I said as I did as she asked.
A couple of minutes later, with the problem sorted out we went back to our side of the office. She was walking briskly with me, holding the half-eaten donut, tagging along behind her.
Out of the blue, she turned around, looked at the donut and said, 'You can have the donut.'
Not believing what I just heard, I asked timidly, 'Pardon?'
'The donut. You can have it. It's yours,' she said, turning around a little bit.
I looked at the donut. The half-eaten donut. Its sugar coating partly melted in places where she bit it and where I held it. I looked at the donut because I was not sure what to do. She was right in front of me, there was no way I could throw the donut away without her looking, and thus, disappoint her.
On the other hand, I was not sure that eating it was a wise decision.
'Go on, eat it! It's very delicious,' she urged me.
It was a good thing she didn't see the look on my face. In that split second I uttered bismillah, make a mental sign of the cross, and prayed to all the gods that has ever conceived in every culture ever existed in the face of earth.
And then I popped the friggin' half-eaten donut into my mouth. Chewed it once or twice, and forced myself to swallow it.
And when I finally returned to my desk, I drank two glasses of water to wash the taste that was not there but felt there, if you get my drift.