A Sour Sweet Ending

| CA, USA | Friendly | June 27, 2015

(I am a missionary. We try to be on good terms with everyone we work with in our parish and there is one lady who had been offended three years before by missionaries. But because she was a nice, good, generous person, she bought us bags and bags of gourmet food and brought them to us once a month. She just wouldn’t let us come to her house. One day:)

Parishioner: “Hey, I was wondering if you’d like to come to dinner at my house on Thursday.”

Me: “That would be great! We’d love to come!”

(As soon as she leaves, my companion turns to me.)

Companion: “I don’t care if she serves us brains. We’re loving everything she puts in front of us.”

Me: “Absolutely.”

(Since we work with Spanish speakers, the food is always good, but not always what we’re used to. We’ve had deep-fried cow tongue, kidney, intestines, etc. When we get to the parishioner’s house, though, we smell something awesome.)

Parishioner: “I hope you like meatballs!”

(We check and see that she’s made a huge dish of spaghetti and meatballs for us.)

Companion: “We love them! Do you need any help?”

Parishioner: “No, no, have a seat at the table and have something to drink.”

(Since this in the California desert, we are always thirsty. We sit down and reach for the ginger-ale-looking drinks. After one sip, we’re both gagging.)

Me: “Oh, my gosh.”

Companion: “What is this?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’ve never had it before.”

(We try again, thinking we’ll get used to it, but it’s so bad that I have to stuff a piece of bread in my mouth to stop from spitting it up.)

Me: “We’re just going to have to drink it and enjoy the meatballs.”

Companion: “But her husband drinks wine. Maybe she mixed up the bottles and we shouldn’t be drinking this.”

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t had it.”

(By this time, we have drunk about a quarter of whatever it is. The parishioner comes out with the spaghetti and sees that we’ve both had a nice drink and smiles. She goes back to the kitchen and brings out a tall bottle with the familiar drink in it. Ominously, we can see grapes all over the label.)

Parishioner: “[My Name], you seem to like it. I don’t read English, so could you tell me what this is so I can have it for next time?”

(I read and have to work very hard to keep a straight face.)

Me: “Oh, it’s red wine vinegar.”

Parishioner: “OH, MY GOD! It’s what they gave Jesus Christ to kill him on the cross! I’m so sorry!”

Companion: “It’s okay. It’s okay! We didn’t drink it yet!”

(The parishioner looks at the clearly-diminished amount of vinegar in the glasses.)

Me: “Seriously, it’s okay.”

(She was even nicer than usual to us after that.)

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