Arnon Grunberg



I was having dinner with a friend and his wife in Montmartre on 8th Avenue. Shortly after we were seated a man in his fifties approached our table and he said to my friend’s wife: “Happy birthday.” He appeared to be on the verge of kissing her.
My friend’s wife said: “My birthday is in May.”
Then the waiter came and he said: “No, no, no, these people are not celebrating a birthday. It’s another table, and they are not celebrating a birthday, they are just celebrating.”
Later my friend remarked: “This is a perfect strategy to approach strangers. Just say: ‘Happy Birthday.’”
I wanted to say: “This man wanted to kiss your wife, dude. He was not looking for a decent conversation, but for quick satisfaction.” But I remained silent, it was not a good evening for a bar fight.

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