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* sitting on the downhill side of the dining room table

October 7, 2015

It’s a long story I’ll share in one or more different posts, but my Junior year of high school in Madagascar we ended up oilcloth table clothhaving to move out of our house while it was being rebuilt after a cyclone (hurricane) which took off the roof and most of the second floor. So we moved into a small house about a block away. However, as some of these old mission houses aged (and this little one was an old one), the weight of the house over time tended to push down the wooden pillars the house was built on on the ring of the house (under the walls), while those in the middle of the house didn’t settle, or at least not as much. This meant you ended up with floors which were up to several inches higher on the one side of a room than the other. This was the case with the house we moved into. It meant we ended up with a dining/.kitchen table that was an inch or two higher on the one side than the other. We soon learned that when we had company, my brothers and I needed to sit on the downhill side, as if anyone spilled water, it very quickly ran downhill. With a bit of practice and an impermeable oil cloth table cloth, we soon developed the skill to be able to quickly pull up the table cloth on our side to divert the water away from our laps.

This all was a distant memory I’d forgotten about and a skill I no longer realized I had until this weekend, when the waitress spilled waterat the restaurant we were at spilled a pretty good sized glass of ice water in my direction. Without even thinking about it and without stopping talking, I simply diverted the water with the menu in front of me. Not bad, I’d argue, since the above memory all happened about 40 years ago!

Do you have a tilted dining table? I have no problem sitting on the downhill side!

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