Waiter: Will there be anything else?
Me: [looking at the women sitting two tables over, one of whom is sinking a fork into a large slab of something chocolatey] If I tell you today’s my birthday, will I get cake too?
Waiter: Is it your birthday? Happy birthday! [pointing at empty chair opposite me] So where’s your boyfriend?
Me: I don’t have one at the moment.
Waiter: Oh, no boyfriend? I hope you have fun today anyway.
[A FEW MINUTES LATER THE CAKE ARRIVES, COMPLETE WITH NOVELTY RELIGHTING CANDLE]
Waiter: Here you are. Happy birthday! Have you ever been here before?
Me: No, this is my first time eating here.
Waiter: So, you work nearby? HSBC, perhaps?
Me: Actually, I’m in the process of looking for a job.
Waiter: What kind of work? Office?
Waiter: Well, good luck, and again, happy birthday!
[FOR THE RECORD: YES, I DID LEAVE HIM A TIP. AND THE CHOCOLATE ALMOND CAKE AT THE OYSTER BAR IS TO DIE FOR]