Last week as I was having dinner in a restaurant in Woolacombe, England, I accidentally knocked over a pint of water on the table, getting half the table and bits of the floor wet. Now, you must understand that knocking over a glass is usually accompanied by an orchestration of sounds, ranging from shattering glass to “oh fuck!” and silly laughter from your guests. So was this incident. It would be hard to miss.

As it turned out, nobody but me and my friend seemed to notice what had happened. Water was dripping on the floor, the waitress was walking to and fro through the water, but she wasn’t triggered to smile reassuringly, or to refill my glass, or even to clear up the mess. It led me to believe that to attract somebody’s attention in a restaurant you’d probably have to resort to setting fire to a napkin and swearing at the same time. But with the water gone from its glass I didn’t feel I could vouche for the safety of the other guests, so I didn’t set fire to anything. Mind you, would’ve been a hell of a site, as the accomodation was built using a lot of wood…