As I was reading Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, I was pleasantly surprised to discover lots of humor sprinkled throughout the book. Often it’s quite subtle, sometimes it occurs in dialogue between characters, but in one particular scene it slowly unfolds as a sequence of events after a simple question is asked. I couldn’t resist trying to recreate the scene in an illo!
It all starts out innocently enough in Gabriel’s kitchen. His sister, Rachel, is in town visiting and has decided to treat both her brother and Julia to a home-cooked meal. But when asked what’s she’s preparing, her answer sets into motion quite an interesting chain of events! 😉
What unfolds next was almost like a Rube Goldberg contraption the way each reaction caused another (and more explosive) reaction! It was no surprise that part of the menu selection would provoke more than a casual response from Rachel’s dinner companions, but unfortunately for Julia, she was caught quite off-guard. Already trying her best to avoid triggering any more wrath from Gabriel, the mention of a simple side dish destroyed all hopes for an uneventful evening.
It was also unfortunate for Gabriel, since he had just changed into one of his favorite crisp, white (and of course expensive) dress shirts. But to be honest, he deserved the dousing and was in need of a cooling off! Just prior to Julia’s refreshing spritz, he had giddily anticipated–then enjoyed–closely watching Julia expertly savor her first taste of his special vintage Chianti from Tuscany. Perhaps he enjoyed it a little too much…as Julia noted to herself. 😉 So even though it was unintentional, Julia put out the fire she had innocently just started!
But, Gabriel’s reaction to the events was not funny at all, and instead stoked an entirely different fire in him. Once again he manages to upset poor Julia. However, this time he realized what he had done and tried to make amends. This treated Julia to a much more pleasant interaction with him, and allowed her to experience his much gentler and compassionate side.