I went out for dinner with an old friend from back in the day while I was in Toronto. Not that she's old. She's my age. We've just known each other since we were 10, which is definitely the longest I've known anyone that I'm still in touch with, not counting family and/or family friends.
Anyway, I haven't seen her in ages, and we met up for dinner and drinks at this really nice restaurant in the Annex which I will not name due to the incriminating story I am about to relate.
She got to the restaurant first, and was waiting when I turned up. (I wasn't late, just to clarify. I got there mere moments after she did.) We were eating at a cute little restaurant, and there was only one other table of customers when I got there. As I was about to sit down, the waiter (and possibly owner) swooped over to take my coat. We took the bold move of ordering a half litre of wine - red, not white, as I no longer drink white post "The Incident", which we no longer speak about so I don't know what you're talking about.
Waiter/owner man left us alone with our menus and wine for a while, and there was much catching up and amusing banter of the "my mom saw your grandmother at the airport" and "hey do you know what so-and-so is up to?" and "your little brother has a beard??" variety.
We'd pretty much decided on food when waiter/owner man swooped to the table again. He was a swooping kind of guy. The other table had left by this point, so we were the only customers in the place. We ordered our main courses (I ordered the paella) and smiled politely.
Waiter/owner man: No appetizers for you ladies? You must have the appetizers!
Us: Thanks no, we're thinking we'll get dessert instead.
Waiter/owner man: The desserts are disgusting.
Now, this caused us a moment of confusion. You've got to understand that he said this with absolutely no humour or sarcasm in his voice. It was a total deadpan "The desserts are disgusting." Needless to say, we weren't sure quite what he meant by this. Were the desserts actually disgusting? Was he kidding? Were they so good they were disgustingly good? What did he mean?
After an awkward pause, we decided that he was kidding and laughed awkwardly. He chortled to himself and swooped away.
We exchanged a look of "well, that was weird" and continued the catching up and amusing banter. Much merriment was had.
The food arrived and the waiter/owner man insisted on introducing himself and learning our names. Um, okay. Sure, why not? It's a friendly place, right? That's nothing to think is weird.
The food was really nice, and when we were done, we did indeed feel in the mood for desserts, assuming they weren't disgusting. Once again, waiter/owner man swooped to our table.
Waiter/owner man: You're finished! How was the meal?
Us: Delightful, thanks. What desserts do you have?
Waiter/owner man: Oh, they're disgusting. We have an awful chocolate cake, it's very rich. We've got a disgusting lemon tart, it's horrible. Our rice pudding is absolutely repulsive. The apple pie with ice cream is sickening, and our house speciality is the cheesecake, which is nauseating.
Us: [confused pause]
Waiter/owner man: [smiling in anticipation of our disgusting order]
Us: [confused look exchanged] Uh, I guess the chocolate cake please?
Waiter/owner man: [grinning] You'll love it. It's disgusting.
So, he clearly meant disgusting in the "disgustingly good" sense, but that so was not clear when he was describing the desserts. What is up with that? How is belittling your food and calling it gross a good selling technique?
From now on, I will be using this terminology at every opportunity.
"And your haircut is finished. What do you think?" Disgusting.
"Congratulations! You've won a million pounds!" Disgusting!
"And how do you take your coffee?" Disgusting?
And for the record, the cake was pretty good.