Meaning: The stain left on a table from a cold glass of water.
The English language surprises us in many ways. It talks about a lot of different things and often has the most beautiful words to describe many things. But Italian won the round when we search for the right word to describe that particular strain that seems to irritate many people. It is the pet peeve of many to have their beautiful wooden tables stained by water. The stain might disappear over time, but then some might stay, ruining the polished surface.
Coasters were invented to prevent these types of stains. While the protecting guard had a proper name, Italian gave us the name for the stain, using the same letter. The condensation rolls off water droplets from the surface and stay on the table for long after the glass has been removed. This stain has ruined many pieces of furniture and have many YouTube tutorials dedicated to methods for removing them. Well, we aren’t sure how effective they are, but at least we have a single word to say when pointing out to the offending mark to the person responsible for it! (Yes, that seems a bit overboard, but then I have seen people doing it. I have never understood the fuss, but I have seen people lose their cool when I leave a cold glass with water droplets rolling down its surface.)
Flash Fiction #3
Caitlin had always thought her librarian was a strict woman. She hated when the matronly old lady frowned at her if she so much as sneezed. She had often wanted to retort, “Please put up a sign that says ‘Loud breathing not allowed’ soon.”
She rued the fact that almost always, she had to check out the books from the library and take it to a nearby café if she wanted to read. It was her habit to snigger and sigh as she merged with the story and the characters. At least she didn’t get reprimanded for groaning when the protagonist did something obviously stupid.
As she passed the scowling woman that day, she vaguely wondered why such a pleasant face always wore a frown that made her look older than she was. She was halfway through keeping her hidden cool drink can on the table surreptitiously, when she heard the voice.
“If that drink is so important, have it while you are outside. I don’t want my tables to be stained. I don’t need to remind you it is against rules to bring food or drinks into the library. You know the rules well by now, having miraculously managed to break every single one of them…”
Caitlin drowned out the droning voice, gulped down the drink and threw the can in the bin with exaggerated movements, earning an exasperated sigh
“If you hate me so much, just cancel my membership. I will go find another library. At least there I could read peacefully.” She muttered under her breath, disgruntled.
Settling down to read, she had hardly gone through a few pages when the urge to have a potato chip overcame her. Resisting temptation successfully for five minutes, she pulled out a hidden packet and hurriedly stuffed her mouth with a few chips, congratulating herself for having even thought about eating them without a sound.
Almost as if her malpractice radar had been activated, she heard a throat being cleared behind her. Caitlin choked on her chip, gagging with tears in her eyes.
“Oh my god! Are you alright? Oh you silly child!” The shocked voice exclaimed. Caitlyn winced at the sudden loudness, never having heard the voice at such a decibel. A cold glass of water was thrust in her hand, and as she drank it thankfully, her eyes fell on the face of the librarian, her eyes clouded with concern and worry. But as soon as she got her breath back, the familiar scowl was back.
“This is probably why they tell you not to bring food to a library, you know. And there is also a reason why I would never cancel your membership. I will never get another avid reader like you, and no matter how many rules you break, you still are a needed menace!”
As Caitlyn watched, the older woman’s lips twitched dangerously close to a smile. Grinning snidely, Caitlyn pointed to the spilled water on the table. “Too bad you broke one rule yourself!”
“That isn’t a rule, technically speaking. Just my pet peeve. I would seem silly writing ‘Don’t leave water stains on the table. Cold drinks not allowed.’ It is much easier to ban food and drinks in general!”
“Well that would seem silly, but saying you hate Culaccino and those responsible would be thrown out! That sounds much more sophisticated.” She said, earning a rare grin.