Things We Hate--The Top-Off

Uncle Charlie has a drinking problem. When family and friends go out to eat with him, they would prefer to regulate his alcohol intake so he doesn't become loud and obnoxious, or collapse in a heap on the table. So they try to take charge of the wine bottle. Besides, as fair-minded people, they prefer that the alcohol be shared out evenly. Yet the waiter watches the table like a hawk, and every time Charlie takes a slug, the waiter is there with bells on topping off his wine glass. Water glasses remain unfilled and the bread basket unreplenished, but the waiter still appears the second the level on anyone's drink descends, sometimes only by a sip or two, in a desperate attempt to drain the bottle and sell another.

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