Nothing says “This conversation is OVER!” quite like flipping the table at which one is seated with company. Indeed, the Table Flip looms large in the arsenal of “big moves” one has at one’s disposal when cornered or enraged in a public setting, and everyone should make the effort to flip a table at least one time before the dirt that bore them once again consumes them. Now people have been flipping tables in anger for billions of years: tale tells that Jesus himself came down out of the wilderness after his camping trip and immediately set about flipping the tables of the money-changers in the market. But this is not an activity that only Christians partake in to relax.
In Japan the Table Flip is such an important thread in the social fabric that there is even a term that refers specifically to the act – Chabudai gaeshi – literally “flipping the tea table.” This has given rise to perhaps the greatest video game ever, Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, in which players are encouraged to pound a table for points before upending it for the finishing move. Our team of archival investigators recently found images caught on a Japanese tea house’s CCTV that show our own Diego El Moro participating enthusiastically in the practice while wandering through remote Dewa Province in 1998. El Moro himself has refused to comment on the incident.
I was, however, able to track down and interview one intrepid table-flipper and he related to me his experience in the Andes in the 70’s thus:
“A table was indeed flipped, and a rather large and heavy one at that. Four couples were dining and enjoying some excellent Classical Spanish Guitar, and many Pisco Sours were consumed. As the restaurant operators obviously thought the ‘gringos’ were either too illiterate or drunk or both to read the bill, it was severely inflated. I requested a copy of the menu to demonstrate same, but none were available, apparently having recently gone out of print. Coisa vai, coisa vem, threats were made, and still no menu.
I had no choice.
Santiago´s finest arrived in number and I produced the bill for dinner and again requested a copy of the menu. The ‘gringos’ were absolved with no penalty for the broken dinnerware and the restaurant was admonished for tourist abuse.
Great Country, Chile!”
As you can see, the man had no choice; and the Table Flip turned out to be the wisest and most effective of options. So the next time you’re enraged to the point of calling someone a “Prostitution Whore” (as in the first video below) or simply find yourself seated across from a stocky Panamanian with a moustache who’s reaching for the knife in his boot, consider the Table Flip. You certainly won’t regret it!