Once upon a time, I worked at a restaurant that featured white cloth napkins, neatly folded, on glossy wooden tabletops. After some time, the owner—no idea what had possessed him—suddenly decided he wanted black napkins instead.
Fine. So henceforth, black napkins graced those wooden tabletops.
One day the laundry delivery was late, meaning our funereal napery wasn’t ready for the dinner shift, and the white napkins from before were pressed into service again.
When I came to work that night, a tidal wave of dazzling albescence almost knocked me back out the door. …