Keep reading ...
A grand feast of marinated steaks and jumbo shrimp was winding down, and a group of friends was sitting on the back patio of a Capitol Hill home, sipping red wine. Suddenly, a hooded man slid in through an open gate and put the barrel of a handgun to the head of a 14-year-old guest.
"Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," he demanded, according to D.C. police and witness accounts.
The five other guests, including the girls' parents, froze -- and then one spoke.
"We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, blurted out. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?"
The intruder took a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupéry and said, "Damn, that's good wine."
The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, who described the harrowing evening in an interview, told the intruder, described as being in his 20s, to take the whole glass. Rowan offered him the bottle. The would-be robber, his hood now down, took another sip and had a bite of Camembert cheese that was on the table.
Then he tucked the gun into the pocket of his nylon sweatpants.
"I think I may have come to the wrong house," he said, looking around the patio of the home in the 1300 block of Constitution Avenue NE.
"I'm sorry," he told the group. "Can I get a hug?"
Did the suggestion, "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?" make all the difference? From the viewpoint of mimetic theory, yes. The previously invisible person, famished for he-knew-not-what suddenly had every eye fixed on him, and in the invitation, "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?" he was given a rushing-in of ontological substantiation, belonging, and entrée.
Was it true change of heart? I'd keep the security system on ...