Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Outdoor Dining Day!

Today at the restaurant when you ask to be seated outside on the sidewalk the hostess will tell you that she can’t allow that to happen because the rival drug gangs in the neighborhood have been getting aggressive and there could be a shooting.

“I know we just met, but I think I just fell in love with you and I can’t risk you being killed by a stray bullet,” she’ll say.

Tell her that if this was meant to be between you two, it was meant to be.

“You have to have faith in us. Set me free.”

She’ll take a deep breath and with a tear in her eye, she’ll seat you at a table close to the curb.

Throughout your lunch she’ll watch you from her post inside, wringing her hands with worry. You’ll occasionally send her a smile to reassure her that you’re hers, and you’re not going anywhere. But every time a car backfires or someone starts shouting she becomes terrified all over again.

You order a chicken salad sandwich and it’s just okay. Not great. But the cole slaw is very good. You leave some of the sandwich but finish the cole slaw.

“Okay now go,” the hostess says when she sees you put your napkin over your plate.

“Just let the waitress bring me my check and I promise I’ll get someplace safe. I’ll wait for you there. I’ll wait to begin my life with you there.”

CRACK CRACK CRACK! Gunshots ring out. You leap from your table to tackle the hostess to the ground. A car squeals away. You check the hostess’s body but there’s no blood. She checks you too. Neither of you were hit. That’s when you hear the screaming.

You both rise to your feet and look to the sidewalk café across the street, where a hostess is bent over the body of a customer. She’s holding his head in her hands, screaming for him to wake up and come back to her, to give her more than just a few minutes. But he’s not moving. He’s not coming back.

And that’s when you know that you and your hostess were really meant to be together, not like those two at the restaurant across the street who were clearly just fooling themselves.

Happy Outdoor Dining Day!