If you need me, I'll just be propped
Transcript of the most uncomfortable lunch ever had by anyone in the lunch-
having public. I will not go into specifics about my lunch companion, mainly
because I am a huge scaredy-cat. That’s right. I’m yella. But it was with a woman,
and she invited me, and she was paying for the lunch, and she is someone I must
be nice to. That’s it. That’s all the backstory you get.
On the way to the car...
Her: Well, where should we go to eat?
Self: Oh, anything. Anything’s fine.
Her: Really? You like all types of food? I wouldn’t have
guessed that. You seem...like you would be picky.
Self: Ha...ha? Oh. Um. No? Not really. I guess I...I guess I
don’t like Mexican food that much.
Her: Oh, I see.
Her: Because I was thinking about Mexican.
Self: Oh! Well, that sounds good.
Her: You just said you don’t like Mexican food.
Self: Oh...well, I don’t like refried beans. But there’s lots of
Mexican food without refried beans.
Her: You don’t like refried beans?
Her: But you said you don’t like Mexican food.
Self: Well – lots of Mexican food...has...refried beans...in it...?
Her: I wouldn’t say I disliked an entire ethnic genre of
food because I disliked one particular dish.
Self: Hmm, right. O-kay! So, Mexican!
Her: No, I don’t think so. Actually, I made reservations at an
At the restaurant...
Her: What will you be getting?
Self: The shrimp pasta looks good.
Her: Right. Hmm. Well, I actually have some questions about the
menu. Let me get someone. (Reaches out, grabs arm of
passing server. Not our server. New server recoils in terror.)
Her: I think I would like the steak pasta.
Not Our Server: Yes. Well. Let me get your server, and I am sure he will be
happy to get your order. One moment.
Her: But I have some questions.
Not Our Server: Of course. And if you’ll just give me a moment, I will get your
Her: Are you familiar with the menu or not?
Not Our Server: ...“Yes”?
Her: Fine. Then I would like the steak pasta, but I do not want any
actual steak on my pasta. I want the sauce flavored with the
steak, and I would like the pasta cooked with the steak, but I
would like the steak removed before it is brought to me.
Not Our Server: Riiiiight...well, we could do that for you, I’m sure.
Her: And what would the price be for that?
Not Our Server: What?
Her: If I don’t want the steak, I won’t have to pay for it, correct?
Not Our Server: ???
Her: It should be less.
Not Our Server: Well...I think...I think that would be the same price.
Her: But I don’t want the steak.
Not Our Server: Right, but...but you want the pasta cooked with the steak?
Her: That’s right.
Not Our Server: You don’t just want the regular pasta? Without the steak?
Because that’s less.
Her: No. I want my pasta cooked with the steak. I believe I made
that quite clear.
Not Our Server: Yes...yes. But, see, if we cook the steak, we have to charge
for..would you like the steak on the side, perhaps?
Not Our Server: Oo-kay. Well. (Brightening.) I will just have to check with the
manager about that!
Her: I don’t see why.
Not Our Server: (runs away, screaming.)
Her: Well, that’s just ridiculous.
Lunch finally arrives...
Her: So, how is work going?
Self: Great! Really great, thanks.
Her: Of course, you don’t know much yet.
Self: No, I...I don’t. Not much.
Her: At this point, you’re more of a liability, wouldn’t you say? You
can’t possibly bring in what they pay you.
Self: Well...hmm. No, I guess not.
Her: I can’t understand why they would hire someone with so little
Self: Right. Well!
Her: And pay you...what are they paying you?
Self: Um! Not...not much...
Her: “Not much?” Well, I suppose it’s “not much” to you,
considering your family.
Self: (Stunned silence.)
Her: Of course, my mother died.
Self: Oh, I’m so sorry.
Her: We were estranged.
Self: Oh...um. I’m...sorry?
Her: They haven’t brought us any bread yet.
Self: (Relieved.) No! They have not!
Her: I am just appalled by the service here. (Stands up.) COULD
SOMEONE PLEASE BRING US SOME BREAD.
Everyone in restaurant: (staring silently.)
Her: (Sits down again.) So. You were talking about your mother?
Self: I...my moth....? Yes? She’s...we’re...close.
Self: And we...we do a lot of things together...and traveling.
Her: You travel with your mother?
Her: And do you have any friends, outside of your mother?
Self: Yes! Yes. Lots of friends who are not my mom.
Her: Isn’t that interesting.
Her: We still don’t have any bread. Excuse me. (Stands. Leaves
table. Heads towards kitchen. Enters kitchen.)
Self: Oh, good Lord.
And just when I think things can’t get any worse, they get much, much worse.
Please bear in mind, I ordered the second least expensive thing on the menu. The
average meal at this restaurant costs about twenty dollars.
The Bill Comes...
Her: What did you have?
Self: The pasta.
Her: Well, it was very expensive.
Self: Oh, I’ll take care of it. How much was it?
Her: Nine dollars.
Self: Okay, well, here’s a twenty! So, pasta and drink and tip,
Her: No. (Huge sigh.) I’ll...I’ll take care of it. I just wish you had
ordered something less expensive.
Her: In fact, this can’t be right. Nine dollars for pasta? Go get a
menu so I can check for myself.
Her: And I don’t leave tips.
Self: Oh, GOOD LORD.
And now I can never, ever go back there again. And it was good pasta, too.
Thanks a ton, Her!