An Evening at Red Lobster - Part 2
- Wading through the expanse of beady eyed Midwestern tourists all lookin’ at her, Debbie finally returns from the bathroom.
“That took a long time--number 2?”
“No.” she lied. I could smell the waft of doody on her burqa.
“It couldn’t possibly have been number 1! It seemed like days!” I looked her straight in the only exposed part of her body—her eyes.
“Can we not talk about this? There was a line. ”
“Oh.” I replied skeptically. “At least with that dumb burqa on, you don’t’ have to worry about a restroom ever not having toilet paper.”
I continued, “You know Debbie, I perused the most fascinating article about lobsters right before we came here. Did you know that as the lobster grows, periodically, the exoskeleton is molted and in its place, a bigger one is formed?” I ripped the claw off a bright crimson lobster and started hitting it with the blunt end of my knife.
“Nate—listen to me. I have to tell you something. It’s important that you understand what it is I am going to say.”
“Does it have to do with the fact that lobsters move swiftly along the ocean floor and can actually swim backwards using the great muscles in their abdomens and tails. Interesting how these decapods are so swift and mobile in the sea, yet their ten legs can’t get them out of a large pot of boiling water.”
The waiter—Marcel or something, probably 20, longish trendy haircut cradled by untrendy hairnet—finally comes over with some god damned cocktail sauce. “It’s about god damned time,” I exclaimed half jokingly / half 100 percent totally fucking serious. The waiter rested his left hand on the table for a bit too long and it almost looked as if he slipped an index card with a handwritten note on it to Debbie. They shared a probably unknowing glance and then he walked away in a hurry. On second thought maybe that wasn’t our original waiter. I scrambled for something to talk about. What was she even saying before this? I can get deeper conversation out of a cantaloupe.
“Hmmm…what else can I say about lobsters…oh! In colonial America, lobsters were considered rubbish people food. The irony! Harvested from tidal pools, they were forced upon infants, prisoners, and even indentured servants. Some of the servants actually rebelled and demanded new contracts stating they would not be served lobster more than three times a week. Hey, how’s your side salad Debbie?”
Debbie was now holding a small piece of cardstock up in front of her face, possibly reading something. It’s quite rude to not pay attention while someone is talking so I tried to grab it out of her hand. “Listen to what I am saying!”
“Stop it! Let go, you douchebag!” she shrieked.
She wouldn’t let go. So naturally the paper ripped in half.
Ah ha! There was writing on it!
YOU MUST G /
HURRY! A BOM/
THE COUNCI /
Useless words. Probably a stupid poem. I hate poetry.
She wrestled it back from my hands. “NATE. We must leave right now.”
“But what about the check that you’re going to pay for? We’re not just gonna stiff the bill when you’re supposed to be paying for it! Half the point of this trip to this trap is that you are paying me off in crustaceans to keep my mouth shut about your involvement with Al Jazeera. How can you pay me off in lobsters if you are thereby making the lobsters economically worthless? If I wanted free lobsters, I'd buy an expensive kayak and go lobster catching off Long Island. I demand valuable succulent red lobsters!”
She threw two Franklins down on the table. “We don’t have time for your bullshit. We must leave IMMEDIATELY.” Debbie forcefully pulled the sleeve of my dinner jacket and the arm within it. “NOW!”
“Okay okay. Jeez. You’re acting like someone’s trying to murder us,” I stammered as I pocketed the two 100 dollar bills without her seeing.
We moved quickly out of the dining room. People at the other tables scorned Debbie and her attire. “That Al Qaeda member probably isn’t paying her bill—typical,” one couple sneered. “Look at that guy holding hands with Alice Jazeera,” another family commented.
We got outside and started into a light sprint. We jogged 3 blocks south and then heard an annoyingly loud noise. If I had to use an onomatopoeia to describe it, it would be KA-BOOM! The sound came from the north. Probably 3 blocks away--who knows? We slowed down to a saunter and I began nursing the cramp I developed from all the running.
"You know what I liked about that place Debbie?"
She questioned timidly, "What's that?"
"Everything!! It was delicious! We should go back next week. And every week after that!"
"I don't see that happening," she replied as we descended a flight of subway stairs leading to a Brooklyn bound F train.
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