(The lights come up on a table at centre stage set for one. It has a red checkered tablecloth and one lit candle. Seated at the table there is a nicely dressed man reading a fancy large menu)

Waiter: (Enters) May I take your order now sir? Our special today is fresh Surf & Turf.  It’s quite good.

Man: (Startled) Oh! Yes, I’ll have that thank you.

Waiter: Would you like a salad with that perhaps?

Man: Yes please.

Waiter: And what type of dressing do you prefer?

Man: Hmm. What is the house dressing?

Waiter: It’s a little like French. It’s very good.

Man: All right, I’ll have that… and can you bring me a Bloody Mary?

Waiter: Another waitress?

Man: Pardon?

Waiter: Nothing. It was in poor taste. I’m sorry sir. I’ll be right back with your drink sir.  (He exits)

Host: (Enters) Excuse me sir, are you waiting for someone?

Man: No, I’m all alone tonight.

Host: Do you think you would mind terribly if I asked you to leave?

Man: (Stunned) WHAT?!? You mean NOW? Before I’ve eaten?!?

Host: As soon as possible yes. Do you mind?

Man: Well of course I mind! I came here to eat. If I’d wanted to leave I would have gone somewhere else! (Pause as he realizes the absurdity of that)

Host: Right. Well, I’ve arranged to have your dinner wrapped up for you to take out. Perhaps you could eat it in your car. We have a very pretty parking lot; lots of trees and shrubs.

Man: (Sarcastically) Yeah, sure. I just love eating Surf & Turf in my Honda. It’s the perfect setting for a take out entrée. Of course not! I want to eat my dinner at this table like everybody else!

Host: Excuse me sir, but nobody else IS eating at this table. You said you were alone.

Man: HA! HA! I bet that one went over great at the legion, are you sure you’re the host here? You’d make a great straight man for the comic?

Host: I’m sorry sir, I wasn’t trying to be funny.

Man: Then you’re an idiot! I meant I wanted to eat HERE at the restaurant! Why do you want me to leave?

Host: Well sir, as you know, this is a CLASS restaurant. We try to please our customers in every way possible… and… to be perfectly frank; I don’t quite know how to tell you this… but… I’ve received several complaints about your tie from the other patrons. They find it hard to eat their food while you’re here.

Man: You’re joking of course.

Host: I wish I was sir, but I am quite serious. Now if you would be so kind as to-

Man: NO! I don’t believe you! You said you try to please the customer in every way possible, right?

Host: Yes but-

Man: (Stands) I’m a customer! And it may surprise you to realize this, but it does not please me to be asked to leave and eat my meal in my car. What pleases me is to have my meal brought to my table, where I proceed to enjoy it at my own pace!

Host: I can understand that sir. Obviously, given a choice, I knew you would prefer to have your meal here, but you must consider my point as well. You see you are ONE , and they are SEVERAL. In a conflict such as this, we must try to please the most people possible. That’s common practice. Majority rules. I’m sure you understand.

Man: How many complaints did you receive?

Host: 26.

Man: (Falls to his chair) 26!? They all hated my tie?

Host: With a passion.

Man: Well, let’s compromise. I’ll move to a different table where it won’t bother anyone.. (Looks around) Like over there.

Host: I’m sorry sir, we are totally booked up. There aren’t any seats in the restaurant where you won’t be in someone’s view.

Man: Fine. I’ll take the tie off. (He begins to do so) It’s only a gift from my uncle. It’s not like it was on my neck permanently. I don’t really like the tie that much anyway.  There. (It’s off)

Host: (Embarrassed) Well sir, I’m afraid I’m still going to have to ask you to leave.

Man: WHY!?!? My tie is out of sight. I don’t- (notices something) WAIT A MINUTE!  That man is wearing a tie exactly like mine!! Why wasn’t he asked to leave?!? I demand and explanation!! What’s going on here anyway. (He grabs the host violently)

Host: Please let go of me sir, I was about to explain. I only mentioned your tie so as not to hurt your feelings. What really offends people is your…(scans body) … um.. BELT!  Yes, your belt is terribly ugly! Everyone hates it. I actually received 29 complaints, I was trying to be nice by saying 26. I only said your tie because I didn’t want to upset you.

Man: (He rips off his belt almost instantly) There!

Host: Okay, you caught me. I admit it. It’s your shoes really. YEECH! Horrible! They turn my stomach!

Man: (Flips his shoes off his feet) Well???

Host: EGAD!!! Those SOCKS!!! Put your shoes back on, QUICK! I’m afraid your just too poorly dressed to eat her sir. You’ll have to leave, no doubt about it.

Man: FINE!!! I wouldn’t eat here again if you PAID ME! I don’t know what is going on here, but I don’t need this kind of treatment. (He leaves storming off the stage, then pops back) AND YOUR TIE IS UGLY TOO!!!

Host: (Smiles casually and starts clearing table)

Waiter: Well? Did you tell him we were out of Surf & Turf?

Host: Wasn’t necessary.

Waiter: How far did you get?

Host: To the belt.

Waiter: Darn… (pays host $5)

(Blackout)

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Items on the left menu are Jeff Goebel creations and offered into the public domain. 

Items on the right menu may have copyright held by the original authors.