More Mix-Ups (continued)
September 19, 2011
Ever since she thought she found a grasshopper on her plate, Celia has been suspicious of the food served in the dining room at The Place.
Alice had tried to explain that the grasshopper was actually a sprig of rosemary, but Celia didn’t buy it.
Anything can happen in that kitchen, as far as Celia’s concerned. She’s not fond of the serving sizes either (too small), or the menu choices, or the cooking.
A few nights ago she sat down across from Alice at their table and glanced at the menu. “I see we’re having leftovers for dessert,” she announced, scoffing. “Have you ever heard of such a thing? For dessert!”
Alice picked up her own menu and looked at it carefully, then put it down. “Turnovers,” she said. “We’re having turnovers for dessert.”
Celia stuck to her guns. “I’ll bet they’re turnovers made from leftovers.”
Last night, Celia arrived in the dining room a bit late. Dinner had already been served and hers was waiting for her. She opened a very small hamburger bun before biting into it, just to check on what might be going on in there.
“See here,” she said to Alice, holding her plate out in front of her. “it’s a worm.”
Alice looked inside her own hamburger bun and found a tiny hamburger. Once again, she opened her menu. This time she pointed at the words. “It’s a teensy tiny hamburger,” she said. “They call it a slider.”
“A slider they call it?” said Celia. “Why bother with it?”
Alice didn’t know why bother, but she was hungry and ate her slider.
Celia pushed out the worm with her fork and ate only the bun and some lettuce and a small square of cheese.
“There’s no convincing Celia of anything when she doesn’t want to be convinced,” Alice told me later, almost proudly, as if this were a rare and worthy quality in a good friend.
Here’s one from last spring that I recently came across in my notes.
During our evening call one night in May, Alice mentioned that Mr. Fickle had gone out for a walk after dinner, even though it had been raining hard.
She was on her way back to her apartment when she saw him come in through the side door and turn down the hallway. He walked hurriedly, coat, hat and shoes dripping, leaving a watery trail of streaks and puddles on the brown tile floor. Although he walked directly toward her, she knew he was headed toward the Rosary Room where nightly prayers were about to begin.
The moment she spied him, Alice tried to think quickly of a few clever words to say in greeting. By the time he approached and nodded in passing, she was turning the key in the door to her apartment and, miraculously, had something fun at hand to say. She looked up into his eyes. “Do you feel like a duck?” she asked him.
He kept on walking.
“When he didn’t answer,” she told me, “I wondered if he thought I’d said something else.”
I was shocked, which amused her almost as much as what she thought he might have thought she’d said.
Video: Robert Woodward – Music: Guaglione by Pérez Prado