This is the second of my distance learning writing assignments.
The challenge was to write about diners in a restaurant. So I reused a real-life adventure from a few blogs ago.
“You’re staring at her boobs,” said my wife, brandishing a chunk of pan-seared scallop on the end of her fork.
“My dear, every man in the restaurant is staring at her boobs.”
It was true. She stuck out like a peacock in a flock of crows. All the other diners were elegant and ancient, all jewels and jowls. She had real star quality. Perfectly coiffed blonde hair, look-at-me blue eyes, thin waist, shapely legs, a watch that dripped diamonds. And, of course, those oversized and too-perfectly round breasts that didn’t seem to fit her ribcage. It was as if a teenage boy’s idea of a fantasy bosom had been transplanted onto a teenage girl’s idea of an ideal skinny sparrow body.
The wife scooped a puddle of pea puree. “Do you have to be so obvious about it? Roll your tongue back in. Besides, they’re not real.”
“I think she’s someone famous. Look how she carries herself.”
It was the way she ordered her meal. She cooed to the waiter as if she was telling the director that she was ready for her close-up. A confident smile and giggle as she pointed to the menu with an elegant finger. Ring – gold, sparkly. Nail – exquisitely shaped and painted. If this was a Raymond Chandler novel she would be the femme fatale to whisk a down-at-heal gumshoe into an adventure with Maltese falcons in black and white alleyways.
“Oh, look, she’s brought Bambi with her,” said my wife.
Her companion was a mousy man nursing a hesitant beard. Where she was diamonds and DD cups, he was jumper and jeans. He held the menu as if it was an exam paper in a subject that he had not revised.
“Have you chosen your wine, sir?” asked the waiter.
The Beard looked at the Boobs with a telepathic plea of ‘help me out here’. She smiled serenely. You’re on your own, mate.
“Um, yes, we’d like some wine” he said. He looked at her for confirmation. She gave him her celebrity smile. They would indeed like wine. This was not a place to order a pint of lager.
“Red or white, sir?”
Beardy looked back at the waiter with a look of increasing panic. Maybe he thought that he’d answered the question and wasn’t expecting a prolonged interrogation.
“Of course,” he said.
The waiter gave a pained look.
“Maybe a red,” she said.
“Yes, yes,” he said. “A red. Definitely a red. That would go with the … um …”
“Any particular red, sir?” I swear the waiter was enjoying this.
Our hero looked for all the world as if he wanted a hole to open up in the dining room floor and swallow him up. After an age of cog-grinding thought, he came up with: “What would you recommend?”
The waiter shrugged. “That depends on sir’s tastes. What would you normally drink? A Merlot, perhaps, or a Pinot Noir?”
At that precise moment every man in the room had switched his attention from her superstructure to his predicament. We were all willing him to choose a wine at random. It didn’t matter. Just pick one.
Another awkward age passed, longer even than the first.
“Rioja!” he said, puffing his chest out as if he had scored the winning goal in the World Cup or bagged a celebrity partner.
“Ah, bless,” said my wife.