By way of celebrating my mother's birthday, my parents decided to form a small party with their friends the Elders. The process of choosing a place to dine inspired the following brief comedy...
Two Characters in Search of a Restaurant:
A Play in Several Brief Scenes
"It's your birthday. Where do you want to go? I suggested the Rockfish
because you like the Rockfish. It's easy to get to."
"It's not very exciting. They'll think it's too pedestrian."
"It's your birthday; there's nothing wrong with it."
"I'm not sure; I was thinking that the shrimp were just a little tough last
"You don't have to eat shrimp."
"On Greenville. Sylvia likes it. They used to walk there."
"Levantine? Izmir used to be Smyrna. Smyrna was a Greek town
'till Ataturk ran them out in 1920 or '21, whenever it was. It's a pity, the Greeks run out of Asia after two and a half millenia."
"It's the place where there's no menu; you get what momma wants to
cook that night. It's supposed to be good."
"Greenville. I'll have to scout the location. I could offer to drive; that
would reduce the parking problem. I'd have to clean out the car."
"Arc en Ciel?"
"Everytime we've tried to go there it's been closed for a Chinese wedding.
We'd drive up there and couldn't get in."
"There's Calle Doce. They have shrimp."
"That's fine with me."
"But it's so noisy. And you have to wait too long."
"They have a bar."
"I know! Buca di Beppo! Melanie Armstrong likes it. Robbie likes it, too."
"Who are they? Where is it?"
"Teachers. They've all been over there. It's over by North Park. I know
exactly where it is. There's a big parking lot."
"Italian, I gather. Beppo's a diminuative for Giuseppe, I think. Would that
be 'Joey's Mouth?' Southern, Northern, is it specialized? How much would it run?"
"I don't know. I'll look in here." (picks up one of a stack of D Magazines.)
"Where did we get those anyway?"
"Mother. Someone offered her a ten dollar subscription a little while
(reading) "'There's very little about Buca di Beppo that's typical. Its
gregarious, in-your-face bravura might seem pushy if it weren't for the fun-loving servers and the familial manner in which they go about their
business. Bus boys juggle dishes. Cooks stop by to recommend their favorite fare. Before your meal is over, you might even have the whole
waitstaff goading you into after-dinner sips of Limoncello, a toxic brew of
Everclear, lemon rinds, and sugar.'"
"On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."
(reading) "'Southern Italian standards like meat ravioli,
chicken parmigiana, and Neapolitan pizza are served family style. One entree can easily serve four or more diners.'"
"That sounds fine. Everyone likes Italian. We'll go there then."
"I can't tell if they have shrimp."
"They'll have squid."
"Maybe we should go to the Rockfish. It's a nice place. They have shrimp."
"Wherever you like. It's your birthday."