We all knew that Gina and
Gordon were doomed
. Sure, they were constantly saying banal romantic
things to each other, all sorts of poochie moochie
that makes everyone
around them ill, but those of us who knew them both knew The End was only
a matter of time.
Gina had arranged a dinner date for them one Friday, claiming she had
a big surprise. That should have sent up a red flag, but the fool
went anyway. Her favorite trick was to lead him into a new
place blindfolded, and that's what happened this time. This time,
when the blindfold was removed, the distinct sights of an Italian restaurant
made themselves manifest.
Now, Gord is not an adventuresome sort. This always irked Gina, and
she was always pushing him into trying new things. Sometimes, he'd budge,
such as the time she talked him into driving to Yellowstone. Oh,
and the infamous Bungee Jumping Incident.
But in the realm of food, Gord was unmoveable. Gord's food allergies
are legendary, even if most of us suspect they're psychosomatic.
His mother gave up trying to make him eat his brussels sprouts when he
was 8. Hamburgers and corn dogs were ok, and he'd eat fried chicken
if there was nothing else around. Cheese ravioli was always safe. But old Gord preferred a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich to just about anything. When the dorm
cafeteria had its weekly taco night, the rest of us would pig out because
it was the only time they served something palatable. Except Gord,
he'd make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, after badgering the cafeteria
manager for peanut butter and jelly. On whole wheat toast if he had to.
After awhile they just gave up and put peanut butter and jelly out with
the salsa and taco shells. It made for some interesting tricks to
play on freshmen.
So anyway. back to Gord and Gina. They're seated, and he calms
himself down with two glasses of chianti.
"Isn't this wonderful, Gordie, honeymuffin?"
"If you're in it, Gina sweetie, it's my favorite restaurant in the world."
OK, I made that last part up; sue me. But it wouldn't surprise
me if they actually said it.
Well, the next sign of trouble came when he looked at the menu and
saw that all of the entrees contained veal.
"Good evening, signore and signorina, and welcome to La Vitella. I am
your waiter Carlo. Tonight's specials include Vitella alla parmigiana,
Vitella alla melanzana, Vitella piccata, Vitella Francese.
The soup of the day is vitello lingua minestra. Is signorina ready
"Vitella alla melanzana would be wonderful."
"Excellent choice. And Signore?"
"Would signore like a few more minutes?"
"Um, well, no. Cheese ravioli for me."
An ominous look crossed the waiter's face.
"Signore, we have the finest vitella maestro all the way from Siena.
Around the corner there is a trough called 'Tony's Place' where they
will be more than happy to serve you this 'cheese ravioli'.
If you wish to dine at La Vitella, you will dine on la Vitella!'"
"Um, oh all right, whatever she's having." Which at least got
the waiter to go away.
"Why do you always have to embarrass me?"
"You know I don't like weird food."
"You need to try new things!"
Twenty minutes of this and three more glasses of chianti later, the
waiter brought their entrees. But ten seconds after the first bite of melanzana,
Gord had an allergic reaction, throwing up all over the table.
Which brought the maitre d'.
"He's doing it on purpose!" A careless remark, perhaps, from Gina.
But the guy was such a tightass that he called the police and had Gord
arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
Of course I was the one who had to come and bail him out. Back
over at Tony's Place he told me the whole story, while eating a plate of
A careless remark, perhaps. But in the bookstore last Wednesday,
whose voice did I hear coming from the next shelf over but Gina's?
"This is just the book for you, Carlo dear. Master rock climbing
in 18 days. Just the thing to cure your fear of heights."