Submitted by Tyler Durden.
From Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box
It’s Just Lunch
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
Imagine if you will a very large and diverse restaurant. It is not the Restaurant at the End of the Universe of Douglas Adam’s fame but the biggest one on this world and it is known as “Investeros.” Here there is a group of people that have been dining together for the past thirteen years. For most of the time the food was good, the service polite and paying the bill was never an issue. Then Don Grekko got into trouble and then Don Paddy and also Don Portugesse. They still went to lunch, of course, everyone being good friends but the other diners had to pick up their bill and this was getting tiresome. There was huffing and puffing and each of them said, in turn, that it was not their fault. There was the usual polite finger pointing and these three gentleman ate, but what they could order was severely curtailed because of the prices. This caused some issues but everyone still dined and the world went on albeit not quite as pleasantly as before.
The group discussed the situation and Don Berlin was dispatched to some other friends to see if they might help pick up the tab for their lunches. Don Berlin went to see Don Mao Si Tongue who said that while he understood the problem but that the Chinese food on the menu was not that good so that while he appreciated the offer; he would decline. Then Don Gee the 7th was contacted but he had other issues presently. Next Don Briziliano and his group was approached but they were much poorer than the dining group at “Investeros” and so politely declined. Finally they went to Duena Washintonia, who had helped before, but she said that her charity donations were about at the limit of what she wanted to do for the year.
In the meantime Don Espanola told the group that while he was just fine, of course he was fine, no problema but that his wife was having some difficulties. He said that he took the leftovers home to his wife and that she did not have enough to eat and could she get some help. The group reminded him that she was his wife and not their wife and he should take care of his own family. Don Espanola fretted for a while but then came back to the same subject and pleaded his case asking for donations for his wife from everyone. The group was not happy and there was a lot of dissention about what should be done. Don Berlin said that he might help Don Espanola but that giving money to his wife, who he did not know very well, was something not on the table but that if Don Espanola needed help then he could get it possibly and then disburse some of the money to his wife. The unfortunate thing was that Don Espanola also had a number of mistresses; Duena Catalan, Duena Castile la Mancha and so forth who were also having some difficulties but Don Espanola did not think it polite to discuss these other liaisons at lunch. It now also became apparent to the rest of the group that their share of the bill was going to keep increasing, causing all of them difficulties, if the group not paying was going to get larger. Don Italiano was also having problems with his business and if he and Don Espanola were not going to be able to pay then the remaining members were going to start to see what they could order on the menu would be curtailed along with the non-payers. Lunch was going to be much less pleasant and the lobster and caviar would now be out of the question and no one was happy about this.
In a final act, of what they thought was brilliance, the dining group turned to the owners of the restaurant and asked for credit. They got this for a time but the bill for present and past meals kept increasing as well as the interest on what was owed. “You know us, we have always paid, we will always pay” is what was told to the owners of “Investeros” but the bill was becoming so large that many of the restaurant’s owners said that the days of the “free lunch” was over.
Now the group is once again at the table ordering lunch and desert has come and gone and everyone is sitting there looking at everyone else. No one is volunteering to pay the bill; no one knows who will pay the bill. The restaurant is about to close for the siesta and the waiters are getting impatient along with the management.
“Who is going to pay the bill; now that is the question.
“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”