New York Story

It was late one night, when I returned to my hotel room. After a depressed glance at the room service menu, I decided I could do better for $30 outside the room.

Finding a seafood restaurant, I ordered a Nantucket Bucket (lobster, including bib) and a bottle of wine then settled down with my Tom Wolfe paperback. It was messy, complicated food, and the novel was thick and hard to hold, and the wine required some attention, too. Eventually, I closed my book and concentrated on the food.

There was only one other table occupied in the restaurant, and they were near enough for me to be unable to avoid their conversation. Two men were listening closely to a third, who was clearly senior:

"The problem with Europeans", he began. "Oh oo", I thought.

"The problem with Europeans, is that they never take the initiative, they always wait for us to make innovations, and then they follow."

"He's going to start talking about Jews soon", I thought, burying my head in my book.

Sure enough, the next remark that drew my attention from the increasingly greasy pages of the novel was
"It's a pretty big coincidence that three Secretaries of State in a row were Jewish"
While I listened with increasing horror, he blamed the carpet bombing of Cambodia on "the Jews", as his companions nodded sagely. Back to my book!

Finally, they finished their meal, and the delightfully flirty waiter came out and flirted with them, and they settled their bill. A while later, when I finished my meal, he came and flirted with me. As he seemed well acquainted with the other party, I broached the subject:

"If I come back here again, do you have a no-fascists section?"

"I know", he said, "but do you want to know the worst thing? They all work at the UN. Two of them are translators, the other is a delegate."

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© 1999-2007 Joan McGalliard. Last changed Wednesday, 16 October 2002