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The Goodbye Luncheon

(Jim, Jodi, and Sharon are real people. Their last names have been withheld.)

To: Jim

From: Jodi

If you plan to attend Sharon's luncheon, please let me know your selection by Tuesday, June 7 ($10/person). The choices are:

-- Broiled Sole Fillets - lightly seasoned or stuffed and served with rice pilaf

-- Popcorn Shrimp - bite sized breaded shrimp served with a baked potato

-- Grilled Chicken Breast - marinated boneless chicken breast served with rice pilaf

-- Chicken Fresco - baked chicken tenderloins & vegetables all in a light garlic & parmesan cheese sauce, served over linguini with fresh brocolli




To: Jodi

From: Jim

Dear Jodi,

Thank you for arranging this luncheon for Sharon. I'm deciding what to order, and I have a question.

What about us carnivores? I want meat. Red raw meat. I want them to lead it in on a rope and I want it to "moo" when I bite into it. I don't want anybody I know to see me eating "rice pilaf" or "Chicken Fresco". In fact, I don't want anybody who knows anybody I know to see me doing so. I want a dignified American meal of steak and potatoes by God, served with flagons of blood-red wine. I want Hungarian red wine, with a picture of a cow on the label. I want to think about Eastern Europeans making this wine for slave wages and making it badly. I want the whole bottle. I want several. I want it served on a white tablecloth and I want that tablecloth to be so soiled when we're done that it can't even be used for rags. I want a meal to remember, in the midst of bawdy company. I want someone to tell off-color jokes and I want us all to laugh till we cry. I want some of us to discover that the person we've mumbled at as we've passed in the halls these last 5 years is a sexual rogue. I want several people to fail to return to work afterward. I want to see a disciplinary memo sent down from the director's office in the wake of all this. I want the restaurant to refuse to serve anyone from the Lab for the next two years. I want to generate gossip. I want media coverage. I want arrests. I want some careers launched and others destroyed. I want this luncheon to divide time into a before and an after. Despite her acute embarrassment at all this, I want Sharon to change her mind and stay.

That's what I REALLY want. I just KNOW you're going to tell me I can't have it. So I'll get back to you with my food order.

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