“Excuse me. I’m sorry to bother you, but my girlfriend’s avocado is bigger than mine,” said my wife to the waiter.
We were out to lunch with friends.
“Well, I’m sorry, ma’am. We weigh each avocado, and that’s what you get with the Avocado Chicken Scratch Salad. Otherwise we’d exceed 650 calories, complaints would ensue, and we’d need to move that item to our Lard Lovers menu.
“Still, I’d rather have a bigger avocado,” my wife said. “I can go up to 710 calories without adverse effects.
“Well, would you mind if I take your avocado over to our scales? I’ll make sure it’s not too small.”
“Are you kidding me?” said my wife incredulously.
“No, it’s really no problem.”
“That’s not necessary,” my wife said. Just bring me an extra piece of avocado. I’m pretty hungry right now.”
“Certainly, I’d be happy to do that. There’s $3.00 upcharge for additional fruits and nuts. Before I bring you that slice, however, please just let me weigh that one for you. It will only take 10 minutes.”
Before my wife could protest again, the waiter slid on plastic gloves and grabbed her avocado.
Around the table, we all looked at each other, dumbfounded. We began picking at our food with forks while my wife fiddled with a saltine packet. Eventually the waiter returned.
“My manager can’t legally release more avocados in this sector until tomorrow, but we’d be happy to compensate by providing seven additional dried cranberries instead.”
“What do you think?” my wife asked me.
“Go for it,” I replied, chewing my oyster stew.
My wife pondered, and then said, “I don’t think the cranberries are equivalent. Can you throw in two ounces of bleu-cheese crumbles as well?”
“I’ll be right back,” said the waiter, who was beginning to look tired. Twenty minutes later he returned with twelve cranberries on a saucer, a ramekin of Parmesan, and a Chinese tea bag. “This is the best we can do,” he said. “If this isn’t satisfactory, you can file a brief on our website at the Disgruntled link.”
“Can I get hot water with the tea bag?”
“Hot water and a cup cost $2.95 with one free thimble. For cold water, it’s bring your own polyethylene, and lemon slivers are a quarter.”
“Never mind,” said my wife. “Please take this Chicken Scratch back to the kitchen. I’ll have the 19-Bean and Carp Soup instead. And I’ll be counting!”
By this time the rest of us had finished eating, so we went to the parking lot to play croquet while my wife counted her beans.