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As I sat alone at the bar, I caught a glimpse of the kitchen preparations. Amy, my favorite restauranteuress-cum-chef, was tenderly massaging a meat cutlet. She alternately tenderized with the sterling implement she held so assuredly and coaxed with her fingers to soothe its obvious aches and pains. I watched closely as she dusted on layer after layer of flour that clung to the juicy red surface. Her obvious dexterity -- exemplified in soft (I could tell), yet improbably powerful digits -- dictated the tempo, as she remained always in control.
I took a sip of my wine and glanced around the restaurant to see if I had inadvertently missed my wife's arrival. I always came just a little before she did, so this was par for the course. Even if she specifically asked me to come a little bit later, I couldn't help but come early. It was just my nature.
My eyes returned to Amy. Would my wife divorce me? I would come anytime Amy asked me to. Anywhere, for that matter.
Date Written: May 13, 2005Comments:
Average Vote: 2.83333
05/25/2005 The Rid (2.5): Don't see much value here.
05/25/2005 Will Disney (3): this isn't really an acmeshort, per se, but heck, we already have 1,600 of those! author, i would have liked this to be a few degrees darker.
05/25/2005 Jawbreaker (3.5): I really liked the first part. But the last two seemed to try too hard to make it funny in some sort of way.
05/25/2005 Mr. Pony: I think the sad, dead manner in which the joke is executed may not be laugh-out-loud funny, but it is interesting. I wonder, a little, if I'm reading that into it. Analysis, Spock.
05/25/2005 Klause Muppet (3.5): Not slap your knee funny, but I liked the story. Why would his wife specifically ask him to come later? Does she also enjoy watching Amy? Oooohh, that would be interesting...
05/25/2005 qualcomm: big problem here is that it's not very well written. couple that with deadpan style, and i'm dying over here. examples of errors:
- "restauranteuress-cum-chef" is a completely needless detail that adds nothing to our understanding/enjoyment. also, seems a little improbable that he knows several restaurantess-cum-chefs for him to have a favorite among;
- "sterling implement" is almost jarringly vague;
- "obvious aches and pains" is rather cutesy. and why are the aches and pains obvious?
- "exemplified" seems just left of the correct word here;
- "her obvious dexterity...dictated the tempo" is just clumsy;
- "inadvertently" is unnecessary. please remove;
05/25/2005 Mr. Pony: Why, you green-blooded, inhuman...!
05/25/2005 anonymous: I'll respond to a few of QC's complaints:
1. "Restauranteuress-cum-chef" is the first introduction of the theme to "come," so to speak. It's the "cum" that's the joke. Whether it's funny or not is another question.
2. The "obvious" aches and pains are an assessment made by the narrator (as this is told in the 1st person). They're obvious to him. He wants there to be aches and pains. Didn't think that was vague.
3. I don't think "inadvertently" is unnecessary. It suggests the narrator's focus on Amy, and not his wife -- and he's trying to make excuses for it (albeit passively).
4. "Sterling implement" is also meant to be vague. He's not focusing on the tools -- he's focusing on the chef.
Another part of the joke, with regard to the style of language, is how transcendent this whole episode is for the guy. He's using the language deliberately, as though it makes what's happening more significant.
05/25/2005 The Rid: Jawbreaker and Klause, you're way too generous. Shouldn't the word be "restaurateur"? I mean, the gender specificity is unnecessary, right? Is restauranteress a word?
05/25/2005 anonymous: Don't be a misogynist.
05/25/2005 scoop: But author, what's the point of you making your narrator notice all these unnecessary details and observations if he is so obsessed with this restaurantress or whatever? God damn it.
05/25/2005 anonymous: He's (melo)dramaticizing the situation. It makes him feel better in his mundane world, devoid of sterling implements and tenderized meats.
05/25/2005 The Rid: Why's his world mundane? You expect me to take that on faith?
05/25/2005 anonymous: No, but you don't have to make that leap to enjoy the short and understand the narrator's fixation (in my humble opinion).
05/25/2005 Jon Matza: Sure, buddy. This is good stuff. We're starting to enjoy it now that you've called attention to the short's various puns and explained that the bizarrely florid/random language and apparent wrong usages are intentional [nods to mental hospital personnel holding up straightjacket behind author].
05/25/2005 The Rid: Well, I kind of have to take it on faith, don't I? There's no indication in the short that his world is mundane, right? And are you a Roxy Music fan?
05/25/2005 scoop: Matza, don't you mean ambidextrously nods to mental-cum-hospital personnelless gingerly clutching a straightjacket behind author?
05/25/2005 anonymous: Sorry, readers. Just thought I'd address some of QC's problems/questions.
Let's go crazy/Let's get nuts/Let's look 4 the purple banana/'Til they put us in the truck, let's go!
05/25/2005 Jon Matza: Scoop: I could have phrased it that way, but the starkness of my deliverable (devoid of the sort of augmentationism you presuppose) was merely an assessment of my worldview, or a "mental caress" if you prefer. I think most readers divined that, and enjoyed it.
05/25/2005 Benny Maniacs (2.5): I would have liked a little more tapioca in this bland pudding. The character suffers from whimper and simper syndrome. He has a guilty whimpering thing going on, meanwhile he smiles at his interior monologue. Though I'm sure the feelings were honestly portrayed, I'm not feeling this one. Maybe he could have been more criminal in his thoughts, and then had only slightly guilty feelings. Or, maybe his guilty feelings could have been exaggerated out of proportion. More tapioca.
05/25/2005 Dylan Danko: Hello there, Benny!
05/26/2005 John Slocum (2): An extra star for mentioning wine. Otherwise, boring, bland, nothing to enjoy and, as QC pointed out, poorly written. Slocum doesn't like this. I still have fond memories of your alien/big vagina short, though.