Scene From a Party

15 Jun

(A gaggle of past-their-prime women are mingling at a cocktail party. Waiters hustle and bustle between them serving hors d’oeuvres. Nobody is having as much fun as they look like they are.)

WAITRESS: Could I interest you in a cheese tortellini with lemon aioli?
PARTY GUEST 1: What’s in the tortellini?
PARTY GUEST 1: I know, but is that a soft cheese, like a ricotta?
WAITRESS (earnestly): Honestly, I’m not sure as to its hardness, but I could go get a Mohs scale number from the chef if you want me to.
PARTY GUEST 1: It’s just that soft cheeses upset my stomach, you know?
WAITRESS: You should probably pass on these then. (motions to walk away)
PARTY GUEST 1: Yeah, there was a time last year where I was spending hours a day in the bathroom, basically just splitting my time between thinking about what was wreaking such havoc on my digestive system and dozing off, actually, out of exhaustion. I actually had to have a phone installed next to my toilet because it was always a gamble as to whether I’d be able to get up and answer the call.
WAITRESS: (stunned silence. Motions to leave again.)
PARTY GUEST 1: So, I’m wondering day in and day out, what is doing this to my body? And then one day, I’m like “You know what I never eat but is known to cause digestive problems in some? Soft cheese!” Turns out, all I had was a humongous tapeworm in my intestines, but I still don’t eat soft cheese anymore just to be picky. (gives WAITRESS an awkward wink and touches the side of her arm in a friendly way. WAITRESS immediately recoils and jogs away.)

WAITRESS: Soft cheese tortellini with lemon aioli?
PARTY GUEST 2: Yeah, I’ll have one. Just because this is my dinner though.
WAITER: Ok. (handing her a soft cheese tortellini.)
PARTY GUEST 2: I normally don’t eat at these things, it’s just that this is my dinner for tonight.
WAITRESS: Well, enjoy!
PARTY GUEST 2: I had time to make dinner for the kids, but I didn’t get an opportunity to eat anything myself. The invitation said there’d be food here, so I figured I’d be fine. I just didn’t expect food like this.
WAITRESS: Is there something else I can go get for you instead?
PARTY GUEST 2: No, I’m on this diet where I really only eat pickles and maple syrup, not in that order, of course (laughs), and I sort of assumed that they would have those.
WAITRESS: I’m sorry, I don’t think we have those things here.
PARTY GUEST 2: It’s not a huge deal, I guess. Are these at least gluten-free?
WAITRESS (unsure but guessing): Yes.
PARTY GUEST 2: And was the cheese slaughtered humanely?
WAITRESS(confused): Excuse me?
PARTY GUEST 2: Like, did they put the cheese in the tortellini humanely? Was it in pain?
WAITER (lying further): No, the cheese was treated very well.
PARTY GUEST 2: And how many calories are in this?
WAITRESS (ensnaring himself further in a web of lies): 82 per tortellini.
PARTY GUEST 2: That’s excluding the aioli, I assume.
WAITRESS (looking at the point of no return in her rear view mirror): Yeah, aioli included.
PARTY GUEST 2: You know what, I’ll actually skip these. I’m not even that hungry. But since they’re so low-calorie, they’re great for my diabetic friend. Cathy! Come here!
(CATHY comes over, takes a cheese tortellini. WAITER is too spineless and weak to reveal her mistruths to prevent a possible medical consequence and seeks refuge in the bathroom. She overhears PARTY GUEST 1 having a bad reaction to the soft cheese.)

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