Archive » March 1, 2007
By Ernie Witham
The Writers Lunch
Every month a bunch of us get together for a writers lunch. Turns out they taste just like chicken.
OK, OK, we don’t actually eat writers – though we do relish the lifestyle – instead we get together in hopes of unleashing an avalanche of unabridged creativity, which will make us all rich and famous. Because we consider this work, it’s also one more meal we can write off on taxes. Unfortunately non-writing lunch patrons don’t always appreciate our unbridled enthusiasm. Matter of fact, we’ve been kicked out of so many restaurants over the years that we don’t even use our real names anymore.
Today we were at the newest spot for our monthly soirée, a nice family type place that we hoped to call home for a long time, and we were discussing a complex literary problem that I was having with my novel-in-progress.
“I think I need to brutally murder someone,” I said. “So that I can get an agent.”
“Wow, I thought they just wanted a fifteen percent commission,” Boo Boo said.
Roc laughed. Unfortunately he was mid-sip and began spraying coffee from both nostrils. We cleared a safety zone and waited politely to see whether he was going to choke to death. When he didn’t we signaled the waiter that Roc needed a refill.
“What’s the big deal?” Doc asked. “Most of us have killed before or at least maimed a shady character or two.”
There was a general nodding of agreement. The people at the next table looked up then quickly turned away.
“Oh I can kill the guy,” I said. “No problem. But this time I’d like to do it with flair.”
“A blowtorch would be better than a flare,” Hopper said.
People left from the table behind us without even finishing their lunch, so MacDaddy reached over, grabbed a plateful of fries and passed them around.
“Is he a surfer?” asked Dish, “cause you could trick him into surfing near a toxic waste dump. Toxic deaths are very visual.”
“That sounds a bit slow,” I said. “Not that I’m personally opposed to long painful deaths with graphic discoloration and oozing wounds, you understand. But that’s been done to death – so to speak.”
Three older women entered and exited without even sitting down.
“How about botulism?” Cricket asked. “There’s a lot of that going around these days. It’s practically not safe to eat anywhere.”
I heard the scraping of chairs as yet another group abandoned their table.
“I’m not good with food prep,” I said. “Besides, I’d like to really baffle the police.”
“You could make a knife out of an icicle,” said Mush Momma. “Stab him in the chest like this...” she gave a nice demonstration, including hanging her tongue out of the corner of her mouth. “The weapon melts and takes care of itself.”
“I don’t know. All that blood sounds a bit messy and dangerously slippery.”
I noticed a large guy leave his sandwich at his girlfriend’s urgent request and angrily head our way. Just before he got there, Sparky yelled out: “Viagra user!”
The guy wilted and headed back to his table.
“Perfect,” Ralph added. “He’s already got the weapon, all you have to do is stimulate an overdose.”
“I like it!” I said. “It’s contemporary, and should appeal to a lot of female readers, too.”
“Plus it’s got great character arc,” added Sky. “He’s up one minute, down the next.”
We high-fived with our drinks then held them up for more refills.
“But what if I need to get rid of the body?” I asked.
“Well, in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes they barbecued the dead guy and served him to the investigator for lunch,” said MacDaddy
“Wow, what a tasteful ending,” Roc said.
A guy in a chef’s apron stormed out onto the patio, looked at all the uneaten food and said: “I quit.” Then the manager approached our table. We all knew only too well what that meant.
“I heard about a new restaurant opening up on Coast Village Road next month,” said Doc.
“What name shall we use for the reservations this time?” Hopper asked.
“How about we tell them we’re a stamp collecting group from Ojai?” Skooby suggested.
“Until we meet again,” Roc said. Then we quickly exited the now empty restaurant.
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