An Excerpt from… AboutAverage.com
“Chicken Francese?” she repeated, correctly.
“Yeah, umm,hmm, Chicken Fran-Says-See,” he restated the same as before.
Clearly, this guy didn’t have an Italian bone in his body, that, or he didn’t get out much. I can understand screwing up the name of the place if you’re unfamiliar with it, but screwing up Chicken Francese? I have heard pronunciations like Fran-Chez, Fran-Sez, Fran-Chaze, Fran-Sayz. But never Fran-Says-See!
….The waitress set down the salad plates, which was a plate of iceberg lettuce, a wedge of tomato, an olive, and drenched with dressing. I cut my salad up like I always do because I hate the idea of trying to shove large lettuce leaves in my mouth loaded with a drippy dressing. My date, on the other hand, had no intention of caring whether he shoved a whole lettuce leaf in his mouth or a whole head of lettuce in his mouth! I then watched him shift into, what seemed to be an “eating stance” that consisted of his right hand planted on his right thigh, his left hand holding his utensil from the top, and his whole upper body hunched over his plate like a caveman who had never had a more than a fish stabbed at the end of a spear before.
As I quietly pecked at my side salad, cut up into smaller, bite-sized pieces, Contestant #10 was hunched over his plate, eating salad like his ship was going down. Ranch dressing was splashing, red onions were swinging, tomatoes were squirting. Lettuce remains that didn’t quite fit into his mouth were being cut by his front teeth, allowing them to drop back onto the plate, waiting for the next stab of his fork. As I was taking all this in, I realized the tennis talk finally ceased, probably because he was using his entire air intake to shove the salad down before the threat of someone came and took it away.
When he finally came up for air, I was about three quarters through with my salad. He was about to say something when I think he saw my transparent look of disgust spread across my face. Contestant #10 had ranch dressing dripping from his freakin’ chin! UH! Did I have the word IDIOT stamped across my forehead? Was that why I was attracting one idiot after another? Could I at least find a guy with manners? A napkin?
He straightened up in time to receive his next, light course of…..Chicken Fran-Says-See!!! His eyes lit up like Christmas morning and he quickly resumed his eating stance. As he demolished and devoured his chicken, I quietly ate my six little mushrooms, praying this date would be over soon. He pretty much ate his main course the same way he ate his appetizer. If anyone had been watching him sawing into his chicken one-handed with the side of his fork, they’d think this guy had never been allowed to eat in public his whole life. The table shook fiercely every time he tore into his chicken and sauce spattered about him, as he slopped each bite in a pool of Fran-Says-See sauce before slurping it into his awaiting mouth. At the rate this guy was going, he was going to eat the plate and bread basket before I got to my 4th mushroom. Really, this date couldn’t last too much longer.
Within the next few minutes, Contestant #10 did everything but lick his plate clean like a dog. I left a mushroom because, frankly, I completely lost my appetite.
“Would you like some dessert or coffee?” the waitress asked.
“I’m fine”, I said, “Full.” (of enough stomach turning for one night).
“How could you be full?” Contestant #10 asked.
“You barely ate that much,” he pointed out.
“It was a light dinner,” I remarked.
And, I didn’t feel the need to eat my way through the walls of a freaking restaurant like a damn termite, I thought.
*Jacey Hill is the pseudonym for a new, local author living in Westchester. She stays busy raising her two daughters, working as an elementary school teacher, and writing in her spare time. Jacey enjoys spending time with her family and her many friends, always trying to maintain a sense of stability for her family while balancing a sense of humor about being a single mom in the suburbs.