by Marc Auerbach

The story of a blind date set up by an old friend who remains my friend.

Scene 1: Over the phone

Marc: Is Barbara there?

Barbara: This is Bahbraw.

Marc: Hi. This is Marc Auerbach, a friend of Tammie and Linda. They said...

Barbara: Mawk, we have to get tugetha.


Scene 2: The bar at IL Fornio Restaurant, Palo Alto, California. [Marc waits seated at a small table sipping expensive water. He scans the bar, looking for possible matches, then, satisfied he's arrived first, watches the front entry through the french doors.]

Barbara enters looking as LBJ's secretary might, in a tight black skirt that restricts the movement of her black-pump-capped, black-stockinged legs. Her hair is short fountain of gray and black. The outfit is as tight as the skin of a balloon.

Barbara: Hi I'm Bahbraw. You must be Mawk.

Marc: Yes (weakly, his dream of the voice being some sort of evolutionary, telecommunications-age camouflage disguising some great beauty shattered). How are you?

Barbara: I suvived COMDEX. I was so tie-ed when we got back yestaday I went straight t' bed.

Waitress: Can I get you something to drink?

Barbara: I'll have a glass of yor house white.

Waitress: We have an Edna Vally Chardonay, a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc...

Barbara: I'll have the shawdonnay.

Waitress: Thank you.

Marc: So Tammie said you were in marketing for a computer company.

Barbara: Yes, I'm the sales support person for Xerox oh-see-ah software [She pronounces OCR]. Weah shipping it on the new model that's a printer/scanner/fax. And you work at Apple?

Marc: Yes, I just recently moved into the Human Interface and User Experience group in System Software Technologies.


Barbara: Mawk, how old ah you?

Marc: I'll be 37 next month.

Barbara: You look so young. You have such smooth skin.

Marc: Thanks. Are you very hungry?

[After some meaningless chit chat, they agree to walk across Palo Alto to Gordon Biersch for dinner.]


Scene 3: Crossing Palo Alto

Barbara: I love Gord'n Beirsch it's like a naybuhood place they all know me thayr I used to go to this place just up on the left heah cawled Harry's it was a great place they were makin' lots of money thayr you know how much prawfit thayr is in likka but it was mismanaged and now its up for taxes but the city wants too much if it wuh just a bankruptcy sale I might buy it cause that's the kinda puson I am. If thayr two roads to take I'll take the one less travelled [passing a shoe store] you know I just can't find any good shoes out heah [Marc: Have you triedNordstroms] oh no, they don't have want I want. I need a simple black pump with a heal some of those new shoes they got a short wide heel but I just want a simple black pump...


Scene 4: Gordon Biersch [Gordon Biersch is a micro brewery restaurant with high ceiling supported by exposed, rough-hewn beams. The seating area is open, crowded and noisy. Beyond the eating area is the bar and at the back the brewing tanks sit behind a glass wall. Along one side the long, narrow kitchen is fully revealed.]

Waitress: How many?

Barbara: Two.

[After we are seated a bus boy brings our bread. Barbara knows him.]

Barbara: [to the bus boy] Way-is the mustud? [But before she can even finish the sentence, he has produced, from behind is back, a brand new bottle of Gray Poupon.]

Barbara: You remembed, [to me] they all know me heah, I told you they all know me. [The bus boy leaves]

Barbara: I have mustud instead of bud-da. People say I'm crazy but you've got to twie it. My whole family we're on a no fat diet.

Marc: Why? [Barbara takes a huge spoonful of mustard and flings on her bread plate.]

Barbara: I diet so I don't have to exsesize. You know people ahr always asking me, 'do you workout?' and I don't know if theah asking me 'cause they think I should work out [Voice rising steadily to a high, questioning pitch.] or because they think I do work out? Anyways, I just tell people I do ova-head bins. [She raises her hands above her making the motion ground crews use to signal planes to push back].

[Barbara fills her mouth with hunk of mustard slathered bread.]

Marc: I work out so I can eat what I want.

Barbara: I always have the same thing, Cesar salad and salmon. No matter where I go I always have the same thing. And you could always get it 'cause salmon is always the special. It's a joke with all my friends now. We were in Vegas for a show and we went out to eat and my friends look at the menu and say, 'no salmon on this menu,' and I say don't worry it'll be the special and you know what? It was the special. You can coun't on salmon. But you know, recently I was at a restaurant and I ordered the salmon and when it arrived it was a strange color and I sent it back and when it came back it looked the same and it didn't taste right, so I didn't eat it, but one of my coworkers did and he was really sick and evah since then, I haven't been ordering salmon.

Marc: That's too bad. Salmon is such a flavorful fish.

[The waiter arrives to take our order]

Barbara: I'll have the chicken Caesar salad, and could I get extra anchovies? And could I get extra dressing on the side?

Marc: I'll have the roasted chicken. [waiter leaves]

Barbara: I know I'm on a no-fat diet, but you can't help it with Caesar salad. [She says it in a knowing self-mocking way, and grabs another hunk of bread.]

Marc: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Barbara: I'm going to be with my family.

Marc: Are you cooking anything.

Barbara [laughing]: Not really, I'm responsible for the stuffing and the pizza.

Marc: The pizza?

Barbara: Yes, its a tradition in our family to have pizza as an appetizah. We make them with english muffins.

Marc: Oh ya, I remember making those as a kid. You use all the regular ingredients: tomato sauce, mozzarella...

Barbara: Oh no. We use lite american cheese. We are all on non-fat diets. We're having a non-fat Thanksgiving. [Barbara says as she deploys the extra Caesar dressing over the romaine leaves.]

Marc: What about the turkey.

Barbara: Well of course the turkey is not non-fat.


Copyright 1995. All rights reserved.