I sincerely forgot how much I despise going to dinner with Roger when he has his reviewer’s cap on. One second we’re having a perfectly intelligent discussion about the dearth of ethical responsibility in the GOP, and the next thing I know he’s whispering into his sleeve, “Capers taste like they’ve been in embalming liquid for 30 years.” We can transition from a brief interlude like that fairly easily, but an especially egregious entrée can distract him for 4 or 5 straight minutes as he runs through a thesaurus in his mind, trying to find exactly the right word to insult the chef, staff and ingredients at the poor place. “Chicken is nefarious…no, flagrantly offensive…no, I said that about the mashed potatoes…chicken is ARRANT, yes, yes, it’s arrant, that’s good…need to think of an alliteration…” Meanwhile I smile passively at the poor server who has been assigned to hover in the corner, waiting for the slightest sign of need from either of us, and she rushes over to fill my water glass one inch. Roger ignores her completely, already having spoken about the unacceptable looseness of her bun and dirty fingernails. If the meal weren’t free, I would have left after the soup.
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