Do you enjoy going out for meals, going to your favourite retaurant ? Or maybe to a new restaurant recommended by a friend.  I do, as in this life I fear only two things, washing up and cooking. They both terrify me, so I go out often. It may seem expensive   but I view the price of the meal as the cost of my admission money to the cabaret. What cabaret you may ask ? Let me explain. Each time I go the performers obligingly take their places and entertain. By performers I mean the diners. Those unknown people who you see seated at various tables  around the restauruant. Some are very  professional, some just up and coming amateurs.  I view them with anticipation, as I  know them so well.

           The Talkers.  These are the diners whose mouths seem to be on autopilot. A never ending assembly line of verbs, adjectives and nouns that are in perpetual motion. They view their meals as something of an impostion, merely an obstacle to be overcome as easily as possible, so that there words continue to flow. They take a fork full of food and slowly move it their mouth, in short, staccato movements, while the words still flow. I often catch myself holding my breath as finally the food reaches their lips. Then suddenly I am thwarted when a renewed torrent of words flies out and the food is returned uneaten to the plate. Talkers tend to be rather thin and have a constant hungry expression on their face .

              The Sprayers.  Theirs is a refined technique. These people live in silence most of the time, silence that Is only broken when their mouths are crammed full of food. Then as if stimulated, the words start tumbling out accompanied by a never ending spray of food. Hours are spent perfecting their aim. A pea will fly unerringly into somebodys eye, a slice of carrot  will gracefully arc into somebodys hair, to remain uneaten for hours.  My favourite is the long shot, which is reserved for passers by. They walk unsuspectingly past the table as a piece of potato like a homing pigeon flies effortlessly to land on their back. The potato will then happily follow them all day, while friends snigger behind cupped hands at the wandering potato.                  

              The Snipers.  Cold and clinical, they leave nothing to chance. The plate of food is viwed from every angle, with sly, furtive glances.  Victims are chosen in precise order. The sprout hiding behind a large roast poatato is usually the first to go.  Thinking it is safe it relaxes, then wham !  A fork spears it from an unusual angle, cleanly and precisiely. The broad bean that tries to make a run for it is cut down before it escapes. I feel sorry for the snipers food, it has no hiding place.

              The Dreamers. A particular favourite of mine.  You see them wander in and as if by accident, they find a table and even more amazingly a chair. They sit down, heads full of dragons, castles, Elvis’s whereabouts, in fact anything that takes their fantasy. Suddenly food appears in front of them, this immediately grabs their attention. Where does spaghetti come from ? thoughts of the Roman Empire, did gladiators eat spaghetti ?  Suddenly the food becomes their centre of attention.A mouthful is taken an chewed, thoughtfully. Who was the first person to cook anything ? Did people discover poisonous foods by accident ? What would happen if I cured food poisoning ?  The food just sits there saddened by its neglect , only to be removed by a kindly waiter or waitress. To the dreamers astonishment when he looks down the plate is gone. Abducted by aliens ?  What would I do if I woke up on Mars ?  And so the dreamer moves on.

               My favourites, however, are the Pickers and Players . The great undecided. Each item is viewed with suspicion. A boiled potato rolled from side to side so that it can be viewed from every conceivable angle. A pea experimentally tossed off the plate to see if it can  get back on by itself. A hapless carrot carved into the Venus de Milo before being consumed.

                Me ?  Oh, I’m a  shoveller.  Anything and everything crammed on to a single fork.

Defying gravity as it rolls and sways to my mouth before being deoured in an instant. Before

it's swallowed another huge forkful follows it. The occasional traffic jam occurs, but I am

also an amateur sprayer so I can usually cope.

                I’m really not sure why I've writing this, I may submit it to ‘ Diners Today ‘ a magazine dedicated to lunchtime cabaret acts. Or I suppose I could post it an a web site I quite enjoy. Or maybe Im just hungry.  Anyway, enjoy your next meal and see if you can spot the new acts that will undoubtedly make their debut.



                               Bon appetite.



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