After what is seemed like hours going over a “So called menu” George looked pleadingly at Jan. “OK George”, she offered willingly, “You do have choices. We vegan’s, aren’t insensitive to meat eaters, you know,” she quipped. “Do I detect a teensy bit of sarcasm?” he mumbled. “Now come now George!” Paul interjected. “Here look! This one, features a sun-dried tomato walnut “meat”, shredded kale, salsa, spiced tomato rice, green onions, black beans, and humus. Divine!” George cringed at the very thought of walnut meat. “I’ll have a large salad I think, Paul. That’ll do the trick for me, but thanks.” “For you madame number 2? ” Yes thankyou” smiled Jan. The waiter turned his attention to Paul. “Sir?” “I’ll have what she’s having.” He gestured to Jan. “But hold the nuts.” He instructed. “Very nice” the waiter agreed.
“Well!” Jan sighed, “Here we are.”
“George darling! There you are. What does a girl have to do to pin you down?” came a familiarly, sweet voice behind him. “Pam! Hi! Where’d you come from?” he faltered, “I meant to say, long time no see.” He panicked, as he glanced at the smirk on Jan’s face. “Yes! Too long I’d say. It’s so good to see you after so many years. Still as handsome as ever.” she glowed. Jan began to giggle, and quickly covered up behind her napkin. Paul was in awe. What’s this guy got that I don’t, he thought. Paul stood up and quickly introduced himself extending his hand. Hi, I’m Paul, he offered. “So, George do you have plans for this evening?” she smiled sweetly turning from Paul. “I’m going to a Murder Mystery tonight at The Bartlett. Should be so much fun!” she said exuberantly. I’m sure they can find room for one more!” she offered. “Well”, George reluctantly added, “we’re just having a light bite.” GEORGE! Light bite? He regretted. Been hanging around with Paul too long. “Well no! I mean yes, I mean, all of us are going tonight,” he stumbled. Jan could hardly contain herself. “Well then, I guess I’ll see you all later then. I’m on my way to get my costume.” Costume? We need a costume? George suddenly felt sick. “Sure, yes, we’ll see you later then,” he offered quickly.
“I didn’t even think to read the rest of this paper. Must be more instructions.” As the waiter was attempting to serve the table, George was excitedly trying to read the yellow sheet. “George?” Jan said quietly, while lightly removing the sheet from his now trembling hands. “Relax, we have time. Eat your salad, slowly, and then we’ll figure things out.” “I agree with Jan” Paul said skeptically as he flipped his napkin, placed it in his lap and began to eat. Costume? George murmured to himself. Costume? I don’t want to wear a costume, he whined to himself. Jan gave him a motherly look and picked up her fork. He obeyed.
The salad wasn’t half bad George pondered, but he hoped upon hope there would be real food at this event. “Totally enjoyable!” Paul chirped. “I’d recommend this establishment to anyone!” Jan nodded and smiled. “So!” George added, “we now have about 3 hours to gather our thoughts and get ready.” For who knows what, he thought to himself. “Well let’s take a read!” Paul commanded and added “Over coffee and a little dessert?” he inquired. George looked at Jan painfully. She winced and nodded. “Why not.” He grumbled. “Waiter!”
“So!” George took the lead, “Papers out!” Willingly, his loyal troops laid their instructions on the table. “Role Call” Mr. Primrose commanded. “Miss Partridge?” “Here, Pears and all!” Jan said laughing. “Monsieur Richard?” “Je suis Ici!” Paul stood abruptly almost taking the table-cloth with him. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Paul apologized Now what George muttered. “Let’s take a look.” “More coffee?” The waiter offered. “Yes please.” said George. “I think we’re going to need it.” He peered over at Jan pleadingly, “Why don’t you start Jan? You’re the actor around here.” “I’m not sure what you mean by that George.” she got defensive. “I meant that you studied the Theatre and would be the best one to help us.” GEORGE! You blunderer! Now look what you’ve done! “Jan, we need your help.” He said with his best forgive me eyes. Jan melted. “OK guys!” as she now assembled HER troops like a General. “Each of us will take turns reading our character descriptions, out loud, and we’ll go from there.” George looked at Paul, Paul looked back at George, then they both nodded sheepishly at Jan. “Yes Ma’am.” They helplessly whispered. Thankyou God George mused, we might just enjoy this. We will certainly enjoy this. He melted into Jan’s eyes. “Waiter!”, he commanded. “More coffee!”
Mary Treadwell: “Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me, whether or not, I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether, I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.” Ship of Fools