“This Week’s Restaurant Survey,” by David Galef

May 21st, 2014 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

1. How many text messages were you able to send before you were seated?

1) we were led to a table at once: the restaurant has clearly lost its buzz
2) I spent my time on Twitter and Facebook
3) five—till the rest of my party showed up, with Margaret late as usual
4) none, because I bribed the hostess with a gift certificate to Masa
5) my iPhone battery died

2. Did the hostess fail to recognize you, even though you slept with her in high school after a kegger?

1) “slept” may be technically inaccurate
2) her smile said it all
3) we were seated in a prime banquette—need I say more?
4) no, though I winked at her a lot
5) I need to use social media more

3. Did your server recite the daily specials in the key of C sharp?

1) no, she forgot them
2) yes, but off-key
3) yes, but in a phony French accent
4) yes, but we had to ask the prices, which made us feel cheap
5) yes, but they didn’t seem all that special

4. How big was the pepper mill brought to your table?

1) a bit on the small side, to be honest
2) big enough to do the job
3) it’s not size that counts but the grind
4) more than I could handle
5) not so grand, but the server who brought it was perfectomundo

5. What was most scrumpty-umpty dish?

1) the one with the unpronounceable name
2) the one you were inexplicably out of last night
3) the cream of leek soup, only without cream, and no leeks
4) the vodka martini
5) the hostess

6. Did your server touch you inappropriately to get a better tip?

1) not that I was aware of
2) yes, and we bonded instantly
3) yes, but I stiffed her with only 15%
4) I thought it was entirely appropriate
5) he was just being friendly

7. How would your friend the interior decorator denigrate the decor?

1) “like something out of a Bosch painting”
2) “like something inside a herdsman’s hut in Mongolia”
3) “perfectly acceptable if one grew up in the Bronx”
4) “a bit too much Second Empire, if you ask me”
5) “we used to have the same sconces in our living room”

8. How dare you criticize the food?

1) I don’t come here for the food
2) I wasn’t paying attention
3) define “food”
4) define “dare”
5) compared to what other dive?

9. Would you come back if we begged you?

1) if you begged me, yes
2) whenever I have three paychecks to burn
3) if I could wangle another reservation before next December
4) when I’m next in the mood for Outback-Albanian-fusion cuisine
5) only if you drop that goat tail risotto from the menu

10. Do you have even more comments?

1) yes, I’d like to talk about tax reform
2) this sheet of paper isn’t big enough
3) enough about you
4) I’ll text you
5) I thought you’d never ask

Defenestration-David GalefDavid Galef is a shameless eclectic who publishes far too much for his own good. His latest book is the short story collection My Date With Neanderthal Woman (Dzanc Books). His day job is professor of English and creative writing program director at Montclair State University.

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