Uncle Sal had just hung his blackberry stovepipe hat on the rack by the door when he heard a knock. Giacomo stood there with a little wisp of a blond wearing a pale blue sundress.
"Uncle Sal, I want you to meet Ellen. Ellen, this is my Uncle Sal."
Uncle Sal shook her thin hand and felt like he might break it if he shook too hard. "You guys are right on time. I just got home myself and I'm gonna start cooking dinner. Fix yourselves a drink, and fix me one while you're at it."
Giacomo followed him into the kitchen to get some ice and a jar of olives for the drinks. "What are you cooking?"
"I'm gonna make some beef stew. "
"That sounds good," Ellen said, settling into one of the stools in the kitchen.
Uncle Sal looked her over. She was skinnier than Giacomo normally liked his girls. He wondered if one piece of beef, or even one piece of carrot would make her full. "I gotta tell ya, every time I make beef stew, it reminds me of this guy Bruce Neville. We went to this restaurant one time called The Bum's Steer. Bruce, boy could he eat. He ordered a big plate of steak fries covered in cheese, just as his appetizer and then for his entree he ordered beef stew. Well, he went through them fries like they was going out of style and then looked like he was gonna start gnawing on the table while he waited for the stew."
Uncle Sal started sauteeing the beef and Giacomo came into the kitchen with the drinks: martinis for him and Ellen and a Scotch neat for Uncle Sal. "Well, Bruce's stew finally arrives and he looks at it. Then he looks at the waiter. 'Excuse me. I ordered the beef stew.' The waiter looks right back at 'im and says, 'Sir, that is the beef stew.' Well, ol' Bruce wasn't gonna stand for that. He told the waiter it wasn't beef stew it was beef in broth with some undercooked vegetables. The waiter just kept telling him that he had the stew right in front of him. Well, that set Bruce off. 'This is supposed to be a restaurant that specializes in beef. And you can't even make a decent stew. Let me tell ya one thing, pal. I ain't payin' for this because this ain't what I ordered. Do I have to go back into that kitchen and make the stew myself?' On and on he went. He was ready to go into the kitchen and fight the cook responsible for making his food. In the end, he made such a stink that the manager of the place come out and told us the meal would be on the house."
"That's great! Ellen said."
"Sure, it was good that we got a free meal out of it, but that whole ugly scene could have been avoided if they'd just given the Neville his stew."
This episode featured:
Dirk Pugh as Uncle Sal
Sylvester Swanson as Giacomo
Ginger Seals as Ellen
Jellybean Merengue as the jar of olives.
Tune in next week when Uncle Sal says, "Your new nickname is Flounder."
[20 July 2008]