take care when you visit a fashionable new restaurant…

Yesterday evening, Crispin and I forayed out to watch the controversial new play “Strap it on, Lady MacBeth”. And what a controversial spectacle it turned out to be.

After the play ended, Crispin insisted that he would take me to visit a new restaurant in Covent Garden called ‘7-QX’. He was literally frothing with enthusiasm and praise for it, telling me “The food is just…REVOLUTIONARY…You won’t want to eat anywhere else again, Nigel old boy.”

So off we trotted. Upon entering the fashionable establishment, we were quickly ushered to a window-facing table. Crispin was obviously well known here. He started waving his arms around and gesticulating. “Let me order Nigel old chap. Let me surprise you.”

As I was in a mellow mood after such a good play, I let him get on with it. A few minutes later we were tucking into pigeon and seaweed parcels. I admit the food was good, but hardly revolutionary.

Then followed the main course which was some kind of beef and vegetable concoction. Suddenly Crispin got very excited and started to wave at someone and beckon him over. “Nigel,” he announced, “This is Yu-Gi-Oh, the owner of this splendid establishment. And this is Nigel Bookbinder, the esteemed theatre personality.”

Yu-Gi-Oh bowed and said “Well Mr Bookbinder. How do you like our revolutionary cuisine?”

At this point I could stand more. I literally…exploded…in a fit of anger and shouted “REVOLUTIONARY? How is any of this revolutionary. All you are serving is either meat, fish, vegetables, grains or diary products. Look at this meal. Meat and vegetables. Look at Crispin’s meal. Fish and vegetables. Lets look at the other diners in here. What are they eating.” I pointed to various diners and stated “Look…He is eating meat and vegetables… That lady looks like she is eating a mixture of grains, fish and vegetables. Please explain how any of this is REVOLUTIONARY!”

Mr Yu-Gi-Oh stood silently for a while with his mouth wide open. Obviously my sharp analysis had hit the point. Then he said “Well, what do you recommend Mr Bookbinder. Should I serve my clientele a mixture of soil, sawdust and tree bark? Maybe simmered in engine oil?”

“Well, yes. That would be a truly revolutionary menu. All you are doing is adhering to the rules of present system. That is not the act of a revolutionary.”

He stood there looking very calm, then patiently countered “Yes, I do use the standard ‘raw materials’. Let me use an analogy. Many people can play a guitar, but a truly gifted guitarist will make beautiful music. Anyone can use words, but a gifted dramatist will craft a fine play from his choice of words. What about the great composers? Shostakovich wrote great pieces of music that are played by a standard orchestra. Do you see my point? Do you think Shostakovich had to go away and construct a new type of instrument to convey his music? Is that what you would prefer to do, Mr Bookbinder?”

At this point I had heard just about enough of this insolence. “YES I WOULD,” I shouted, “YES, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WOULD DO… I WILL NOT SIT HERE AND LISTEN TO THIS…UTTER DRIVEL…FOR A MOMENT LONGER… I AM NOW GOING TO GO HOME AND… CREATE A NEW INSTRUMENT CALLED A… ‘TRUMBOLINE’… SO THERE!!! GOOD EVENING…”

I stood up and walked across the restaurant. There was utter quiet, and all the diners were looking in my direction. I cannot blame them, as they were obviously expressing a sense of awe and admiration for the way that I had swiftly and decisively dealt with that disgraceful little man. I simply could believe the gall of that stupid man. I just cannot understand how he can run a successful business if he treats all his customers in such an insulting manner. Well, I certainly won’t be going back there again! And I will be having words with young Crispin when I next see him, and counsel him about his choice of eating establishments.