Yes, We Have No Potatoes
“This is where you want to go?” Brian asked in stark disbelief.
“Yes, it is. The food is okay and I’m starving,” Justin said in a voice that indicated this was not open for discussion. “If you’d let me eat in between fucks, I wouldn’t be so damn hungry that I could eat a rhinoceros.”
“People don’t eat rhinocer…i.”
“It’s rhinoceroses, and who the fuck cares?”
“You really want to eat in this dive?”
“Yes, and now!”
“Fine!” Brian said as he pushed open the door to some cheesy chain restaurant. It looked cheap and unappetizing to him, but a hungry Sunshine was not a pleasant thing to deal with.
They had to wait for several minutes for the hostess to appear from somewhere inside the restaurant. Brian took that as a bad sign, but Justin seemed prepared to wait. He must be really, really hungry. Finally the girl arrived and escorted them to a booth in the back.
Brian looked around the restaurant, noting many empty tables. That was usually not a good sign of things to come. “This is certainly a bustling little mecca of culinary delights,” Brian observed sarcastically.
“It’ll do in a pinch,” Justin retorted as he studied the menu with hungry eyes.
“Hm,” Brian said, “I can think of a few things I’d like to pinch.”
“Not until I get some food,” Justin told him in no uncertain terms. “Besides, you have to be at the airport in less than two hours.”
“At the rate we’re being waited on, two months seems more likely.”
The restaurant was just down the street from Justin’s small New York apartment. They had decided to go there for a quick dinner before Brian caught his flight back to Pittsburgh. Brian would just as soon have skipped dinner, but Justin was starving, and Brian had to admit that he had worked up a bit of an appetite since he arrived in New York. Besides he wanted to spend as much time with Justin as possible. So Brian had given in to Justin’s desire for food, and here they were.
Looking up from his seat, Brian had a view of a small part of the kitchen partially blocked off by a brick wall. There were three young people working there that Brian could see. They seemed to be having a good time, laughing and joking and generally goofing around. Brian frowned. He liked his food prepared with care by a real chef, with some kind of credentials, not a bunch of snot nosed school kids. The thought of snot nosed made Brian flinch. That was not a good thing where food was concerned.
“Hi, I’m Derek. I’ll be serving you tonight,” a young man of passable good looks said as he laid down drink coasters in front of them. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Water,” Justin said studying the menu.
Brian’s gaydar was pinging, so he gave the waiter his patented smirk. He could tell there was definite interest on Derek’s part.
“I’ll have a scotch,” Brian said.
The waiter raised an eyebrow. “Um, I’ll see if we have any,” he said and hurried away.
“They might not have scotch?” Brian asked in disbelief.
“This isn’t Tavern on the Green,” Justin said snarkily.
“No shit!” Brian said in his most sarcastic voice.
Justin glared at him. “I think I’ll have the ribs. They’re supposed to be good here.”
“There’s something in this restaurant that actually has a reputation of being good?” Brian made sure that Justin once again registered his disbelief.
“Will you cut it out? I just want some food.”
“I managed to get your scotch,” Derek said happily, setting down a glass containing an amber liquid. He batted his eyelashes at Brian.
“So I see.”
“My water?” Justin asked looking at the smitten waiter.
“Oh, sorry. I forgot.” Derek hurried away.
“He wants you,” Justin observed.
“Don’t they all? I thought we might get better service if he thought I was interested.”
“You might get better service,” Justin said petulantly. “He can’t even remember my water.”
Brian merely smiled. He took a sip of his scotch and made a face.
“Not up to your usual standards?” Justin asked smugly knowing that would irritate Brian.
“Here’s your water,” Derek said setting a glass down in front of Justin. “Are you ready to order?” He looked at Brian ignoring Justin once again.
“I’d like the ribs,” Justin said loudly to get the waiter’s attention. “And I’ll have a baked potato with everything on it.”
“Um, yes, sure,” Derek said quickly noting Justin’s order on his pad. “And you, sir?” he asked sweetly turning his full attention to Brian.
“I understand you make good ribs here,” Brian said.
“Oh yes, excellent ribs.”
“I’ll have what he’s having,” Brian said all sweetness.
Justin glared at Brian while Derek wrote down the double order. Justin had to wonder why he seemed to be rewriting the whole order. Couldn’t he just put X2? That was how Justin had done it at the diner.
“Would you like any appetizers?” Derek was asking Brian.
“No, I think the dinner will be enough,” Brian responded.
“I’d like some bread,” Justin said forcefully. “I’m starving.”
“Certainly, sir,” Derek said before taking their menus and waking away.
“I wonder how long I’ll have to wait for the fucking bread,” Justin said aloud.
“If you were nicer to the waiter…”
“Don’t you dare say it,” Justin threatened.
Brian raised his hands in surrender and took another sip of his cheap scotch.
“Um…” Derek said uncertainly as he returned.
“Yes?” Brian asked.
“Um, we seem to be out of ribs,” Derek said in what he hoped was his most apologetic voice.
“What?” Brian snapped. “I thought they were your specialty.”
“Um, they are, but we’re out of them.”
“At eight o’clock on a fucking Sunday night you’re out of ribs?” Brian asked in amazement. “What are you planning to serve customers who are crazy enough to come in here?”
“Um, anything else on the menu,” Derek said hopefully.
“I’ll have the cedar planked salmon with a baked potato,” Justin said quickly. “And make it fast. I’m really hungry. And where’s my bread?’
“I’ll get it right away. And for you, sir?” Derek wasn’t even trying to attract Brian’s attention anymore. He looked like he wished he could disappear through the floor.
“Same as him,” Brian spat out. It was evident he was not pleased.
“Yes, sir, right away,” Derek said and hurried off.
“Do you believe it?” Justin asked. “How can they be out of ribs so early in the evening?”
“Must have been a run on them,” Brian replied sarcastically.
“If he doesn’t bring me some bread soon, I’m going to croak.”
“If he doesn’t bring the bread soon, I’ll strangle his scrawny ass.”
Justin laughed. “Yeah, instead of fucking it.”
Brian glared but said nothing.
Derek arrived back at the table and set down a small basket of bread. Justin grabbed a roll and devoured it. He sat back looking much happier. Derek just stood there.
“Is there something else?” Brian asked with an arch of his brow.
“I don’t like the sound of um,” Brian said ominously.
“We seem to be out of baked potatoes.”
“What?!” Brian’s voice was uncharacteristically loud and strident, approaching a level only canines could hear.
“We’re out of baked potatoes,” Derek muttered.
“I don’t fucking believe this. I can see the pig escaping, but since when do potatoes get away?” Brian demanded.
“Do you have the salmon?” Justin asked trying to restore order before Brian really lost it. Derek nodded. “What can I have with it?”
“We have French fries,” Derek said dejectedly.
“I don’t want fucking French fries,” Brian stated. “Come on, Justin, we’ve wasted enough time in this dump.” Brian stood up.
Justin nodded as he picked up a couple more rolls and stuck them in his pocket … just in case.
Brian looked at Derek who waited to be cursed out by this handsome but impatient customer. “We’re leaving,” Brian said. “This is for the bread,” he added handing Derek a twenty. “If I had some rope, I’d give you that as your tip. You could hogtie the food so it doesn’t escape,” he said sarcastically.
Brian and Justin hustled out of the restaurant.
Justin pulled out one of his rolls and bit off a piece. “I’m still starving,” he said.
Brian hailed a cab, and miraculously it stopped for them. They quickly got in.
“Are we going to the airport?” Justin asked. “Maybe I can get something to eat there.”
“Is there a McDonald’s nearby?” he asked the cabbie.
“Just around the corner.”
“Take us through the drive-thru,” Brian said.
Justin gave him one of his sunshine smiles. Sometimes Brian could be so romantic.
“I bet McDonald’s doesn’t let their food get away,” Brian whispered in Justin’s ear, using his warm breath to make Justin all hot and bothered.
“I love you,” Justin said pulling the last roll out of his pocket and happily munching away while they headed for the fast food joint.
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