In our final installment of “The Gourmet Club,” our narrator, who is clearly on the verge of skin-deep, finishes her speech by offering what she considers to be a practical compromise.
Where was I? Oh, Gloria choking on her Clams Casino appetizer. The ambulance arrived in time, as you may recall. That wasn’t the problem. What kind of seafood restaurant puts itself on the top of a hill? Steak house, maybe. Fish? You would think you’d want to be near the water. When they wheeled Gloria out on a gurney and opened the back door to the ambulance … I think you all know what happened next. The gurney slipped away from the paramedics and Gloria, all strapped in, shot down that hill like she was doing her final Luge run in the Winter Olympics. Gloria screaming. Jack running after her. Everyone else yelling. Cars swerving to miss her. One shutters to think what might have happened had the gurney not hit that speed bump and caromed off the road and gone down a ravine.
I know this might sound self-serving but as president of the Gourmet Club I was not the one who selected the Lobster Palace that night. Ironically, it was Gloria who had insisted we eat there. Still, I certainly can understand their reticence to rejoin the Gourmet Club, so we can safely assume that Jack and Gloria will not be joining us at our next get together anytime soon or, I’m guessing, ever again, for that matter. On the plus side of things, I understand Gloria’s therapy is going well and she should be out of her wheelchair soon.
Losing Jack and Gloria is not the end of the world and might actually be a good thing for the Gourmet Club, size-wise. Without them, our club of twelve becomes a more reasonable ten. And since Jerry and Jeff are off doing their own, respective, selfish , may-they-rot-in-hell things — good riddance, I might add — we’re down to eight, which to my way of thinking is probably the perfect number for a dinner party.
And therein lies the rub.
After receiving all your food requests — Kosher, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Fruits and Nuts Only, and Not Too Spicy, I think I might have missed a couple — finding the right gourmet restaurant, well, it didn’t come easy. In fact, it didn’t come at all. I couldn’t find a single restaurant that would meet all of your — our — requirements.
So, what I am proposing is we get back to basics and return to the roots of the Gourmet Club and all eat at our own homes from now on, avoiding whatever foods we can’t or won’t eat, and forget about dining out in restaurants as a group. Put another way, ten months ago the Gourmet Club’s last meal was at the Lobster Palace, if not a high-note worth closing on, certainly an unforgettable last meal together and I think we’d be wise to end it there. Unlike some television shows that run two years after their prime, I believe it’s time to move on.
That’s why, instead of getting together for dinners out, I propose we meet here, once a month, not for a fancy meal but for a fancy cup of coffee, or a basic cup of tea if that’s your preference, at this coffee shop chain. All those in favor of replacing the Gourmet Club with a Coffee Klatch, raise your cup or say Aye.
(END OF MONOLOGUE)