Every couple of hours, I read about some group of people boycotting a national business or company because of some political or religious reason, canceling this or that. This got me to thinking.
“I don’t know anything about the political or religious beliefs of the restaurants I frequent,” I said to myself for the sake of this column.
So I decided to do something about it.
“Excuse me, sir,” I yelled into the kitchen of my favorite burger joint down the street from my office. “Can I have a moment of your time, please?”
The middle-aged man looked up from the grill in front of him. “Huh?”
“Sir, I eat here frequently and would just like to ask a few questions of you.”
“Uh, I’m sort of busy right now. You aren’t supposed to be back here.”
“I slipped the waitress a $5,” I replied. “This will only take a second.”
“All right, what?”
“First, what church do you attend?”
He furrowed his brow. “I don’t attend church. What does that — .”
I interrupted him.
“Thank you — interview over.”
My next stop was the sandwich shop in town.
“Excuse me, may I ask you a question or two?”
“Sure,” said the friendly lady behind the counter.
“Are you a Democrat or a Republican?”
The welcoming grin on her face suddenly disappeared. “Uh, what does that have to do with your sandwich order?”
“Nothing, and everything,” I countered. “It’s only going to determine whether I hate you and ever buy another sandwich from you again.”
“Well, I sort of vote for the person, not the party ...”
I interrupted her. “Wrong answer. Goodbye forever, madam.”
I then went to the chicken restaurant around the corner. When I walked in, the guy who usually fries up my chicken was wearing a horrendously blue-and-orange Florida Gator T-shirt. I immediately turned around, never to come back again.
The next eatery on the list was a Japanese restaurant I go to occasionally.
For some reason, they were very reticent about letting me into the kitchen to talk to the chef, so I climbed through a window in the back.
“Excuse me, señor,” I said to a startled man I assumed was the cook. “What’s your favorite color?”
“What’s your favorite color?,” I asked again. “No pressure. If your answer doesn’t match mine, I’ll just never eat here again.”
“Here, take this,” he said, backing away from me and holding out his spatula. “I have no money.”
“So, you’re saying you don’t like green?”
“No, no,” he screamed, whimpering, and lowering himself into a ball under a table.
“How about orange? Is orange your favorite color?
“Yes, yes,” he bellowed.
“Well, I hate to hear that,” I said, marking a line through his restaurant’s name in my notebook. “I rather enjoyed your steak and shrimp special on Friday nights.”
My favorite pizza joint was last on my list.
“Excuse me, Luigi,” I said to the cook behind the counter.
“My name is Carl,” he replied.
“Oh, well, Carl, I have a couple of questions for you.”
“Shoot.” Finally, a willing subject.
“What do you consider yourself: A. A capitalist; B. A communist; C. A Marxist; 4. A socialist; D. A linguist; or G. A fascist?”
“None of the above,” said Carl, confidently.
“Well, then, what are you?”
“I’m a nihilist,” said Carl.
“What’s a nihilist?”
“I believe in nothing,” he said.
“You believe in nothing? Really?”
“Yep, that’s right,” said Carl. “I believe in nothing.”
This got me to thinking again. I was hoping to find someone who agrees with me about everything. But, if Carl believes in nothing, there’s nothing I can find offensive. And I was also getting rather hungry.
“Carl, I’ll have two of your best slices of pepperoni pizza,” I requested with a smile.
“Good, now get out of my kitchen.”