Diner, dinner rush. Diner Guy–meaty, thick black hair–and Dancer–willowy, peroxide blonde, his regular customer. He: light Greek accent. She: light Russian accent. He sits down opposite her in her booth, mid-hamburger deluxe.
Diner Guy: So how old are you? 34?
Dancer: (raised eyebrow) 32?
Diner Guy: Right, spot on. You’re still a young girl. Not me. I used to be able to wash four cars in a row, now I wash one car I’m like whew.
A waiter shouts an order into the kitchen through the nearby pass-through.
Dancer: I heard someone say matzo ball soup, that’s my soup.
Diner Guy: You had the split pea?
Diner Guy: You never had the split pea?
Diner Guy: Okay, you want–. You want me to knock you off your feet?
Diner Guy: You want me to knock you off your feet?
Dancer: It would be difficult because I have feet like an ox.
Diner Guy: Okay but you want me to knock you off your feet? I can do it. You wanna bet I can do it?
Dancer: Not really.
Diner Guy: Come on. It’d feel good to take your money. It always feels good to take money from a good-looking girl. When they’re ugly, eh. But when they’re pretty. Watch this.
He goes. He’s gone for almost two minutes. She eats calmly.
He comes back, puts down a bowl of soup in front of her.
Diner Guy: All right. Now before we start things off, before you have this soup, you have to sign a waiver. You have to sign and say we assume no responsibility for your addiction to this split pea soup. You can never hate Pete for making it but always love him for introducing you to the best thing since dancing. Are you ready for your life to change?
Dancer: As soon as I finish my burger.
Diner Guy: Believe me you’re gonna dip that burger in this soup when you taste it. Now this? Is all vegetables. No ham in there. It’s rich in olive oil, imported from Greece. Not Italy, Greece. Try it, let’s see. Maybe you might not like it. But be careful because it’s hot. Play with it.
She picks up the spoon and dunks it in the soup.
Diner Guy: Careful! You’re becoming a collateral! I gotta call my insurance company and tell them I got a girl here doesn’t know how to eat soup!
She tastes it.
Dancer: (mild) It’s all right.
Diner Guy: (he shakes his head) Sucker. Can’t even lie right. Look at your eyes, why they getting all soft and–
Dancer: (cutting him off) It reminds me of the soup my grandmother used to make.
Waiter: If your grandmother could make soup like that she’d be working for me! You love that soup. If you come in here tomorrow and order that soup I’m gonna laugh so hard in your face.
She pushes the soup away.
Dancer: Okay, I’m full. I’m performing later. I have to be careful. I’m getting stuffed.
Diner Guy: How stuffed? How full you getting, all the way up here? (He cuts himself off mid-chest.) That’s where females’ cutoff point is, underneath the boobs? (to the passing waiter) Look at her, look at her, she came in here forty pounds, she’s walking out fifty!