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June 27, 2022

Dinner With Henry 10: The Big Drip

By Bruce Memblatt

The kitchen was darkened. It was early in the morning -- 5 AM -- when Sincere practiced her magic. She liked to keep her powers a secret. Not even Simpson had been aware of her unique talent. She stood in the center of the kitchen. Just the smallest flicker of light buffered the room, while plates, pans, saucers, and cups danced, orbiting over her head, as she held out her hands choreographing their movement skillfully as any wizard. Saucer number one did a summersault, and plate number three spun through the air whirling like a Dervish. Spoon number five did a double pirouette before pan number three took a high dive toward the ceiling and crashed into one of the pipes in the sprinkler system. The sprinklers began to spin like tops, spraying water all over the walls, drowning the floor, as plates, pans, saucers, spoons and cups dropped into puddles. Sadly, Sincere ran out the door and hid in her room.

Shakespeare was the first to arrive at the kitchen that morning. He felt the water under his shoes and he heard the crunching sound of porcelain breaking under his feet as he advanced. Fearing the apparent catastrophic event would be blamed on him, he ran down the hall and hid behind the radiator waiting for Andre to make his morning appearance in the kitchen. Soon he heard Andre's footsteps sleepily traveling down the hall, and then he heard the scream.

"Oh my god! Oh my God, oh my god. The kitchen! It is destroyed! Oh my god! Water is everywhere! Everywhere! Oh no my favorite bowl is cracked like a monster stepped over it. What on earth has happened here! It must have been a monster! Who turned the sprinklers on? What there a fire? There was no fire! There are dishes broken all over the floor? This is very very suspicions, oh hello, Shakespeare." Andre said glistening.

"Drop something, Andre?" Shakespeare said, holding his hands in his pockets.

"DROP SOMETHING? By the way, Shakespeare, why were you hiding behind the radiator?"

"Um... I was looking for my keys, "Shakespeare said, fidgeting.

"Keys? Hmmmmm. Are you sure this catastrophe has nothing do with one of your nefarious gambling deals?" Andre's eyebrows slowly quivered.

"Yeah, I lost a bet to Roto Rooter," Shakespeare smirked.

"Very funny, Shakespeare! But this is so strange. It is a total mystery. Why would the sprinklers suddenly just go off! And now we have this horrendous mess to clean up. It will take us forever! And what about She? How will we prepare Her food today? Oh, another catastrophe has befallen me!"

"You? "Shakespeare snapped.

"Well, of course, everyone, but I am reacting as a private citizen and after all, I am the chef, the captain of the kitchen!" Andre said then he took off his cap and twirled it over his head.

"And what about Simpson?" Shakespeare whispered.

"Someone will have to tell him about this horrendous tragedy. Do you want to tell him, Shakespeare? I would tell Simpson, but unfortunately I'm feeling a little bit of the gout now."

"The gout? Or the chicken?"

"Listen, Shakespeare, you know I have had gout in my left foot for many many many years."

"Yeah, gout that mysteriously appears whenever you get panicked."

"Oh please, Shakespeare, I am panicked all the time!" Andre said looking panicked.

"Is someone talking about me?" Simpson said softly.

Andre and Shakespeare quickly turned around.

"Oh I did not see you, Mr.Simpson! So what is new? Having a nice morning?"

Simpson, with a strange smile on his face, gritting his teeth, replied. "I am not having a nice morning. I am in some state beyond shock. I would yell if I could. You two are very lucky I can't yell. What has happened here? Shakespeare, did this have anything to do with one of your nefarious gambling deals?" His eyebrows slowly quivered.

"Are you two twins?" Shakespeare said sneering and slouching.

"Now, Mr. Simpson, we are both as shocked as you are. We arrived just moments ago and found the kitchen in this terrifying state. We are in the dark like you!"

"I'm in the darker," Shakespeare needled.

"Well this mess has got to be cleaned up. I don't see any water dripping from the pipes, so we don't have to call a plumber."

"But, Mr. Simpson, shouldn't a plumber look at it just in case? After all, what do we know about pipes, do you know anything about pipes, Shakespeare?"

"They're round and hollow like your head."

"That wasn't funny, Shakespeare. Do you know something? And I think I have noticed this before, Shakespeare, you are not very good in an emergency."

"Plumbers cost money," Simpson said, "just get everything cleaned up and all will be well. I'll have to tell Her we're sending out today."

"Please, Mr.Simpson, offer Her my apologies on behalf of the entire staff of the kitchen. Oh what she'll think of us now! I hope She is not too disappointed. Will we ever get to the bottom of this terrible tragedy? By the way, where are Henry and Diego?" Andre said, his eyebrows moving.

In the meanwhile, uptown at a Lamaze class:

"Now just breathe like he told you, Diego," Henry said holding a pillow under Diego's head.

"I can't breathe like he told me." Diego said and then she stared at the ceiling.

"Look at all the other couples on the floor around us. They are breathing like he told us," Henry said with a strain in his eyes.

"They are not like us, Henry. I cannot stand the floor. I hate the floor, Henry." Diego said stretching her hands across the floor with a scowl on her face.

"It is just linoleum," Henry looked at his watch.

"You don't understand. I have never liked sitting on the floor, even as a young child."

"Hmmm. But for the baby, Honey?"

"My child won't like sitting on the floor either. Do you have a breath mint?"Diego breathed.

"I have a throat lozenge."

"I don't know if it's a good idea, us having a baby." Diego said, staring at the floor.

In the meanwhile back in the kitchen:

"Could you hand me the mop, Shakespeare."

"Do this, do that. What am I, your personal blind midget?" Shakespeare said, waving his hands in air.

"Yes, I have always wanted a blind midget. And you fell into my trap. For years I waited and waited for a blind midget to come to this kitchen so I could order him about. Finally, when I least expected it, you walked through that door and my evil goals were fulfilled. HAHAHAHA."

Attend the tale of Chef Andre.
His hat was big and his spoon would stray.
He liked to keep blind midgets under his fist.
And get them pissed.

Did evil Andre
The demon chef of Delancey Street.

"I knew it. Here's your mop." Shakespeare snickered

"You know Shakespeare the kitchen is starting to look a little better now. I bet in no time we will have it all spic and span just like new!"

"And I'm supposed to be the blind one." Shakespeare sighed.

"Really, you will see, Shakespeare, and then I will prepare a special dinner for us. I will make us boeuf bourguignon. Just like Julia Child! Oh the memories I have of the bourguignon I used to prepare. I must have made hundreds! No thousands. I wish She liked bourguignon. But she has that sweet tooth. Ah, the world is a mystery," Andre said as he pushed the mop across the floor.

"Your mind is a mystery," Shakespeare said, emptying a pail of water in the sink.

"Your very existence is a mystery," Andre said.

"Your IQ is a mystery," Shakespeare said.

"Your breath is a mystery," Andre said.

"Your cooking is a mystery," Shakespeare said.

"Someone has to stop this," Andre said.

"But who?" Shakespeare asked.

"You know, Shakespeare, I'll bet you could learn to cook, too. I should teach you how to cook. I could teach you how to make the bourguignon." Andre threw broken dishes into the garbage pail.



In the meanwhile back at the Lamaze class:

"Diego, with my raise, now maybe we could get you private Lamaze classes at home?"

"Home? What home? We live in an old building with a giant bug on Delancey Street." Diego sighed heavily.

"Hey, that bug is my mother." Henry's wing shot up.

"I am sorry, Henry, I am just fidgety today." Diego yawned, rolling her head in the pillow.

"Don't you mean depressed?"

"No, I am not depressed I am restless, and I hate the floor." Diego said and she began to cry. "Henry I don't think I want a baby."



And in the meanwhile back in the kitchen:

"Shakespeare, this spoon -- it is bent in the shape of a chicken, I swear." Andre picked up a bent spoon from the floor.

He handed the spoon to Shakespeare.

"It feels more like a goose."

"Well, I suppose it is open to interpretation." Andre looked up at the ceiling, sighing. "It is like art. In fact it is art. This bent spoon is modern art. It could be in the Guggenheim."

"I wonder if we could make some dough off this broken junk?" Shakespeare's thumbs started twiddling.

"Always the wheels turning, little Shakespeare."

"Hey, did you feel that?"

"Feel what?" Andre said. His eyebrows flickered.

"I just felt a drop of water on my head, now another."

Quickly, Andre looked up. "Oh noooooooooooooo! Nooooooooo! No, we don't need a plumber, of course not! A plumber costs money. Why should we foolishly throw money away on a plumber? Oh, that Simpson is so so so..."

"Cheap?"

"Oh my god it's coming down hard now! Someone better tell Warren Buffett about this!"

"But who?" Shakespeare said, covering his head with his hands.

"Let us both go and tell him -- that way there is no argument. You know how I hate to argue!"

Shakespeare sighed and shrugged and they ran out the door.



Diego and Henry walked down the hall to the kitchen; not a word passed between them.

Henry, on the verge of tears, as his wing drooped across the floor, thought this had to be the worst day of his life. As they were about to enter the kitchen they looked in and spied Sincere standing in the center of the floor.

They stood and watched Sincere.

To their amazement, above her, fragments of broken plates swirled and flew into each other in flight magically repairing. Silverware rushed through the air into the kitchen drawers, like it was being guided by a magnet. With a wave of her hand the floor dried up, and sparkled. With another wave the broken pipe on the ceiling instantly sealed. Then Sincere grinned and folded her arms like a genie.

Diego tuned to Henry and she whispered. "This is the perfect home for our baby."

Henry smiled.



At the end of the hall the door to the loft was ajar. She peered at Henry and Diego and She seethed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-07-12
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