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July 08, 2024

Dinner With Henry 20: The Aftermath

By Bruce Memblatt

Henry and Diego's wedding celebration continued in the kitchen. The normally plain white walls were covered with balloons. A table was set between the stove and the freezer with various dishes Andre prepared; Swedish meatballs, seafood crepes, chicken wings, beef goulash and a special chopped liver mold he fashioned in the shape of a bug.

Andre popped open a bottle of champagne. "A toast to the happy couple," he said as he raised his glass. "And wasn't this an interesting wedding? Most weddings don't have the kind of suspense we have witnessed today. How many weddings have a flying preacher? I wonder what the poor man will tell his congregation when he gets out of the emergency room? I kid, I joke, and you know how I wish you and Diego all the happiness in the world Henry." He placed his glass down on the table.

"Thank you, Andre," Henry said. He turned toward Diego who was nibbling at the chopped liver mold.

"Try some Henry," Diego breathed. "It looks like Clarissa, doesn't it?"

"By the way, is she still tied up in a leetle ball?" Andre said as he leaned down and passed a glass of Champagne to Shakespeare.

"Um, you forgot to mention the witch."

"Oh, Shakespeare, Sincere is not a witch, but she is imbued with special powers. Magic flows through her hands. The mysteries of the universe unfold in her arms. Imagine the things she could do. Who knew our Sincere was so special, so magical."

"Yeah, well I still say we should burn her." Shakespeare snapped.

Then Yvette's father, a short bald man with a cigar hanging from his mouth and a gruff voice, walked over to Andre. "I say we book this whole thing into a the-ya-tre. I know people, see. We could make a fortune on the giant bug and the flying padre."

Yvette, who was standing next to Diego by the chopped liver mold, heard her father. "Father this is so disgusting. You want to exploit Henry's mother for monetary gain. You are such a bourgeois!" She waved her arms in the air and tossed her hair.

"Hey, someone's gotta pay for your private schools, Princess." He took a puff of his cigar and blew it in Andre's face.

"Well, maybe we should discuss this some other time, perhaps? Yes? And if you don't mind there is no smoking allowed in my kitchen, Alfred."

"Andre, don't be such a priss." Alfred said.

Diego raised her arm in a cheer. "You tell him, Alfred!"

"Honey." Henry tried to shush Diego when Sincere entered the room. All eyes were on Sincere as she approached the table and dipped her hand into the chopped liver mold. Henry walked over to Sincere and said, "Thank you for rescuing our wedding, Sincere. I didn't know you had the powers."

"The powers?" Shakespeare said and then he quickly backed away from the table.

Sincere removed her finger from the chopped liver mold and smiled. Her crooked teeth glistened. "Henry, I couldn't let anything ruin your wedding."

"She is funny," Diego hushed and then she stuck her finger in the mold.

Andre stood next to Sincere. "But the powers, Sincere, we did not know you were so blessed. Why have you kept your amazing talent hidden from us for so long? It was like witnessing a miracle! You know what C.S. Lewis said about miracles, Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature. See, Sincere there is nothing wrong with having powers; you play a very important role in nature."

Sincere peered up at Andre and said. "My mother told me to use my powers sparingly."

"Well, of course, your sweet mother was right! She was a wise woman."

"She wasn't a woman, she was a toad," Sincere said and she smiled, looking off in the distance.

"Ah, I see," Andre said slowly as his eyebrows quivered.

Alfred walked over. "Toad shmoad, how 'bout I book you into the Palace, sister? Eight shows a week we'll clean up changa-changa."

Yvette stood in front of Sincere with her arms crossed and her lips pursed. She cried, "Father, leave Sincere alone! She is not a circus clown, she is a human being!"

"Princess, she just said her mother was a toad." Alfred said, taking a puff on his cigar.

"Do toads not bleed if you prick them?" Yvette pled.

Alfred slapped his head with his hands and said, "This is your fault, Andre, you and your fancy ideas."

Andre walked over to Alfred and looked him directly in the eyes. "I cannot believe you are my brother! That we are part of the same family, you pedestrian!"

Diego cheered. "You tell 'em, Andre. "

Andre turned toward Diego. "Thank you, Diego".

Then Henry walked over to Diego who was still by the chopped liver mold. "Honey maybe we should get going on our honeymoon."

"Soon, Henry. I don't want to miss the fight," Diego said, holding her finger up in the air.

Andre pointed at Alfred and said, "Oh no, there is not going to be a fight, Diego, we are civilized human beings, not wild animals!"

Alfred pointed his finger back at Andre. "She said her mother was a toad. Listen, Andre, I'll cut you in fifty -fifty, whadaya say? You can get out of this crummy kitchen and take a long vacation in any fruity city you like, Paris, London, Hoboken. "

Shakespeare popped in. "Hey what about the rest of us?"

"Please, Shakespeare, there will be no fifty or forty or thirty," Andre cried.

"Well don't you think twenty is kind of cheap?"

Andre slapped his head and turned to Alfred. "See what you are doing? You are causing turmoil in my kitchen. You are a gruff little man with a smelly cigar."

Sincere stepped over to Alfred. "Thank you for your kind offer, but I have to decline." She smiled and curtsied.

"Who asked you, sister?" Alfred said, taking another puff on his cigar.

Yvette stood in front of Sincere again. "Father, are you to say she has no choice?"

Diego stuck her finger into the chopped liver mold again. "Ooh, I think they are all going to kill each other."

"Honey, let's go," Henry said, tugging Diego's sleeve.

Andre took off his cap and shouted, "See what you have done -- you have ruined their wedding, you buffoon.

"You worm!
You scum!
You reek!
You crumb!"

Then Alfred made a fist. "No one calls me a buffoon, got it, fatso? No one."

Yvette stamped her feet. "Father, stop this before it gets out of control!"

Andre patted Yvette on the head. "It is okay, Yvette, do not worry -- everything will stay in control, because after all today is for Henry and Diego and we won't let anything spoil it."

Alfred said, "Yeah it's a big day for bugman over there and Florence Nightmare-ingale."

Suddenly Henry's wing darted up. He stood directly in front of Alfred. "Watch how you talk about my wife, mister."

"Oh you're a tough one, ain't you, buggy?" Alfred chuckled.

"Father!" Yvette exclaimed.

"Quiet, Princess!" Alfred shouted.

At that point Diego grabbed the chopped liver mold and dumped it on Alfred's head.

Everyone in the kitchen began to laugh save for Alfred and Yvette, who was standing in the corner of kitchen holding her breath.

"You never looked better, Alfred," Andre chuckled as he took his finger and licked the chopped liver off of Alfred's forehead.

Alfred walked over to Yvette. He took her hand and said, "C'mon little girl, this is no place for decent people like us."

Yvette looked up at him. "You're right, Father, let's go."

They proceeded to walk towards the door when Alfred paused. He turned around and stepped over to the wall. With the tip of his cigar he began popping the balloons that lined the walls. "How'd ya like that? All your precious balloons disintegrating right before your very eyelids, suckers."

Andre slapped his head and he began to laugh and then Shakespeare slapped his head and he began to laugh and then Sincere slapped her head and she began to laugh and then Diego slapped her head and she began to laugh and then Henry looked at Diego and said, "Can we go now, honey?"

Diego shrugged. "Looks like they're out of chopped liver, we might as well."

Henry and Diego walked out of the kitchen and proceeded down the hall. Their bags were packed and waiting by the front door. Fortunately a cab was careening down the block. Henry waved it down and they hopped into the back. "Penn station" Henry said to the driver.

Diego put her arms around Henry and she breathed, "That was the best wedding ever."

Henry turned his head toward Diego and winked. "You ain't seen nothing, yet."

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-12-06
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