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June 27, 2022

Dinner With Henry 43: The Great Escape?

By Bruce Memblatt

This just in; in a bizarre turn of events we sadly report there has been an attempt on the mayor's life. It seems his chef, Julius Companion, aimed a pistol and took a shot at Mayor Krutz, as he was about to serve him his dinner, which according to reports consisted of roast lamb and small white potatoes with a garnish of butter and parsley. The mayor's chef is now under custody. The mayor remains in stable condition at Bellevue hospital.

Andre grabbed his chest. "Oh my god! Oh my God! Oh my god!"

Then Shakespeare tugged on Andre's leg. "Whatsa matter, something go wrong, Hoover?"

Andre's face turned red, he forced a smile, and he said, "Whatever do you mean, Shakespeare?" His eyebrows quivered.

Henry turned and pointed. "Are you okay, Andre? What does Shakespeare mean, something gone wrong?"

"Yes, what does he mean?" Diego breathed, and stared with anticipation.

"Oh, it is just a leetle joke between me and Shakespeare, right Shakespeare?"

Shakespeare quickly nodded.

Andre continued, "Besides, we have bigger fish to fry. Henry, Henry! The mayor has been shot! Shot! What is going on in our city! What do you suppose was behind it? Imagine a chef! A chef! Shooting the mayor? Oh god, what is happening to the world!"

Shakespeare snickered.

Diego stared at the door. "Why is the little one snickering?"

Andre grabbed Shakespeare and covered his mouth, "Oh you know him, he is a drunk. He is drunk again. Pay him no mind!"

Henry walked toward Andre. "Then why do you have your hand covering his mouth?"

"Ha -- it seems I do," Andre said. He bent over and began to remove his hand from Shakespeare's lips. "Oh, it is just force of habit. Henry, you know Shakespeare and me, we're always kidding around. You must not take it so seriously, Henry."

Then Diego stepped closer, and hushed, "So why do you still have your hands over his mouth? Henry, look at the big one. He looks guilty about something, doesn't he?"

Henry looked at Andre closely. "As a matter of fact he does, honey."

Shakespeare began to cough, little coughs.

"Now the little one is coughing," Diego said, stepping even closer to Andre.

"Oh don't worry! He will be okay. See, I am now removing my hands from Shakespeare's mouth." Andre said smiling, as he cautiously moved his hands from Shakespeare's mouth.

Immediately Shakespeare reached for a breath and said, "The big one is in big trouble. He told the mayor's chef to drug the mayor, but instead the lunatic took a shot at him."

Henry's jaw dropped.

Diego's jaw dropped.

Inside her stroller, Winifred's jaw dropped.

Andre shouted, "DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM HE IS A CRAZY BLIND MIDGET!" His hat fell to the floor.

"Damn! Andre, this is serious!" Henry cried, reaching for the handle of Winifred's stroller.

"Oh, Henry, don't make such a fuss, no one will ever find out." Diego said as she stared at the door.

Henry shook his head. No one will ever find out? Andre could go to jail. They could all be in trouble. Andre and his watch cry You can fight City Hall. And what about the mayor? The mayor could have been killed. He didn't want anyone hurt over this, not like this. Andre was crazy, and his Diego was even crazier. His wing drooped to the floor.

Then Diego said, shaking her head, "You are all weak. I am a nurse. I fix things. We will have to hide Andre."

Shakespeare laughed, "There is no place big enough to hide him." A bottle of Jack Daniels fell from his apron on to the floor.

"Oh, there he goes again. There he goes again! How many times are you going to tell that joke, you little lunatic? I am in trouble. We may all be in trouble and all you can do is make silly jokes? How did this happen to me? How did this happen to me, an honest and law-abiding citizen, a well respected chef, philosopher and singer!"

Shakespeare snapped, "You called your friend and told him to drug the mayor."

"I said drug, not shoot! I did not tell him to shoot the mayor!"

Diego stepped towards the door and said, "I don't think he's such a great singer."

Henry slapped his hand over his head. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to find a place to hide Andre, keep an eye on Winifred."

Andre walked over to Winifred's stroller: he looked down at her and said, "You understand, don't you, Winifred?"

Winfred cooed against her little blanket and said, "I'm not really sure, Andre."

Andre flung his hat to the floor. "IT IS ALL OVER. MY LIFE IS OVER. I MUST FACE FACTS. I MUST FACE THE INEVEVATIBLE TRUTH."

Shakespeare looked up at Henry and said, "I think the big one has lost it."

Henry, not knowing what to do, banged his fists on the stove and cried, "Now everybody pay attention!"

Andre stood at attention.

Shakespeare stood at attention.

Winifred laid in attention.

Henry cleared his throat and continued. Pointing at Andre he said, "Now Andre, I appreciate that you tried to help and all, but how could you have the mayor drugged? This is crazy."

Shakespeare snapped, "He didn't have him drugged, he had him shot."

Then Andre pointed his hands at Henry and Shakespeare. "I did not tell him to shoot the mayor."

Henry raised his hands in exhaustion. "What is the difference? How could you have him drugged? What were you thinking?"

Shakespeare said, "He never even answered my question about what he was going to do with the mayor after he had him drugged."

Andre softy said, his face turning red, "I hadn't thought out the rest of the plan yet. I just told Julius to drug him."

"Who is this Julius, anyway? He sounds like a nut!" Henry cried, staring at the door.

"Why are you staring at the door, Henry? Anyway you're right, Julius is a nut. He became a chef while he was in Bellevue hospital under psychiatric care for shooting his former wife. They had some kind of patient program there. Chefs On Wheels or something."

Shakespeare looked up at Andre, confused. "'Chefs on Wheels?'"

"I don't remember! It was something like that! And now I AM GOING TO GO TO JAIL! I AM GOING TO GO TO JAIL! I AM GOING TO GO TO JAIL!" Andre cried, stamping his foot, causing Shakespeare to topple over.

"Now wait, Andre, wait, maybe Diego is right, maybe he won't squeal on you?" Simpson said.

"Oh no! You've got to stop doing that, Simpson!"

Simpson smiled and vanished.

"What are you looking at?" Henry said, staring at Andre.

"Nothing," Andre said, shaking his head, "but I have one thing to say, Henry. Maybe Diego is right? Maybe Julius won't squeal on me."

Then Shakespeare intervened, "If he does, you can always deny it. He's got a rep for being crazy anyway."

"Oh no! Oh no! I couldn't do that to Julius!" he paused, his nose, eyes, lips and hair quivering. "Could I?"

Then Diego entered the kitchen, a whimsical look on her face. She smiled and said, "The magic door. We're hiding Andre behind the magic door in your mother's loft, Henry."

Henry's wing crinkled.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-06-06
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