Saturday, 28 May 2011

Lunchtime Dilemma-Part 3

"Now there was this Croatian lady that came across one of her dead friends on the way to the supermarket one sunny afternoon". Tim noticed the frantic clatter of cutleries against the plates had stopped. Right, it worked again, it always does. Start a story with an impossible concept and you get your audience quiet. Except that some of them are refining some dangerous posers in their minds.
He looked at Claire and hadn't she been her supervisor he would have been forced to manually rearrange her face and make her look less serious. Yeah, there it is, I said it-anyways in my mind. She frightens me when she's that serious...
"Now this dead friend was sitting on one of those weather-beaten benches erected beside the roads for, well I suppose, retirees...when Miss Croat came along..."
"Who's that?"
"Who's who?" He looked at Ohrft for a minute pretending he didn't understand why they wouldn't find it self-explanatory to know who Miss Croat was. Of course, they ought to know, he had only mentioned two characters in his story, only one of which happened to be a lady. It's really tiring how a scientist's mind works needing to explicitly declare all variables.
"That's the Croatian lady, the friend of the dead guy who was waiting there on that weather-beaten seat that I will hence refer to as WBS. Okay?...Super"
"You could also say, 'Genau'", everyone looked up to tie a face to the self-announcing voice. Everyone, of course except Claire who happened to have lived for the past few months under the overwhelming field of that voice, Tim later gathered. And except, Lee who had quickly built a complex algorithm for handling that voice consisting of quickly stuffing whatever remained on his plate, looking for the salt and listening to his teeth slowly grind the complaint of the content of his mouth into subjection... And except Steffen who simply ignored the voice, or then exploited it on the very few occasions when silence became more unbearable than the voice.
Well then Tim was the everyone.
"Super could have genau replace it". He sat down heavily on the cringing chair, looked around for salt which he promptly shook without looking on his fries but most of which ended on the food tray. "And actually the S is not S, it's a fat S, to get it right I first swallow the American S, and then replace it a dampened Z..."
Steffen looked up briefly from his battle with a crusty pizza and injected, "American Z". Then a returned to his war, scratching and cutting and digging into the soft inside of his lunch-crust leaving the newcomer to sustain the talks.
"Yeah, American Z which in actual fact is different from the German Z. The Germans always keep a T somewhere in the side of their mouth when saying a Z, which for an American is really annoying"
"But technically you're not an American and your getting annoyed with a German Z is inappropriate" That was Ohrft looking all benign and desperate to have an unyielding voice stuffed, permanently, this time.
"Yes, well...well, you could... but really.." That was the non-American American stuttering.
"Also, English as a language inherited its substance from Deutsch," Steffen again turned his back on the battle of his plate to fan this ember of...well, Tim had no word to describe that yet. "And, if there should be any annoyance it should be a right of the Germans at how the English have so badly altered the pure form..."
"American, not English" That was Tim's nameless newcomer. Should he still be called newcomer seeing he already spoke more than all the people he met at the table. Tim at first had expected someone introducing him but now he dreaded it. Perhaps that could be postponed till when he was ready to leave the office and an unspeaking eve would resuscitate him ahead of the second day.
"What!" Steffen.
"You had referred to English and I corrected you that it's American" Nameless suddenly buried his gaze inside the fries he was stirring furiously as the little salt particles that gained footing jumped off the edge of the dish scared by his fury. But he needn't stay buried inside the fries as a malignant Steffen soon gave way to an indifferent one saying no more than a psst before returning to the battle closer to his stomach. He admitted his surrender there, pushed the plate away, scratched something onto his PDA and then sat back, smiled under this glasses at Claire who appeared torn between being amused at the development and being left alone to enjoy the pleasant meal.
"He didn't allow you complete the story of Miss Croat," She was trying to return Tim to the story but he thought Mr Nameless had just killed the excitable part of everyone's senses so it's better to wrap it up in a sentence.
"Actually, she got killed just minutes later on a plate of fries". It's also not bad to borrow some smiles in the present imbroglio. The amusement went swiftly round the table, got to Nameless seat and turned back with a frown.
"American fries." Steffen.
The amusement again went around the table and again got its butt kicked back at the dish of fries. So Tim took him back in into his breast pocket.
"And actually that's correct," Nameless again."Fries is American"
On hearing that every stood up deciding to save that line of argument for the next lunch but allow what's left of digestion that their systems could yet perform.

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