“Ristorante Existentialiano”

TED and LINDA are having a candlelit dinner at a romantic Italian restaurant.

LINDA
Oh Ted, I love Italian restaurants,
they’re so romantic. Ooh, look,
here comes the waiter- those
Italian waiters are so cute, always
talking about love.

The WAITER approaches.

WAITER
Good evening, how you folks doing
tonight? You two make-a a very nice
couple.
(winking at Ted)
I think maybe you going to marry
this girl, yes?

TED
Well, I don’t know, we just started-

Linda is eating up the Italian waiter schtick, she loves it.

WAITER
I am Italian, I know these things.
I think you two make each other
very happy- for about 34 months.

LINDA
What??

WAITER
I think you two have a very
romantic wedding. It like a fairy
tale- for the first two years. Then
she a-sleep with your
dermatologist.

TED
Excuse me??

WAITER
Love fades- it just-a a fact of the
life. But who knows, maybe you two
have a beautiful little girl-
(to Linda)
You like little girls?

Linda is back to being happy and giggling.

LINDA
Oh I always wanted a daughter ever
since I was a little girl. I’ll
call her Ashley.

WAITER
Ashley, that’s-a a beautiful name.
I bet she’ll be a beautiful girl.
You both love her so much, I think
you get in a protracted custody
battle over her. Maybe you use her
as a bargaining chip in your own
bitter legal battle, no?

LINDA
What’s wrong with you? Get away
from us and send us another waiter!

The waiter retreats and WAITER #2 enters, even more stereotypically Italian.

WAITER #2
Good evening, folks. I’m so sorry
about that, signora. You a very
beautiful woman, I’m sure your
looks not-a fade for another five
years, maybe even ten!

LINDA
I DEMAND TO SEE YOUR MANAGER!

The even more stereotypical MANAGER approaches.

MANAGER
Good evening, folks. What-a seems
to be the problem?

LINDA
These two waiters have been
horrible to us!

TED
They told us we were going to get
divorced and have a custody battle
over our daughter Ashley!

MANAGER
I’m so a-sorry folks!
(to waiters)
Antonio, Francisco, come over here
right now? Did you tell these nice
people they was a-going to get a
divorce?

They nod meekly and hang their heads.

MANAGER
You know I didn’t raise you like
that! What you were telling them,
that’s a nothing but cheap
pessimism! What do I always tell
you?

WAITER
Nothing really matters, papa.

WAITER #2
Human free will, it’s just-a an
illusion!

MANAGER
That’s a-right? What’s the
difference if they get married or
not? In a hundred years, we all be
dead anyway. You get married or you
don’t get married, in a
meaningless, uncaring  universe,
how it can it possibly make-a a
difference?

Ted and Linda are shocked and speechless for a long beat.

MANAGER
So, maybe I can tell you the
specials?

LINDA
(through tears)
O…K.

MANAGER
We got a grilled Halibut. The
halibut, that’s very good, because
his parent’s never wanted him, so
his whole life he very eager to
please.

TED
(also in tears)
What else?

MANAGER
We got the duck. It’s an exquisite
dish. The duck, it’s cooked in a
white wine and butter sauce, and he
hates you, and he hopes you get-a
the AIDS.

Linda turns on Ted:

LINDA
Ted, he said the duck hopes we get
AIDS? All I wanted was a nice
Italian dinner- what is this some
kind of sick joke, bringing me to a
place like this?

TED
Nothing’s ever good enough for you
is it, Linda- I don’t know why I
even bother!

MANAGER
(to waiters)
Isn’t it beautiful- they hate each
other. This is why I get into the
restaurant business. Come here
boys.
(he hugs the waiters)
This is a very special moment, so I
just want to tell you, you not
really my sons. Your mother, she
have the sex with the mailman!

WAITER #1 AND #2
We hate you, papa!

LINDA
I hate you Ted!

TED
I hate you all!

MANAGER
I never been so happy- now who’s a
ready for some duck?

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