“Good afternoon Gentlemen. Our delicious Chinese restaurant serves some of the greatest Chinese delicacies. Can I take your orders?”
Jermaine takes charge as usual. “I imagine you can sir. Well my friend will have special fried rice and I will have special sweet n sour chicken. Could you make sure it’s especially sweet n sour though? Thanks sir.”
People love to eat Chinese. More often the meals though…for the appetisers may prove too fattening over time. Neville and Jermaine have definitely had their share of fattening up over time. Neville is said to eat more Chinese than most Chinese and as for Jermaine, he probably eats more of most things than most people.
“Jerry, don’t you think it’s strange how he mentioned they serve some of the greatest Chinese delicacies?” Jermaine who finds nothing short of highly unusual strange, makes a joke from anything less of great importance. “_Why_? What did you expect in a Chinese Restaurant, Indian food?” Neville who hears these jokes more often than not (but still not in appreciation of them) seems to always be misunderstood.
“No, I mean, we’re not Chinese. I can’t see anyone in here that is Chinese…In fact I would say that the only Chinese this restaurant ever sees is on the plates. So, they could get away with telling us that this restaurant actually serves the greatest Chinese delicacies. Why would they not?”
Jermaine’s opinion always went back to philosophy. “Some wise advice I have for you Nev. Never question the Chinese.” Something about the way the duo talked, it was utter enjoyment. The puns continuously employed emphasised it. A certain kind of pleasure whenever they accompanied one another was unleashed.
“Oh Jerry, you got to hear about what happened to my cousin. You’ll never believe it…So Ben was in Amsterdam for some time, on holiday or something. Well on the last week he jumped off the top of a three-storey apartment balcony.”
Jermaine who believes most things reasonable, but also hesitates in jumping to conclusions always feels obliged to question the situation. “Why the hell would anyone do something like that?”
Neville started blushing. He was never as outgoing as Jermaine, even being questioned made him feel slightly insecure. “Well Jerry, you know my cousin Benjamin. No one questions him.” A certain kind of tension was building somewhere between Nevilles growing timidity and Jermaine’s pursuing nerves.
“I think anyone thinking about jumping off the third storey of an apartment should be prepared to answer a lot of questions.” There was an uncomfortable short-lived silence between the duos. Neville thought of it as his responsibility to protect his cousin’s reputation, yet his loyalty had previously shown to lead to misdemeanours.
Neville decided to break his loyalty for what his reason was telling him was sensibility. “Yeah Jermaine, agreed. Benjamin sure must be a moron hey. Oh, which reminds me, did I tell you he is going to become a lawyer?”
The Chinese waiter had brought back the dishes. This is possibly the fastest time a waiter had brought out dishes (which were supposed to be quality cuisines). Then again, Jermaine and his friends always had their doubts about Chinese restaurants. Over their many meals they had discussed many things ranging from the health issues to the political and economic consequences of the different restaurant franchises.
The Chinese waiter did not talk this time. He had a chilling frown cast upon his face. Perhaps he had heard their talking? Perhaps it was just the all-round atmosphere of working in such a demanding service. Jermaine and Neville dug into their meals, each choosing their pick of chop sticks and spoon respectively although ironically not in quite a disorderly manner. It was only lucky that Neville chose a spoon for the fried rice to prevent any more mess (if more mess were possible).
“So Nev, back to the story; now that you tell me Mr. Benjamin wants to be a lawyer…that makes much more sense; their all lying bastards. This is one big story to you in order to gain your sympathy or something. It can’t really be explained, except that he is behind it all…”
“Not true. I saw his bandages and cuts and sores; everything. That can’t really be faked.”
“I’m sure for a lawyer, anything can be faked. Any kind of falsehood can be created and unleashed by those guys!”
“No seriously. Okay here’s the story, he said he went to a party. He got pretty drunk knowing it was his last week. Who knows maybe he even did…goddamn man it’s Amsterdam! I don’t have to mention the possibilities, their limitless! Anything could have happened. Well anyway, he woke up and that is when the nurse told him what had been reported to her.”
“You know what this sounds like? Chinese whispers. She said this; he said that, you say this…” Sceptical Jermaine could never let any possibility go.
“Okay whatever, whatever.” Neville had enough. This sort-of-debate had turned into a sort-of-argument. It was time for him to try and change the mannerism of things
“Hey Jerry, this kind of talking is probably not good for eating, let’s just eat okay. I mean just the other day I saw the scars and bleeding…well you know.” Eating continued. Polite (enough) slurping of Chinese tea and rice among other things died down the sound of thought. Than Jermaine continued speaking, but not where they left off. “Hey Nev, I’ll be back in a minute. Just have to convenience myself!”
Neville sat there. Five minutes boring his intellect- no one to talk to!
Jermaine returned. Back to his meal; back to messy eating and the hope of more polite interesting talk. Before Neville had seen it, Jermaine had finished the rest of his special sweet n sour. “Hey Neville, are you still feeling hungry at all?” Before Neville had a chance to reply Jermaine had beckoned the waiter over and ordered “Special Chinese fortune cookies”.
The cookies came in no time at all again. It made it seem like there was surely something efficiently magical about this restaurant. “Hey Nev, can you tell me about this story a bit more. So would you get this, I actually heard about a story similar to his; actually two stories, exactly like his…they both sort of were like these crazy stories where these things happened to guys in…well Chinese restaurants actually!”
Neville was only half listening, except the information was still unconsciously processing into his mind. He opened his fortune cookie. “No I do not believe it! Coincidences of such do not occur! Madness unleashed!” Neville started shaking intensely, trembling, his usual steady figure rumbling in what looked like fear; his skin pale and pupils dilating and goose bumps on his skin forming. Than he shoved his hands over his head and continued his fearful actions half-hidden by the table. Jermaine grabbed the little slice of Chinese paper, it must be not so fortunate whatever the fortune be he thought!“You will suffer falling three-storeys tonight. Do not question the Chinese”
They both sat there; Jermaine seemingly doing and thinking nothing except watching the actions of Neville. Neville with his behaviour turning more and more intense and shocking as seconds progressed and turned into minutes. “Neville!” Neville took no notice, for a moment, to only a moment later reply, “What? Don’t you fucking get this? Can’t you see what’s happening?”
Jermaine looked at his watch. Five minutes. Long enough…longer would be dangerous perhaps. “My good friend Neville. I have a confession. I put that note in your cracker…it’s to teach you a lesson really. But it’s also quite a cracker now too to think of it! You should have seen the look on your face! And my friend, I’ll tell you the moral of the story…Question anything with suspicion, even the Chinese, otherwise who knows what will be unleashed!”