Late One Night

Five or six artists were sitting at the bar of 211, a great artist friendly bar in Tribeca.  It was late, maybe 12:30, one o’clock . Close to closing time. Behind them the restaurant was nearly empty.  In walked a thirty something dark haired white guy with three young and very pretty black women.  Once seated he ordered, in a heavy Spanish accent, four servings of gazpacho. The waiter told him it wasn’t on the menu.  He insisted that the waiter tell the chef to make some.  The waiter went into the kitchen and came back to the table. The chef had refused his request.

The guy then said the waiter should go tell the chef he was “an asshole”.  The waiter did so.  The chef came out of the kitchen and approached Big Max at the bar and asked him to please come into the kitchen.  Big Max was a young robust, long haired artist about 6″ 6″, 300 lbs. and whose work for the previous six years had been large intensely researched installations about serial killers, like the Green River Killer and Ted Bundy.

Once in the kitchen the chef explained to Max what he had in mind.  Having had his usual ten or so shots of Herradura tequila, Max happily agreed. They put a chef’s white jacket on him which couldn’t be buttoned in the front and with sleeves to his forearms.  He put on chef’s pants that didn’t button in the front completely and which came to mid calves. Then, for effect, they splashed juices, sauces and gravies over his costume and sent him out to the table.

“I understand there’s a problem?” said Max, standing just a little too close.

The black girls’ eyes all went wide and stammered, “Oh no.  Oh no.  Everything’s fine.  Really.”

“But I heard you think I’m an asshole.” said Max, looking directly at the guy.

Unable to make eye contact, the guy stared at his lap and murmured, “Oh no. That is not so.  Must have been a translation problem.”

“That’s nice.” said Max, turned and returned to the kitchen.

As soon as Max was in the kitchen, they were up and out the door.  Max and the chef came out of the kitchen and joined those at the bar.  Everyone was laughing, slapping Max on the back.  The bartender bought a round.

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