Thursday, May 13, 2010

Magpie Entry #14


Dr. Rosenfeld: And how do you feel about that, Mrs. Green?
Sybil: You already know how I feel; you know what worries me. What else have we been talking about here?
Harve: What we haven’t been talking about is the truth. And the truth is, you’re worried about something that is – nothing. There’s nothing to worry about.
Dr. Rosenfeld: Hold on a minute, Harv. I get the feeling that we’re actually approaching the real problem. It seems to have to do with a plate.



Sybil: Yes. My mother was a collector. Over her lifetime she put together a beautiful collection. A star of that collection is a priceless plate; she gave it to me to take care of for a while, just so I could have such beauty in my home, but it’s her plate; we shouldn’t forget that.
Harv: No one is going to harm her damn plate!
Dr. Rosenfeld: Let’s see. If I understand this right, Harv, you want to use it in your restaurant?
Harv: Restaurant? Come out and say it; it’s a diner. I run a diner.
Sybil: And to think of using this beautiful plate in a diner – well, the very idea is grotesque!
Harv: Oh, stop. You know damn well I’m not going to “use” it. It’s just that I have come up with a great idea, and this blue plate would help put it over.
Dr. Rosenfeld: What’s the idea?
Harv: Well, things have been slow at the diner. I felt the need to come up with a clever gimmick, something that will get talked about, written up in the papers and so on. So I intend to re-create the look, the feel, of a diner of the thirties, the days of the depression – a nostalgia thing.
Dr. Rosenfeld: And you’re going to serve meals on your mother-in-law’s plate?
Harv: Of course not. Listen. What do we think about when we think about old-fashioned diners? We think of a “blue-plate special,” right? When my grandfather owned the place I used to come in as a kid to watch; folks loved the blue-plate special. It was a complete meal: meat, potato and veg on one plate – and for a quarter! It was Fred Harvey of the Fred Harvey Restaurants who first came up with it. This is American history.
Dr. Rosenfeld: And you, Sybil, do you feel that, the romance of the American diner?
Sybil: A diner is a diner. I don’t care what he does just as long as he doesn’t use my mom’s beautiful plate to do it!
Dr. Rosenfeld: But Harv, you say you won’t serve meals on the plate?
Harv: Of course not. You see, I’m planning a big splash opening. On that one day -- it'll be Blue Plate Special Day -- I’ll actually serve everyone a meal on a real, cheap blue plate for twenty-five cents. It’ll make headlines. The publicity will be worth a fortune. Should get national coverage.
Sybil: So go out and buy a few dozen blue plates. Serve on them.
Harv: But don’t you see? My idea is to have this blue plate of your mom’s – and I admit it’s beautiful – put up on the wall of the place, like a work of art; it’ll be a marvelous touch. It’ll be a highlight. I’ll have special lighting for it and everything.
Sybil: Oh, Harv, you and your ideas. Remember when you had that Wild West theme and you rented that horse to stand in front of the place. More American history.
Harv: We had agreed not to talk about that again.
Dr. Rosenfeld: What was wrong with the idea?
Sybil: Nothing. Nothing at all, except most folks won’t go in a diner that has a horse in front of it who does nothing but stand there and crap all day long and I mean all day!
Harv: It was hardly my fault that some kid fed the horse a pepperoni pizza when I wasn’t looking.
Sybil: If Harv uses this precious plate of my mother’s in his diner as a “work of art,” it will be returned in pieces; I can guarantee it.
Dr. Rosenfeld: Well, Harv, I’m sure you can understand your wife’s position. She seems to have a legitimate concern.
Harv (sighs): This is how it is in the world today. You have, on the one hand, the thinkers, the doers, the visionaries, the people who make life a little bit better for everyone, and on the other, you have those who do nothing, nothing but complain and hold up progress.
Dr. Rosenfeld: Sybil, how do you think this problem could be solved?
Sybil: Maybe he can rent a horse to eat off a blue plate.

56 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

I gotta say, I'm on Harv's side on this one!

Katherine said...

A delighful read Berowne! I like Harvs blue plate idea. We don't have 'diners' here in Oz...we call them coffee shops or restaurants. And they all have there own charm...I think the 1930's charm would be just wonderful! Have a lovely day & weekdend Berowne!

Enchanted Oak said...

Harve's got a masterful idea and a pursed-lips spouse. He ought to run out to the neighborhood "antique" shop and grab a cheap imitation blue willow plate, then dump the biddy.

Chhaya said...

Haha... Go for it Harv ;)

Pat said...

I agree with both. I still have my mother's willow pattern dinner plates which we ate off in the thirties and it is my first choice to chose for my evening meal despite the risk of breakage. Elsewhere in the house I have them on display. My business persona says 'Go ahead Harve - great idea!'

Nes said...

Really creative interpretation of the picture!

Berowne said...

Bossy Betty: "I gotta say, I'm on Harv's side on this one!"
Katherine: "A delighful read Berowne! I like Harvs blue plate idea."
Enchaned Oak: "Harve's got a masterful idea and a pursed-lips spouse."
Chhaya: "Haha... Go for it Harv ;)"
Pat: "My business persona says 'Go ahead Harve - great idea!'"

Very interesting. I was surprised to learn that almost everone so far seems to be on Harv's side. :-)

chiccoreal said...

Dear Berowne: Got a chuckle from the pepperoni! Never stand behind a horse. This dialogue would be a great sitcom! Love your characters; tres riche!

willow said...

I feel shades of "Green Acres" here. Fun tale, as always, Mr. B! (love the reference to the Harvey Girls and the blue plate special)

kathew said...

another vote for Harv!

Derrick said...

Well I'm gonna throw a spanner in the works - and hope it misses the plate. I'm with Sybil!

Berowne said...

Derrick: "I'm with Sybil!"

Curioser and curioser. The women seem to be on Harv's side and here's Derrick taking the side of the wife. Get Sigmund F. on the phone, somebody. :-)

~T~ said...

I think Sybil should let Harve use the plate -- IF he invests in a museum-quality, secure display case for it. Don't take chances!

Paul C said...

Interesting script. Love the genre to explore character and conflict.

Berowne said...

-T-: "I think Sybil should let Harve use the plate..."

Another vote for Harv. :-)

The Bug said...

Nope - do NOT use the heirloom on the wall! Go to Hobby Lobby & buy a $15 imitation & use that - no one will no the difference. How could Harv enjoy his grand event if he's worrying about the plate (not that I think Harv actually does much worrying).

sheri... said...

berowne, this was a wonderful piece that you've shared, a magpie that evokes all sorts of comments! i might as well throw my hat into this crazy ring and vote for harve, a hard working guy who is just looking for a break! i have a sneaking suspicion that sybil hasn't got a clue as to how the bills are paid at their house!!
really nice work, berowne!

Brian Miller said...

ha. fun read...all good ideas dont work...they turn out to be crap you know...lol.

Berowne said...

The Bug: "How could Harv enjoy his grand event if he's worrying about the plate?"

I guess it was Sybil who was doing most of the worrying. :-)

Berowne said...

sheri: "i might as well throw my hat into this crazy ring and vote for harve, a hard working guy who is just looking for a break!"

Another vote for the guy! :-)

Berowne said...

Brian M.: "ha. fun read...all good ideas dont work."

Very true.

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford said...

My favorite Magpie so far regarding those Blue Willow plates!!! I agree with whoever said this could be a sitcom .... this is adorable!!!

GO HARV!!!

Berowne said...

Lynn Hamilton Rutherford: "My favorite Magpie so far regarding those Blue Willow plates!!!"

A woman of taste...

"GO HARV!!!"

Remarkable. The guy keeps getting votes. He should run for mayor. :-)

christine said...

Once again a clever one from you.. I wanted to be around for the blue plate special day!
Christine

Berowne said...

christine; 'I wanted to be around for the blue plate special day!'

And only a quarter!

Sam Liu said...

Beautifully constructed dialogue, I could see each charter in my mind, I could hear them speaking each wonderful word. A delightful and charming Magpie Tale.

Berowne said...

Greetings to Sam Liu; I haven't received many comments more enthusiastic than yours.

Suz said...

I vote for Harv too
Good food on a classic plate
what could be better
nicely told story
you are always a delight to read

Berowne said...

Suz: "You are always a delight to read."
Suz, you are always a delight to hear from. :-)

Shirley Landis VanScoyk said...

another good one

Berowne said...

Shirley LVS: "Another good one."
Thanks, but you didn't take a position on the great Sybil-Harv debate. :-)

Yemalla said...

I think they should have asked the Mother, whose plate it was in the first place. Great story, Berowne - and great debate!

Lisa said...

Here's my philosophy: Stuff is made to be used, not stared at. Even if it is a precious part of an antique collection. I side with Harv on this one. Even if the plate broke, it is just a plate...the memories associated with the plate still exist. I say Sybil....give up the ghost and give the man the use of the damn plate!

:)

Madame DeFarge said...

Excellent imagination at play here. Never knew a plate could spark off so much!

Berowne said...

Yemalla: "I think they should have asked the Mother, whose plate it was in the first place."

VERY good point. Thanks

Berowne said...

Lisa: "I side with Harv on this one. Even if the plate broke, it is just a plate."
But then Sybil would have to face her Mom.:-(

Berowne said...

Mme DeF: "Excellent imagination at play here. Never knew a plate could spark off so much!"
It's the origin of the phrase, "You've got to step up to the plate!" :-)

Everyday Goddess said...

poor harv! I guess he can blame his failing diner on his wife's lack of vision. ~wink~

i love the therapist office as a setting!

Berowne said...

Everyday G. - Good to hear from you. We New England bloggers have to stick together. :-)

Tumblewords: said...

But ultimately Harv won out with his diners, didn't he? This is an insightful piece.

Berowne said...

Tumblewords: "But ultimately Harv won out with his diners, didn't he?"
We don't know what finally happened. That's why folks have been voting on the situation. (Harv seems to be in the lead.) {-)

R. Burnett Baker said...

Sybil. Yep, let's side with her. We've all known a Harv with a scheme and a dream. And Sybil's probably had just about enough!

Poor Harv.

Fun as always, Berowne!

Lyn said...

The Empire Diner closed last night, possibility for Harv and his skills to take over..and horse around as much as he likes! Harv and Sybil..splitsville..

Peg said...

Oh, how difficult it is to 'see' what others see!! A truly delightful tale!

Aoife.Troxel said...

I'm voting Dr. Rosenfeld.
Harv's publicity stunts seem to have history of failure, and Sybil seems far too out of touch with American History. Maybe she's a foreigner!
Anyway, great Magpie! :D

Berowne said...

Lyn: "Harv and Sybil..splitsville.."
Hard to think they'd break up over a plate.:-)

Berowne said...

Aoife.Troxel: "I'm voting Dr. Rosenfeld."
Good. Glad to see he's getting a vote. :-)

Berowne said...

Peg: "A truly delightful tale!"
A truly delightful comment.

Berowne said...

Rick: "Sybil. Yep, let's side with her."
Glad to see she's getting some support. :-)

Alan Burnett said...

The dialogue was so good I was there in the office, trying to protect that blue plate from harm.

Berowne said...

Alan Burnett: "I was there in the office, trying to protect that blue plate from harm."
Let's see, we've had votes for Harv and for Sybil, even one for Dr. Rosenfeld. I'm glad to see there's also one for -- the plate!

Jingle said...

fun tale.

Queenmothermamaw said...

I agree a cheap imitation could hurt no one. No one would even notice. It is a great idea. Go Harv.
QMM

Patience said...

Harv should def. get the plate. Really enjoyed the play script style!

Berowne said...

Looks like two more votes for the guy -- from QMM and Patience. By the way, he's the only character I ever wrote about who was named after a French city: Le Harv. :-)

She Writes said...

A-toot a-toot, a-toot diddle-ee-ada-toot
He blows it eight to the bar - in boogie rhythm
He can't blow a note unless the bass and guitar
Is playin' with 'im
He makes the company jump when he plays reveille
He's the boogie-woogie bugle boy of Company B

I know these women :). Oh yeah, I do.

BTW you left a lovely comment on my blog a while ago and I am afraid I neglected to thank you for your kindness. It was at my last Magpie entry. I believe the piece I wrote was called "Fishbowl," if I recall correctly.

 
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