1 year ago
Thursday, May 13, 2010
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.