Tuesday 18 April – THE MESSENGER DINES OUT, Episode Three – The Order

William E. Spear

Volume 1, Issue 16


Full Transcript –



(Footsteps approach and stop)

Hello . . . and welcome to the music-less Three Fifty-seven.

My name is William Spear and this is our series titled THE MESSENGER DINES OUT.

The Messenger’s car was retrieved from the police station and the Visit started. Just like the boss said, Jim and Francine’s Place was changed and it went way beyond the new sign out front.

Now, Episode Three titled The Order.

I walked in and the place had all the personality of a mausoleum: grey walls, grey ceiling, and a grey floor. In between were grey tables and chairs.

There were people everywhere but not much sound. Most diners were bent over their mobile phones. Tapping. Swiping. Adjusting ear buds. All in unison.

Every now and then people leaned together for a group shot. Followed up by the ritual online postings of the photographs and back to tapping and swiping. And adjusting ear buds.

(Theme for The New Owner plays underneath)

I knew why they had earbuds. The overhead music was a Van Gogh moment. I’ve been to more interesting funerals.

And that reminded me why I was there. A few minutes of looking around led me to the new owner.

“Hey, is this the place started by Jim and Francine Dale?” I wondered.

The new owner looked at me as if I was wearing socks on my head.

I was told patrons came to the restaurant for a finely curated culinary moment.”

“Patrons? At a diner?” I asked.

“Oh, we have clients from across the country and around the world coming to Chez Highway.”

Through a miracle I did not laugh at the name Chez Highway and continued, “I heard there was a funeral coming up. Jim and Francine always closed for funerals.”

A side order of disdain was thrown in my direction: “”Sorry, We’re Closed” signs won’t pay our bills,” I was told.

I matched the disdain and raised it with a main meal of contempt, “And supporting the community was how Jim and Francine kept the doors open.”

The new owner pushed back hard: “Nobody asked for advice.”

I was fed up with the kid’s arrogance. “I’m not bringing you advice. I’m bringing you a message. And I’m not the only one.”

I left and the owner returned to curating Chez Highway.

Out of the kitchen came two familiar voices: “The place sure has changed a bit, Jimmy.”

“You’re right about that, Frankie. What do you suppose is coming out of the speakers?”

(Theme for The New Owner plays underneath)

Frankie answered: “It sounds like your brother’s old roadster.”

The new owner joined the conversation: “It’s music. Sets the tone for the experience.”

Frankie asked: “What experience? Losing an appetite?”

Frankie and Jimmy laughed while the new owner fumed.

(Theme for The New Owner fades up and under)

You’ve just listened to Episode Three of THE MESSENGER DINES OUT.

Sound effects are by Georgisound and theme music is through the courtesy of Serge Quadrado. Both are at PixaBay.

(Theme for The New Owner fades out.)

The Three Fifty-seven is written and produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

(Footsteps start and walk off)

Author: William Spear

William E. Spear has written for audio since 1994. His book, "Lit Between the Ears, Volume One: Chekhov, O. Henry, Spear and Tarkington On the Air," was released on July 31, 2006. He founded Two Plus Plus Productions LLC in 2006 and is President. He founded Hunterdon Radio Theatre in 1999 and has written over 15 plays since. Spear's work has been broadcast in New York and New Jersey and his plays have been published on web sites across the country.

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