Tuesday 11 April – THE MESSENGER DINES OUT, Episode Two – On the Menu

William E. Spear

Volume 1, Issue 15


Full Transcript –



(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place fades up)

Hello . . . and welcome to the still dancing Three Fifty-seven.

(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place plays)

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

(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place plays)

The Messenger has received troubling news that the diner started by Jim and Francine Dale is about to go broke. It was started in the nineteen fifties and has many, many cherished memories. But the Messenger is doubtful.

Now, Episode Two titled On the Menu.

(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place fades out)

The boss is a master manipulator but I play along: “Broke? What are you talking about? I hear the parking lot’s full every day.”

The boss continues: “It’s okay now. But it’s about to have a Moment and Jim and Francine – God rest their souls – aren’t around anymore.”

I speculate someone’s losing money on lottery tickets.

“Worse,” says the boss who is reeling me in like a dumb halibut. “There’s a funeral and the new owner is staying open.”

My jaw fell open. Jim and Francine always closed the diner to attend services. Sent meals to the family, too. They used to joke if people died any more often they’d go broke from being closed and giving away so much food.

“You mean to tell me one of their kids is not paying final respects?”

The boss snarled, “It’s one of their grandkids and the joint’s all fancified. Has a website for online orders and . . .” The boss choked up and turned to the window.

“What? What! Don’t leave me in suspense!” I begged.

The boss checked for witnesses to avoid accusations of blasphemy then leaned forward and whispered: “They changed the music.”

The pain cut into my soul like a jagged knife.

Imagine pork roll, egg, and cheese on a hard roll with ketchup, salt, and pepper and a side of french fries being taken off the menu. For the first time since baseball went on strike, I wept openly.

“What are we going do?” I sobbed.

The boss, the great angler, came out from behind the massive desk and put an arm around me: “Two things. You make a Visit to the grandkid and explain the rules for owning Jim and Francine’s place. But before that, and even more important, . . .”

I was hanging on every word. “What could be more important?!”

Calmly and coolly, with steely nerves developed over decades of leadership, the boss spoke, “First, you go down to the police station and get your car that’s being towed.”

(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place fades up)

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

Theme music is through the courtesy of Francesco Biondi at PixaBay.

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

Thank you for listening and . . . . . . dance while you can.

(Theme for Jim and Francine’s Place fades out)