Jessica shoved the flyer under Gregg’s nose again in a last ditch effort to get him to actually put down the controller and listen to her. Some days she wondered why she married a professional YouTuber and gamer, but then other days he would make her laugh so hard she forgot she was mad at him. Marriage is about give and take, but today she was not about to give up the opportunity that she was trying to get him to notice.
“Dammit, Gregg! Just look at it!”
Gregg leaned to the side and button mashed as fast as humanly possible, but it was no use–she was in his way and she was mad again. He didn’t even bother to pause the game, since he knew the chances of returning to it in peace and quiet were the same as him winning a trip to the moon for a year.
He threw on his best boyish grin and looked at his wife. “You wanted to show me something?”
Jessica snarled and shoved the flyer under his nose again. “We’re going!”
“Oh, sounds great,” he said, leaning away from the flyer so he could at least see it had print on it. “Um, how about ne–”
“Tonight. Now. I’m going to get ready.”
There was no arguing with Jessica once she made a decision. It was one of the many things he loved about her. It took him ten minutes to get ready and he was able to get in a few more rounds of his game while she finished. When she came down the stairs in the white dress with red flowers that she had worn on their first date, panic surged through every recess in his mind determined to uncover what he obviously must have forgotten.
Jessica laughed. “You didn’t forget anything.” She kissed him on the cheek and tried to stop laughing as his face returned to its normal color.
“Oh, good.” Gregg finally breathed. “You look great. Where are we going?”
“To a new restaurant that opened last week,” Jessica said as they walked to the car. “Debra went the day it opened and she said it was the best place she had ever eaten.”
“Debra?” Gregg asked, watching Jessica input the address into the car’s dash. “Diet of the week, Debra? That Debra?”
“I wish you wouldn’t call her that. You know she just likes to look as good as she can.”
As Gregg followed the car’s directions, his mind wandered to all the diets that Debra had tried to get him or Jessica on over the years. They started out normal enough with the no carbs diet, all carbs diet, no gluten diet, and the caveman diet. Recording this or that and measuring this and that. Lately though she was into some really strange diets. Just last month she had tried to get Jessica on the ‘only blue foods on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and only green foods on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.’ He never really wanted to know what she could eat on Sunday.
“Wasn’t this Bob’s BBQ?” Jessica asked as Gregg pulled into the parking lot.
“Hey, yeah! That was some great food. Remember when we brought your dad here for the first time?”
“Oh, God!” Jessica laughed. “The sauce got all over his Sunday suit and mom yelled at me for a week.”
They sat in the car and reminisced about more great times at the old joint. When Gregg opened the door, it was very clear that the new place was not, in any shape or form, a BBQ joint. The dining room was filled with small bistro tables that looked like they belonged in a fancy bathroom than a dining room.
“Two?” a young woman in a black dress asked.
“Yes please,” Jessica said.
As the couple sat at the table and looked around, everyone seemed to be enjoying their meal. That was a good sign at least. Jessica looked at the menu and began salivating over the options. Gregg had a very different opinion of the menu. Nothing on it was normal. There were no steaks, or fish, or potatoes, or even chicken. All they listed were flavors and prices. Prices that started at fifty dollars and only went up from there.
“Fancy, isn’t it?”
Gregg just looked at her. She’s lost her mind, he thought. “Uh huh.”
Their waiter arrived with an eager expression. “Have you decided?”
“Yes,” Jessica blurted out before Gregg could ask any questions. “This is so different than all the other places in town. I am so excited to try your tropical plate.”
“Excellent choice. Especially this time of year,” the waiter said. “And for you sir?”
Gregg sighed and quickly picked something. “I guess I’ll have the rustic plate.”
“I’m sure you’ll love it,” the waiter said, picking up the menus and returning to the kitchen.
Jessica was giddy. “Just think about what it could be. Tropical could be so many things. Pineapple chicken, curry, or maybe even some of that Hawaiian pork like we had on our honeymoon.”
“Or malaria,” Gregg said under his breath.
It had only been a few minutes since they placed their order when their waiter pranced out of the kitchen with their plates.
“Enjoy your meal,” he said as he set the two small plates in front of the couple.
Jessica stared at her plate and all Gregg could do was look at Jessica. He watched as she actually lifted her plate and looked underneath it just to make sure that was actually all there was. She was dumbfounded.
“Gregg…you don’t think–”
“Yep, I do.” He couldn’t resist anymore and started laughing.
“This can’t be–”
“Yep, it is.”
“Excuse me,” she called out, “Waiter? Oh, waiter?”
The waiter looked confused as he walked over. “Is there a problem?”
“Um, is this it?”
“Is what it?”
“Is this all there is to the tropical plate?”
“Yes ma’am. The tropical plate is a wonderful presentation of tropical flavors–”
“Tropical flavors,” she said, cutting him off. “Tropical flavors! You call two orange slices, one slice of kiwi, and a pineapple ring a meal!”
“And just look at what you gave him! two chunks of carrots,” she tried stabbing one with her fork and it flung off the plate and landed in the potted plant across the room. “Two chunks of raw carrots, one bite of a potato, and one mushroom! That’s a meal!”
Her yelling brought the manager over who just wanted the couple to leave. They happily left without paying for their plates.
“When I see that ditsy dieting Debra tomorrow I’m going to give her a piece of my mind!”
Gregg drove back toward home silently laughing.
“Pull in here,” Jessica said.
“If I’m going to get dressed up and go out for dinner, we’re going to eat dinner! Real dinner!”
Three hours later the couple returned home with full bellies.
“I’m never going to get this BBQ sauce out,” Jessica said, fidgeting with her dress.