If the truth be known, the wry portrait of me over there --------->
is a bit out of date, and some excess avoirdupois has collected around my midsection and nether regions. Quite a lot, in fact, since we're telling the stupid truth so religiously here. Anyway, I have been living for the past few months on dried twigs and carrot juice, hoping that my belly goes away before my teeth fall out and I die from lack of chocolate and beer. Especially beer.
So far so good - let's not descend into tawdry specifics - and I console my poor deprived palate with a weekly visit to my favorite restaurant. The Cajun Cafe on the Bayou is located nearby in fact, but its heart and soul reside in N'awlins, where les bon temps roulent. Invariably, I sit out on the quiet deck over the bayou, often alone while Judy plays bingo or some such.
So I'm sitting there tonight, brooding. Brooding, I think, is one of life's true luxuries. The temperature dips to the low 60s - cold enough if your blood is thin and hungry. I order a cup of gumbo and a green salad with a little salsa instead of salad dressing.
I'm freezing to death in the dark, eating roughage and three tablespoons of soup. Next thing I know, the Dalai Lama appears over the bayou, hovering in full regalia. It's much colder in Tibet, I suppose, so His Holiness looks comfy here in homespun robes. Not to mention scrawny, but I may be losing perspective. He wants to award me the Laughing Buddha Award for Pious Virtue.
I'm pondering my acceptance speech when Steve the Smartass Waiter interrupts: "Will there be anything else, or are you content to sit there sucking the stains out of your napkin?" I used to tip Steve quite generously.
"Yeah. Bring me a 20-ounce prime rib, medium rare, and a chocolate cake."
Steve snickers and drops my $9 tab on the table. The Dalai Lama chuckles quietly, and I leave a $3 tip.