It was sometime before 8 PM when I entered the swanky new French restaurant, Le Rongeur Precieux, with my buxom escort, Lola, and a satchel full of emergency supplies. As the maitre d came to welcome us, I put him in a hammerlock.
"Listen, you pigfucking degenerate!" I barked in his ear, "I'm a Doctor of Journalism and a valued member of the culinary intelligentsia, so I don't want to be sent to some puny two-top tucked against the wall way back by the fire extinguisher and the ladies' shit-house!" Then I stomped hard on his right foot for good measure.
As the crippled brute limped us to a large booth toward the center of the room, Lola expressed concern over my harsh treatment of the man and wondered if a deftly-placed fifty-dollar bill might've been the smarter approach.
"Nonsense, my plum … violence is the only currency worth holding when dealing with these people. Remember Julia Child. She didn't get to where she was by preening and pinching cheeks. The woman was a storm trooper."
Once comfortably seated, Lola and I were greeted by a tiny freak wearing a red dress shirt with a slack, expressionless face. An instant before he could fill our water glasses I dropped him with the PR500L Panther 500,000 volt stun baton I had pulled from my satchel. A working journalist is always prepared.
Soon after, our waiter appeared to revive the bus-boy (who trundled off in a shock-addled stupor - leaving the faint smell of burning hair in his wake), present us with a wine list and tell us about the specials of the evening. I ordered a bottle of the 2001 Petrus, four glasses of Wild Turkey, a margarita with salt for Lola, and seven bottles of Budweiser. The waiter left us with a far-away look in his eyes, dreaming probably of the tip a meal that included a $5400 bottle of wine would bring him. Little did he know that gratuity beyond thirty dollars couldn't be expensed by this publication and I was carrying no cash. I was of a mind to tell him but figured I should let the poor, Euro-centric hillbilly dream of a wealth that would never be his for a while. Selah.
As a term of back-waiters brought our drinks, I started emptying the contents of my satchel on the table. An ounce of Hawaiian marijuana, nine hits of high-powered orange sunshine blotter acid, a Beretta Px4 Storm Type F 9mm Semi-automatic pistol, a pair of chain-linked nickel high security handcuffs, two Zippo lighters, a can of chemical mace, and Dennis Hopper's American Express card.
Midway through the drinks, I could sense from the body language of the restaurant staff and furtive glances by my fellow patrons that something ugly was about to happen. I was unwelcome here, the one true gourmand in an outhouse of water-headed, epicurean philistines. Fearing more for Lola's safety than my own I hustled her toward the door before soaking my linen napkin in whiskey, shoving it halfway into the wine bottle, lighting the end and heaving my makeshift oenological Molotov at the dessert cart across the room. The flammable brandies and liqueurs on the cart combusted easily with the rag of flaming whiskey and soon half the building was engulfed in a raging conflagration. I was able to mix in with the fleeing and panic-stricken crowd, seize Lola by the valet stand, and escape into the night in my red shark Lincoln convertible, ricocheting wildly off several parked cars as we went.*
*Editor's Note: Le Rongeur Precieux remains closed to repair fire damage.