Eating Out

“Pomi!”

“What?” Sitting on a stained glass picture that was hanging in the window of my workroom Pomi  was dangling dangerously in the air.

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” You still have not told me how you manage to climb all those things, my desk, the dress form, now this.”

” It is still my secret.” Pomi smiled his mischievous little smile. ” I love climbing.”

” I can see that. I do think it is very dangerous though and you should not be doing it. You can ask me to help you.”
” Sure! And you would have helped me climb up here? You would have allowed me to use this picture as a swing.”

” I do not know. Maybe not.”
” Of course not.  But I am bored, there is nothing to do here. No entertainment.”
” You want entertainment? Join me then, I am going out for lunch.”

“Will I get something? ”
“Of course, you can choose whatever you like. What do you like?”
” I do not know. I will have to have a look at the menu first.”

I got ready and  Pomi  jumped into my bag.

” I am beginning to get used to this.” He grinned. ” I just hope there are not going to be any small children where we are going because then I will have to stay in the bag like last time. I did not like that.” Pomi drooped his head.

” I am sorry. But it was for you own good.”

We arrived at the restaurant  at around one o’clock, entered  the inside dining area and I looked around.  A big room with a high ceiling, lots of hard surfaces, tables crowded together and people talking loudly.   I could feel the sounds bounce and echo. The place was crowded. Nobody was sitting outside on the veranda.

” What do you think? Should we sit there?” I had taken Pomi out of my bag and showed him the veranda.

” It looks nice.”

It did and we decided to sit outside despite the rather high midday temperature.  There was a light breeze and the veranda  offered  a pleasant view overlooking a terraced garden. A waitress brought the menu. Pomi  sat down to study it

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but turned around to me at instantly looking confused.

“Anything wrong?”

“Did you see that?” Pomi pointed at the menu.

” Yes it is the menu, they changed it I think, it was not a single page last time I was here.”

” I do not like it, I will not choose anything.” Pomi pushed the menu away. I looked at it.

” This is the wrong side, it is the drinks menu. Turn it around and you …”

” The wrong side?  Yes, the wrong side indeed, I was looking at ladies backsides.” Pomi  looked downright offended and I could not help laughing.

” I guess the majority of men would love to look at that.” The menu  was  printed on a vintage photography of a couple of ladies in swim suits lying  on their bellies  their smiling faces turned towards the camera.

” Well I don’t!  I have lost my appetite.”

” Pomi!”

” You go ahead and order. I will sit here and enjoy the scenery, maybe take a nap.”

” But…”

” But what? I am not hungry!” Pomi looked away.

I ordered a Caesar Salad and a bottle of mineral water. When the salad arrived Pomi was still sitting on the table.

“Did you not say you were going to take a nap?”

” I just wanted to see what you ordered.”
” Caesar salad.”
” Caesar. Like  Julius Caesar? The Roman emperor? ”

” No Pomi, not that Caesar, not the Roman statesman. As far as I know this salad is named after a certain Caesar Cardini, who operated a restaurant in Mexico where he invented this salad when he ran out of supplies on a Fourth of July and had to make do with what there was.  That was in the Twenties, a long time ago. There is a  version that  claims the salad was invented at the beginning  of the twenties century by a man named Giacomo, an Italian cook who run a restaurant in Chicago and according to that version the salad was named after Julius Caesar, the greatest Italian of all time.”

” You see, I was right.” Pomi looked at me triumphantly and then turned his attention towards the  salad.

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” That is a lot of salad you are going to eat.”

” It looks more than it actually is.”

” What’s in it? Pomi inquired.

” Lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, chicken pieces.’

” And what is the white stuff that covers everything.”
” That is the dressing.”

Pomi looked at the salad for a while. Then he looked at me, smiled and with an ‘enjoy’ he hopped off the table onto the chair to my left  and sat down on the case of my camera, resting his back against my bag.

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” You want my advice? ”

” Do I ?”

Do not eat that? ”

” Why? It looks really good?”

” It looks like there is too much of everything in it.” Pomi closed his eyes and I started to eat my salad. I should have listened to him. The first couple of bites tasted good. The chicken was tender, the lettuce crisp, the parmesan cheese was maybe a bit salty but I was hungry. I had finished half the salad when the cheese began to taste terribly salty. I ate a few more bites, tried to fish out the lettuce leaves but they were covered in the heavy dressing. On the chair next to me with his eyes closed was my little Pomi resting comfortably. I finished what I could of the salad, drank the water and then ordered a cup of coffee. I asked for the bill and then took my bags and Pomi who woke up with a smile.

” You finished your salad?”

” Well, almost.”

On our way out a young man came up to us and pointing at Pomi he said:

” He is very cute. Did you make him? Is he for sale?”

I told him that Pomi was not for sale

.”You could have sold me.” Pomi said when we were outside.

” I would never sell you. I could crochet others like you and I could sell them but I cannot crochet another you. You are special. You are one of a kind and I love you very much. I will never sell you. How could you even think that?”

” I didn’t !” Pomi smiled. ” I just said it to see what you would say. And I am happy now!”

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