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Shakespeare gripped the laminated menu with both hands. “They put cheese on fucking everything,” he said.

“It’s not on everything,” said Sophie Ellis-Bextor. “Don’t exaggerate.”

“No, it’s not on the mozzarella sticks,” said Shakespeare. “Fuck me, no wonder they’re all so fucking obese. Look at that fat bastard over there.” He gestured at a giant man in a polo shirt and baseball cap, sitting on his own. “He must have about 60 per cent body fat. That’s more than a pork scratching.”

“Just choose something to eat,” said Sophie Ellis-Bextor. “I’m going to have a garden salad.”

“You can get that with cheese on,” said Shakespeare.

“No you can’t,” said Ellis-Bextor.

Shakespeare slammed the menu down on the table. “You fucking can. Wait until we order. I bet we can get cheese on it.”

“Oh, they’ll do it if we ask,” said Ellis-Bextor. “That’s just being accommodating. They’re not encouraging people to have cheese on a garden salad though.”

Shakespeare stared into the middle distance. “It’s always that same cheese as well. What is it? It’s so unnervingly neutral. Why is something so nondescript so unbelievably popular.”

“Just choose something to eat,” snapped Ellis-Bextor tetchily.

“Maybe I’ll have a cheese steak sandwich,” mumbled Shakespeare in a mongy voice. “Why do they say ‘cheese steak’ like that’s a thing; like it’s a steak made entirely out of cheese? Maybe it is.”

“Will you please just choose something to eat,” said Ellis-Bextor.

“Or maybe I’ll have a ‘patty melt’. Do you know what the ‘melt’ part of that is?”

“That’s enough,” said Ellis-Bextor, sounding like a prissy teacher. “Just what is the matter with you? What is this sudden antipathy towards cheese? You love cheese.”

Shakespeare unexpectedly burst into tears. “I do love cheese,” he blubbed, a snot bubble forming from his nostril and then bursting. “I’m homesick. I miss home cheese.”

Ellis-Bextor put her head in her hands.

“I want home cheese,” whined Shakespeare.

They sat in silence for a minute or so, Shakespeare drying his eyes and wiping his nose.

A waitress approached. “Hey, what can I get you guys?”

“Do you have any home cheese?” said William Shakespeare in a childish monotone.

“What?” said the girl.

“Home cheese,” repeated Shakespeare mournfully.

Silence.

“Home cheese,” he said again, a little more insistently.

“I’m sorry, sir, I don’t know what you’re talking about. You want something with cheese?”

Shakespeare’s head tipped forward. He stared down at his lap. “Home cheese,” he said again.

“He means brie,” said Ellis-Bextor.

“What’s brie?” said the waitress.

Shakespeare started crying again.


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Posted by Alex On May - 9 - 2012

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