How to Get the Other Person to Pay for a Meal

Rob and I had just finished a long, expensive lunch. The bill came and sat in the middle of the table. Neither of us looked at it. Our conversation was clearly over but we kept stalling to see who would reach for the bill. Rob said something about the economy really taking a toll on his net worth.

I ignored the implication and pushed the rectangular, black tray holding the tab towards him, and smiled assertively.

Rob said: "Hey, look Ben, I got a wife and family and…"

I interrupted him. "You got a dick," I said.


"I said you got a dick. You do have a dick, don't you?"


"Ok, the dick lines up straight like that right? To the right of it and to the left of it are pockets, right?" I said.

"Yeah," he said.

"In those pockets are money. Look in either one of 'em – pay the bill," I said.

For a moment, Rob looked stunned. When he proceeded to pull out his wallet, I got up from the table. An older, black man was sitting in the corner with what looked like his grandson. They had been watching us the whole time. The older man leaned over to the wide-eyed teenager, pointed in my direction, and whispered, "True playa."

I nodded knowingly at the elder, then the youngin', and exited through the side door of the restaurant.

The above is a fictionalized story inspired by a scene from the movie Training Day, hat tip to Massimo for pointing it out to me when we were in Prague last May. About time I tried writing a short story!

10 comments on “How to Get the Other Person to Pay for a Meal
  • Never Take A Joker Literally

    Somebody knocked on the door and I looked through the little window at what could only be a Jehovah’s Witness, with his black leather satchel and white short sleeves.

    I knew he had a mission.

    This was a golden opportunity, so I stripped and put on my thong.

    Then I opened the door with a big smile.

    Some moments are priceless.

    I’ll never forget the astonished look on his face, and the series of emotions that flickered across it— from embarrassment to consternation.

    I have to give him credit, though— he never lost his cool.

    He just stood there and looked right through me without flinching, but I had the feeling he was struggling to avoid that inevitable glance at the ‘thing’.

    I felt a little sorry for him, but declined to show him mercy.

    I invited him into the house, and put my hand on his shoulder.

    Good thing he didn’t drop dead right then and there.

    He looked so conflicted I thought he might fall apart.

    He couldn’t make it across the threshold— it was as if an invisible wall stopped him.

    I asked him if he was looking for a ‘donation’.

    That’s when his eyes began their inevitable descent to the mother load.

    It was funny how he just stared.

    He looked hungry— I felt a little guilty.

    But not too much.

  • That’s the kind of person we say we hate, but secretly want to be.

    Getting what we want without any hint of embarrassment or guilt.

    It works because people just don’t expect it.

  • Is it possible for you to play the role as a girl? Curious to see your fiction from the other side of the perspective.

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