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.

"What?

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

"Yeah."

"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!

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