Author: Doodlebug, Doodlebug, Your House is on Fire

Archive for November, 2014

I Smell A Rat

I Smell a Rat                             712 Words


In Sociology 104, my friend, Jake and I were enrolled at the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. I spotted a beautiful girl sitting two seats up from me. She was so gorgeous that I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I whispered, “Jake, have you ever seen anyone so attractive?”

Jake answered, “That’s Diane Jeter, and she goes by DJ and is a little stuck up and hard to get to know. I have had several classes with her and once I asked her to a fraternity party, but she politely refused. I’ll introduce you to her if you wish, but I can tell you in advance she’ll not be interested.”

“I’ve got to meet her,” I said. “After class introduce me as William Caldwell of Kent, England. Tell her I’m new at McMaster as my Father is newly employed at the Ontario Power Generation Company.”

“Does your father really work there?” He asked. “Are you really from Kent, England?”

“My father has just retired from the military, and his last assignment was Kent, England. I am really from Western North Carolina. From Kent, we moved to Ontario where he took a maintenance position with the power company. Just introduce me, and I’ll handle the rest.”

After class, Jake introduced me exactly as I had outlined. Diane seemed impressed and, noticing her textbook, I realized our next class English 203 was just down the hall. We left Jake, looking a little chagrinned, standing in the classroom, as we walked together to our next class. In English 203 I made it a point to sit next to her and by the bell I had a date to take her to dinner.

As we came out of class, I was surprised to find Jake waiting outside the classroom door. Jake, still looking a little displeased, greeted us. I said, “Jake, Diane and I are going to dinner tomorrow night.”

Smiling, Jake said, “Great, I am so happy you two hit it off. Where are you going for dinner? May I make a recommendation?”

Smelling a rat, as we often say in my hometown of Murphy, North Carolina, I answered, “Please do Jake,” I responded apprehensively.

“For a place with lovely service and a great atmosphere, I recommend the Eight Zero Zero Restaurant in Cornwall.”

Before I could say anything, because I had no intentions of taking his recommendation, Diane said, “Oh! I know the Zero Zero, it is great they have the best French Food in all of Canada. Can we go there, William?”

I made reservations for 8:00 the next night. We arrived and were seated, handed elaborate menus, and to my surprise they were in French, both the food and prices. I still wasn’t completely flabbergasted until DJ (she had by now asked me to call her DJ) said, I am from Montreal and the one thing I have missed in Ontario is people speaking the French language and eating the French food.

The waiter came bringing water and asking for our drink order, in French of course. DJ said I’ll have a Tannat.”

“I’ll have water,” I said in English. He had already brought water so, even though a little embarrassed, I thanked him, as I was staring at the menu, and worrying about the prices. I had ninety dollars, but…

The waiter brought our drinks and asked if we were ready to order. DJ said, in perfect French, “I wish a Baked Camembert with Cranberry Crumbles, and for desert, a Tarte Tatin.”

I said in perfect English, “I’ll have the same.”

The waiter gave me a wink and smiled as he walked away.

We had a most enjoyable meal as I was all the while thinking I know this meal plus tip will be twice the money I have. I excused myself and went to the restroom. I considered running – tried to think of someone to call – my parents were out of town. I thought Jake has set me up.

While I was still in the restroom our waiter came in, looked at me and said, “Son, how much money do you have?”

I answered, very much humiliated, “ninety dollars.”

He smiled again. Back at our table the waiter brought our check. It read, “ninety dollars including tip.”