By Kathy Lynch, Contributor
On Saturday night, Melissa agreed to have dinner at an artisanal small plates restaurant with her friends. “I normally prefer medium- to large-sized plates but it was Jessica’s turn to pick and she thinks she’s sophisticated, so whatever,” Melissa reported.
However, Melissa knew she was in for an unsatisfying experience as soon as the suspender-wearing waiter set down the menus, which were rustic scrolls adhered to vintage clipboards. “Nothing sounded filling and each item cost at least eighteen dollars. Plus I don’t get the whole small plate sharing thing; if we’re supposed to share, the plates should be HUGE, goddammit. This whole setup goes against my animal instincts.”
As she read the stream-of-consciousness description of some tiny egg thing topped with sorrel, Melissa couldn’t help but yearn for an oozing mass of melted cheese slapped down on a metal tray. “I know it’s not as highbrow as house-fermented heirloom vegetables, but I really just wanted something simple, filling and cheap. I would rather have had nachos, pizza, or what the heck? How about just a big pile of melted cheese on an old pan, still quivering from the heat of the broiler!”
When the minuscule meals arrived, Melissa pretended to enjoy the microgreen salad with pickled lemon rind even though she had to fight Jessica to get just one tablespoon of the thing. But inside, she became increasingly wistful for dairy delights. She began concocting an elaborate cheese-focused fantasy to cope with the pain of small portions.
“I dreamt of an oozing pile of cheddar and mozzarella so dense and infinite, that if you stuck a fork into it and pulled, it would stretch for miles along the hills and valleys. The children were laughing and the horses were whinnying, for this bounty of cheese had brought fortune and merriment to the once despondent village,” Melissa explained with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Besides, what the f*ck are microgreens? I get that it’s fancy, but I’m pretty sure this is the same stuff growing on the parking lot island outside the restaurant.”
Back in her grim reality, the next “course” arrived. It consisted of a single lamb chop, a few strands of squid ink pasta, and one plate with squirts of off-white aioli sauce on it. Throughout the remainder of the small meal, Melissa did her best to continue imagining that the baby-sized plates were actually sumptuous mounds of melted cheesy goodness: crusty edges smiling up at her, the middle layer molten and pure, and copious grease pooling elegantly underneath the pile. Oh, how she yearned! Even processed cheese would have been fine at this point – Kraft Singles, anything!
Because she still looked really hungry, the observant waiter was nice enough to bring not one but TWO tiny blobs of passion fruit foam for dessert. For some reason, it still wasn’t satisfying. On the way home, Melissa stopped at a gas station and bought a block of Velveeta, which she immediately consumed in her car.
Kathy Lynch is a stand up comic and writer from Massachusetts. She has performed in the Women In Comedy Festival and at ImprovBoston. Her most recent comedic accomplishment is headlining a show at a pizzeria.