Written by Joe Janes
347 of 365
King Leonidas, 30s
Maître de, 40s
(Lights up on ready-for-action King Leonidas addressing the other Spartans – the audience,)
Spartans! Prepare for glory! For tonight, we dine in hell!
(He screams a guttural, primal warrior yell. The nicely dressed maître de enters.)
And do you have a reservation?
KING LEONIDAS (looking over podium)
Uh…King Leonidas. There we are.
Ah, yes. I see. Party of 300. Is everyone here?
Yes! We are all here and ready to dine in hell!!!
We’ll have to put a few tables together. It will take a few minutes. (The maître de snaps his fingers. Jose comes out in a vest and black pants. The maître de whispers to him. Jose nods and walks off. Leonidas just stands there, not sure what to do with himself.)
Will this take long?
Just a few minutes. Hell is very busy this evening. I’m surprised you were able to find parking.
We marched here on foot. From Sparta.
I see. Good weather for that.
Yes. It was very pleasant.
Would you like to look at a menu while you wait?
(The maître de hands him a menu and he looks at it.)
Do you have any specials?
MATRE DE (confidentially)
Nothing I would recommend. Stick to the pasta dishes. Can’t go wrong with them. And save room for the bread pudding. Heavenly, but you didn’t hear that from me.
(Jose comes out and whispers in the maître de’s ear. The maître de looks disappointed, whispers back in Jose’s ear. Jose whispers back, angrily.)
Is there a problem?
No problem. Pardon me for a moment.
(The maître de produces a trident from his suit jacket and pulls Jose aside. He beats Jose with the trident.)
MATRE DE (working himself into a frenzy)
Insolent ignorant lowlife drone! If there aren’t enough clean glasses for water for 300, wash some more. If there aren’t enough, use the pint glasses! Do I have to think of everything, Mommy? Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! (Hugs Jose as he calms himself down.) Now, go. (Jose exits.) I’m afraid it will be just a little longer. I’m very sorry.
Well, you know. We’re anxious to eat. We have a big battle we don’t want to be late for.
MATRE DE (Handing him a beeper)
Here’s a pager. As soon as your table is ready, we’ll buzz you. I’ll go help get your table set to expedite things. And I’m going to go ahead and order you some appetizers. On the house. Chicken wings and mushroom caps, okay?
Sure. Oh, wait. Daxos is a vegetarian. (The maître de looks at him quizzically) I know. And he’s a real pain in the ass about it.
I’ll ask the chef to make some tofu thing. We may have to charge you for that.
Sure, sure. Happens everywhere we go.
(The maître de exits. Pause.)
Soon, Spartans. We shall dine in hell. With garlic bread and stuffed mushroom cap appetizers. And some disgusting tofu thing for Daxos. I think I’m going to try the risotto. (The pager goes off) And make sure you save room for bread pudding! (He screams a guttural, primal warrior yell. Blackout.)