Written by Joe Janes
71 of 365
Zelda, 100 or so
(Lights up on health inspector Heather with a clipboard and a white glove entering a kitchen followed by Friday’s manager Mark. Zelda is busy cutting vegetables. Zelda looks like a classic hag witch except she wears a red and white striped shirt, apron and paper hat.)
MARKAs you can see, Heather, we at T.G.I. Friday’s keep the front of the house sparkling clean. You can eat off any surface out there. Floor, ceiling, walls-
MARKLet us throw a disinfected plastic-coated cloth on it first, but yes.
HEATHERNever judge a book by its cover, Mark, I always say. The true spirit of a restaurant lies here in the kitchen.
MARKWell, you know, we’re very protective of the ingredients we use-
(She looks around. Zelda nods at Heather; Zelda dumps the veggies into a cauldron in the center of the room.)
HEATHERWhat is that?
MARKThat is Zelda, our head cook.
HEATHER (pointing)Not that that. That.
MARKOh. That’s our Amana Open Flame Self-Cleaning Cauldron.
MARKIt’s how we get that “country flavor” we’re so famous for.
HEATHERAnd the country we’re talking about is…?
MARK11th century Scotland, mostly.
HEATHERYou really shouldn’t have an open flame like this in the middle of your kitchen. It’s dangerous.
MARKIt’s pretty safe, actually. We installed good ventilation. Cement around the base. Zelda’s fully trained and the only one who uses it. In fact, she’s are only kitchen employee.
HEATHER (looks around)You don’t have any ovens or grills or fryers. Not even a microwave.
MARKDon’t need it. We do all our cooking cauldron-style.
HEATHERYou make fried BBQ Pork Fingers in the cauldron?
MARKWe’re out of it, right now, but yep.
MARKAll cauldron-based cuisine. Would you like to see how it works?
HEATHERIndeed, I would.
MARKZelda, go ahead and whip up a number 38.
(Zelda scoops up a bunch of ingredients off the counter and walks over to the cauldron. The lights shift as she speaks. Thunder rolls in the background and there’s the occasional spark of lightning. Kick starting a fog machine would be good here, too.)
ZELDAWomb of the great goddess, hear our cries,
We give you gifts of lizard tail and dragon’s eyes,
The ground up wings of bottle flies,
Strips of dried flesh from Bill O’Reilly’s thighs!
So your loins may belch upon the world…
(The lights calm and the sound and fury subside.)
…A basket of lightly seasoned fries.
(She presents the fries to Heather. She tries one.)
HEATHERThis is actually really good. May I have another?
MARKPlease do, Heather.
HEATHERI can’t believe how crispy and flavorful they are- oh, my head…I feel dizzy…
(Mark grabs her clipboard as she faints to the floor. He writes on it.)
MARKAnother successful health inspection for Friday’s.
(Zelda grabs a butcher’s knife and approaches Heather.)
MARKAnd I’ll let the servers know that BBQ Pork Fingers is back on the menu!
(Zelda brings the knife down. Blackout.)