Corking Good Time

My imaginary friend Bertie looked around glumly. He mumbled something about the 'nice fountain' and then returned to staring at the table top. This was not the attitude I am used to: generally, Bertie jumps at any chance at free food. And, besides, he called me.

"What's wrong?" I asked him. "You sounded all excited about your new business idea on the phone."

"What kind of restaurant is this?" he wanted to know.

"Turkish." He just nodded his head slowly at this. "Oh, geez," I said. "C'mon, get it off your chest."

"I think," he said very slowly. "I think that you picked this restaurant just so you could call my idea a turkey."

It was my turn to stare quietly.

"Man," I said. "That's harsh. I picked Temel because it has Sucuk Pizza. It's a boat-shaped piece of heaven with spicy sausage on top. Oh, and the falafel is good, too."

He brightened a little, his inner mooch perking up at the mention of food.

"Any second now," I said, "they are going to bring out a disc of warm bread, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Besides, I've been working out in this crazy state, so I had to pick a Northern Virginia restaurant."

He nodded slowly and his eyes lit up when the bread actually did arrive. The delivery meant he could busy his hands with food swiping. This always cheers Bertie up.

"Give us your idea," I said.

With a bit of a flourish (a bit overdone, if you ask me, after all that pre-emptive moping), Bertie placed onto the table a small bottle of glue and four or five miniscule corks. The corks were smaller than thimbles, bigger than what, ants?

"What do you think?" he asked.

"Well," I said. "Cork-flavored Jujubes?"

"Ha," he fake-laughed. "They're finger pad extenders."

"finger pad extenders?"

"Yeah, you know, if you have really long fingernails, it's hard to type."

"I have to admit I wasn't aware --"

"It's true," he insisted. "Unless you've got really short nails, then typing is troublesome. But if you glue these onto the tips of your fingers -- pick a size that's longer than your nail, of course..."


"Well, women glue stuff to themselves all the time, right?"

"All the time?"

"Sure. Well, at first, I did try little Velcro straps, but that didn't work at all because they were too hard to fasten."

"And forget about buckles," I said.

"Exactly!" he beamed. Luckily, we were interrupted by the arrival of food. I wasn't kidding about the sucuk, you know. Of course, Bertie swiped half my toppings.

"Anyway," he said, eventually. "What do you think of my idea?"

"I'm sorry, Bertie," I said. "I have to say it's a bit of a turkey."

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