Dinner with Optima

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You’ll have heard the gossip by now, but in case you haven’t: I split up with Helvetica. The problem was, she was an old-fashioned girl: only ever wanted to eat fondue, and all that cheese gave me nightmares.

I’d had my eye on Optima for a while. She has that effortless Italian style, she’s erudite and educated, and has such nice legs as well as being a great Humanist. I was direct in my approach. “Will U go out with me?” I said.

“U won’t go anywhere without the rest of us,” said Optima, with a flirtatious smile.

So I booked a big table at that upper case Italian place, and we all planned to go down there. I like the family atmosphere. As it turned out, they didn’t all come. The Bs were too busy; we left F behind; M ran away to C. F has Tourette’s and you can’t take it anywhere: all those F-words. And there was no room in the car for all the ligatures. They’re embarrassing anyway: can’t keep their hands off each other. And, contrary to popular wisdom, most of the numbers weren’t up.

I ordered the ham and pea pappardelle with extra peas on the side, which seemed to upset some. I swear I heard someone muttering, “Cannibale” at one end of the table. Optima looked elegant, kept fluttering her i’s at me. I knew she was only T-zing, but I was having an L of a good time. It was all going so well, but then the Z’s started arguing about whether it was zed or zee and it got a bit lively. “Gee, I dunno,” I said.

“Me neither,” said G.

Optima didn’t want to eat a dessert, afraid it would ruin her figure. She is so slender, with curves in all the right places. So we skipped straight to the coffee. Just as it arrived, she nodded her head towards a table across the room and said,

“Don’t look now, but my X is over there.”

Of course, I looked. When I turned back to her, she had swapped seats around and was spelling out I H8 U.

I called for l’addition, which was a plus.

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