Every person of note has dabbled in advertising. Salvador Dali did a commercial for Lanvin chocolates among other things. Al Pacino did a coffee advert as well as broadband. David Beckham has advertised just about everything that has ever existed and will ever exist. There is a product that has yet to be conceived that already has that beautiful man’s face attached.
Hubert J Watergipridget is undoubtedly better than all three of those men put together with an added pinch of Keira Knightly. He is better than them all, and yet even he has had to endure the weight of commercialism. Some cynics look upon his many ‘sponsored’ short stories as him ‘selling out.’ The author responded to such criticism. “Selling out? Heaven forbid it. No, I was selling in. Author’s need a roof over their heads to write, without that their manuscripts are likely to get wet when it rains. You see all the acclaimed writers in their illustrious homes and assume they were paid for by the page? Nonsense, half the population are barely literate, and the other half haven’t got time to read. Yes, I did adverts, did I enjoy them? No. I do like the mansion they paid for.”
The mansion in question was his third. He still owned his ancestral home of Pridget Manor and his second mansion was bought purely to store his collection of antique chairs.
Anyway, years since the great Watergipridget left this world to spread his genius throughout the afterlife, we have his many ‘sponsored’ short stories. Close to twelve restaurants at the time employed the writer’s pen. Known academic and Watergipridget scholar Henry Pretension has managed to edit all twelve together into a single narrative. For simplicities sake (and legal reasons) all restaurant names have been replaced with ‘BLANK’.
Come one; come all. Dine. Dine here at BLANK. Where all are welcome from the purest of innocents to murderers and thieves. We judge not at BLANK.
Perhaps that is their only failing.
Sit yourself down upon a tall-backed chair and allow yourself to be tucked in tight by the waiter; the psychopath’s smile slashing a flesh coloured line across his face. Yes, there is no escape from the revelry. The lighting will be low and candles will be all a flicker. Time has no place at BLANK.
Come with friends, come with family, come with all who will follow. They will bring drinks, drinks aplenty. Ales to quaff and glasses of wine to sip, sourced from cellars from around the world with adequately exotic sounding names. Enough to fool the masses into thinking they are supping upon finery. At BLANK, you can pretend for one night that you are not slurping on peasants’ piss simply to addle the mind enough to find those around you tolerable.
They’ll bring a jug of water for the table. From that perspiring crystalline container, you shall cleanse your pallet ready for your meal. When each meal could be your last, let BLANK make it truly special. You shall unfold the menu to behold the delights they have to offer, whether you like it or not. The soup of the day, you will be informed, is a fleeting soup. Favoured today, cast aside tomorrow.
Slabs of meat dripping in BLANK’s Secret Sauce. Boxes of the Frenchest of fries dusted in their slightly mysterious spices. Then the incredibly obvious lasagne. Order this and you’re liable to be punched in the face.
Pork belly. Beef medallions. Lamb shank. Yes, any manner of dead animal you could conceive can be plated up for your pleasure. It is a dog eat dog world, but man will eat anything. If a human being was set before God himself, chances are, they’d take a bite out of him. In fact, as you peruse BLANK’s menu inscribed with endless flowery ways of describing a carcass, you will become aware of the music. Yes, you’ll notice how the ambient melodies get louder the longer you stare at the list of death. So loud in fact that it almost drowns out the screaming. The terrified bleating of sheep. The agonised squawk of the hen. The traumatic wailing of the cow. Whatever the hell kind of noise a fish makes. A veritable choir of slaughter. The music drowns it all out. It saves you having to wonder what the cries are really for. Is it fear of oblivion? Is it pain? Is it betrayal? The realisation that the dominant species were not feeding the weak out of a sense of responsibility, but to fill their stomachs?
This is yet another service provided by BLANK’s ever so conscientious staff. As is the dimmed lighting. Much of what lies beyond your table will be cast in an atmospheric gloom. A warm blanket of shadow, hiding the red seeping through the walls.
More wine sir? More beer madam? More? More?
Such is BLANK’s hospitality, their eagerness to please, that they will never let your glass remain empty. They want you to eat, drink and be merry. But mostly they want you to eat and drink.
They will sing songs of celebration should it be your day of birth. They’ll grin joyfully and bring along a cake adorned with the burning candle of youth, melting rapidly before your eyes. Come… celebrate with friends, for whilst you grow ever older, marching onwards towards debilitation, incontinence and an addled brain to the maddening beat of time, you can take in every line of their faces. You can live happily in the knowledge that, whilst your time will soon be at an end… so will there’s.
Take advantage of BLANK’s dessert menu. For no night of self-indulgence is complete without something sickeningly sweet.
More wine sir? More beer? An after-dinner liqueur? More?
You will never be satisfied. So you may as well dine at BLANK.
Come dine with friends. Dine with family. Dine alone.
The world beyond BLANK is cruel and uncaring. Out there you are just a shell amongst a collection of other shells, many of which are far prettier. At BLANK, you are king.
So, dine at BLANK. Dine at blank now and forever. Dine on finery. Dine…. Dine.