Thursday, April 18, 2024

GAL FRIDAY: Sponsored by Dolly


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Dolly was sponsoring. She said she wanted to take us out so we could all celebrate the 48th birthday of our beautiful nation. Richie Hoad was invited, but didn’t come, for fear of being taxed for his large appetite. To be fair, Hoadie had indeed suggested alternative taxation; that of imposition on the magnitude of certain male parts. I can’t say I support his proposition. You see, such a plan could be viewed as discriminatory, since some males can’t help the proportion of their parts, even if they may be envious of their more heavily-taxed counterparts. Anyway, I digress. Dolly was taking us out for Chinese.

The restaurant was not so grand, but the aromas were impressive. “I sponsoring, hear, so make sure wunna eat up.” Of course, with the recession and all, this was uncommon news to the common eater. I tried to hold back my enthusiasm, since I didn’t want to have Dolly paying through her nose while everyone else filled their bellies. Nonetheless, her generosity was coupled with gluttony. Roast pork, sweet and sour chicken, fish and shrimp, fried rice, wontons, wonton soup, chow mein, lo mein . . . my girl was ordering like a bull in a China shop. I thought she had won the Lotto and was keeping it on the “down lo”.

Two Chinese men began placing their order and Dolly called them across. “You ever taste we beer, because we got Banks and we got Ten Saints!”

“Ha ha, ten cents, yes, yes,” Chinaman One, nodded, as he pulled out a dime from his pocket.

“Cuhdear, these men too cute,” Dolly blushed, as she indicated to the waitress that she was sponsoring two rounds of Ten Saints for the Asians. Not even Solomon in his glory was as extravagant as this. In fact, when Solomon Greaves operates his karaoke, he would buy beers only for his friends, not perfect strangers. This type of generosity was impressive.

Suffice to say, everyone was filled and it was getting late. Phil the anti-socialite even hugged and kissed Dolly before departing. Reader, if you know me, you know I can recite a litany when it comes to literacy. I began to feel ill.

Then came the bill.

Almost six hundred dollars on Chinese food. Chinese food fairly cheap, so you know that that was nuff food. Maybe I look rich, because the waitress planted the bill right in front of me. I pushed it towards Dolly, who daintily pushed back, while asking if we were sure we didn’t want “ice-cream or something” for dessert.

Minutes passed awkwardly in silence. “You not paying the bill, Vee?” I was fuddled. Discombobulated. Frozen, unlike Poonka’s donkey.

“I thought you said you were sponsoring?” I mumbled, eunuch-like in tone.

“Of course I sponsor. I invite all these people. What you call that? Not sponsoring?”

I could as well stop writing here. There are no words to express what I felt. Parents, teachers, please, please, please: don’t bring anymore Dollys into this world . . . we can’t afford it.

Veoma Ali is an author, actor, broadcaster, advertising exec, and most important, a karaoke lover.


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