The family restaurant
“That’s hardly a decision; that’s what they have everywhere,” said Joe. “I meant you. What are you having? Cathy, relax, this is supposed to be a nice family lunch out. I thought we could share the chicken wings to start and then if I got the steak and you got the duck, we could have a taste of each?”
“Yeah, great,” said Cathy, setting to work on sharpening the pencils. There were an awful lot of purples, she noticed.
“Would you like a drink?” Joe asked. “I’ll drive.” Cathy would like three drinks, please, but she took Joe’s offer of one and tried to form her mouth into a relaxed smile of appreciation for his efforts.
Joe took charge of ordering and Cathy got on with her paring of the pencils. It was actually quite soothing, round and round, and a nice neat pointy pencil at the end. Oh God, Robin had eaten a pencil. Purple, obviously.
The children’s fish and chips arrived. Robin ate only the chips and five sachets of ketchup. Dylan ate the crispy coating off the fish and left everything else. Dashiell left everything. They were finished and twitching by the time the chickenwings starter arrived for their parents. “Let’s go home now,” said Dylan. “That’s a lot of chicken wings,” said Joe. Only Cathy seemed to recognise these as contradictory statements.
Cathy fancied another drink and beckoned the waiter, wondering if it would seem odd if she asked if he had more blunt pencils for her, too.