Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do Not Begin Until the Proctor Instructs You To Do So

Having just finished writing law school final exams, please let me present you with the following hypothetical:

Suppose you are at an Italian restaurant and your group of six adults and one toddler are seated at a table next to an enormous window that puts out enough radiant heat to power a small potato chip factory. Then suppose that your waiter introduces himself to you. His name is Ion. Not Ian. Ion. Pronounced Ay-ahn. You hope he is not missing an electron or two, as his name suggests.

When asked whether the gnocchi or the tortellini is better, Ion assures you that the tortellini is. So you order the cheese tortellini. After Ion has finished taking orders, your group realizes that Ion forgot to take an order for your father, who is visiting from a South American country known for petroleum production, and who will be paying for the meal. After much signaling (everyone at the table waves his/her hands in the air), Ion returns. He takes your father's order. Based on Ion's recommendation, your father orders spinach tortellini.

Ion brings out the food. He triumphantly places a plate of tortellini in front of your father and various pasta dishes in front of everyone else, except you. It turns out he gave your cheese tortellini to your father, and the spinach tortellini is not ready yet. Fine. You'll eat the spinach tortellini. When the spinach tortellini arrives, you conclude that it is only 40% as good as the gnocchi, which your husband had the good sense to order despite the electron-deficient waiter's recommendation.

On to dessert. Your father orders chocolate tiramisu. (This restaurant does not have real tiramisu because real tiramisu has coffee in it, and this restaurant is located in a predominantly Mormon community.) Ion brings your dad a piece of cake with strawberries on it.

Because Ion is slow to bring the check, you go to the cash register and ask for your check. On the credenza by the register there are two small plastic figurines (likely from a McDonald's happy meal circa 1993) of Belle and The Beast from Disney's full-length animated film.


Hint: the Beauty and the Beast figurine bit is a red herring. So is the part about the country known for petroleum production. Those facts are true, hypothetically speaking, but they're only meant to confuse you and make you wonder why I put them there.

Disclaimer: This is merely a hypothetical. However, if Ion were real, and especially if he were reading this blog post or if you were to run into him at a restaurant in Provo, you should know that it was only Ion's fourth day on the job and that Ion was very pleasant and had a really great tattoo. You should also know that we gave him a 20% tip even though the check already had a gratuity included. Of course we didn't realize that the gratuity was included, but it shows that we were willing to tip him well and liked him overall. And the gnocchi really is the best dish at this hypothetical restaurant.


  1. You've blown my mind and induced law school-related post traumatic stress symptoms. I hope you're happy. Oh, and let's hear some more about Ion's "really great tattoo."

  2. I liked the "really great tattoo" reference also. Do you think Ion is too young for me??? P.S. I'd like to try the gnocchi--if you'd let me know where the hypothetical restaurant is hypothetically located.

  3. Uh, I'm thinking law school wouldn't be as fun as I've always thought?

  4. Hey, you forgot to mention that when the father orders a diet coke, he gets a diet pepsi instead because this restaurant doesn't have Coke products - but Ion doesn't mention this fact to the father.

  5. Kendall, you have just proven yourself a prime candidate for writing law school exams. That is a perfect addition to the hypothetical.

    Lyndsay and Marcy: I can't really describe the hypothetical tattoo, but it had a lot of ancient-looking symbols on it, and we all thought it evidenced membership in a secret organization. Like the Knights Templar.

    Marcy: If I were to give the hypothetical restaurant a name, it would be Gloria's.

  6. i'm ashamed to say i didn't read it all...