Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dinner With Uncle Sam

It was my Uncle Sam's birthday recently, so a few of my cousins and I decided to take him out to dinner.  Sam has always been a big, generous guy who's been like a second father to us all, so we wanted to make the occasion special.

"Where would you like to go, Sam?" asked Bernie. "Any place you want to go! Money is no object!" Sam sat and thought about it.  Then Hillary piped up.  "Sam, you deserve a really special dinner.  I know a great place you'll love, I promise. You can trust me."  Again, Sam furrowed his brow in thought.  A minute later, Donald made another suggestion.  "How about Al's Steakhouse?"

Uncle Sam's contentment turned to discomfort at Donald's suggestion.  "Gee," he drawled, "I don't know about Al's Steakhouse.  I'm not so sure about the food there."  All three cousins asked what happened.  Then Uncle Sam told us about the last few times he ate at Al's.  

"The first time, I ordered the seafood and it was delicious. Came with rice on the side and a nice dessert.  But before I left the table, my stomach felt awful and I had to run to the bathroom with a horrible case of the runs.  A week or two later, I ate there again.  This time I had a shrimp salad and a pasta dish.  I was just finishing a small pastry dessert when I suddenly became nauseous and threw up right on my shoes! I figured maybe it was some bad shrimp that night. But two weeks after that, I had a wonderful steak with a baked potato.  No dessert, but a fabulous clam chowder as an appetizer.  Sure enough, before I could finish the potato, I felt dizzy, passed out and had to be taken to the emergency room."

"That's sounds awful!" my cousins echoed in chorus.  "Maybe we shouldn't go to Al's," offered Donald.  "No, no," insisted Bernie. "We must go to Al's.  A few bad meals doesn't mean that all of Al's food makes people sick.  After all, Uncle Sam got sick, but not everyone who eats there get ill!"  Hillary agreed with Bernie.  "I know the owners of Al's Steakhouse and I am very sure that this is all a coincidence.  I go way back with the owners.  I doubt they'd want to poison you, Sam."

Donald looked at them both with dismay.  "Wait a minute," he cautioned.  "Sam's gotten violently ill not once,, not twice, but three different times in the very same place.  I don't think he should go back there at all, at least not until they figure out what's making him sick."

Bernie and Hillary grew incensed.  "You can't do that!" they objected. "You don't know which food made him sick!  Just because he fell ill after two or three meals doesn't mean that all of Al's food is bad! You're an extremist! It's not fair to Al's to simply avoid the place altogether!"

Donald squinted his retort.  "Let's see, when Sam doesn't eat at Al's, he's fine.  But when he does eat at Al's he gets sick.  As far as I'm concerned, until we know specifically which food there makes him sick, we need to keep him out of there.  Once we find out which foods make him sick, we can take him back there."

Sam nodded in agreement.  "I like Al's Steakhouse," he said.  "One day, I'll go back there.  But not until I know which meals are making me ill."

"Sam, I must object," lectured Bernie. "Al's is a great institution. They deserve our respect."  "I have to agree," added Hillary.  "You should take another chance at have dinner there in order to avoid offending them."

"I think I'll go with Donald this time," smiled Uncle Sam.  "It seems safer for my health." 

"You made the right decision, Sam," smiled Donald. "If you stay out of Al's there's no chance that any of their food can make you sick.  And to show there's no hard feelings, I'll pick up the tab."