2 Plates. 3 Questions. Part 1
If you could have lunch with three people that you currently have absolutely no chance of breaking bread with…Who would those three people be?
This is not a new question. Quite frankly, this is a topic that has been written about by better scribes than myself. But since I have this website and since I have this laptop and since I have to actually write entertaining or, at the very least, non boring articles to succeed at this thing…
This is the first installment of a three part series – “2 Plates. 3 Questions.”
Here is my shot at tackling an over asked question and my attempt at injecting a little bit of Urban Upscale’s panache into a short read.
I am anxious to meet my first lunch date! So very very anxious! I have had the good fortune of being in the same room enough times with dignitaries and luminaries where I gave up being star struck by anyone with a television show or a still standing professional sports record long ago. But this time, I wonder will I even be able to string together words that have even a hint of coherence. I arrive early and am nervously waiting for my guest and suddenly I notice that there are no longer any cars whizzing by on the street. I specifically asked for this table as it offered a pleasant view of my city. I never considered the safety risk to my guest. I look and at the end of each corner are barricades. One end of the street is completely shut. The other end has a roadblock that allows for only a single vehicle to enter. And then I see it! It is a large grey SUV. Followed by another. And then another. The middle SUV stops right in front of my table.
Barack Hussein Obama exits the rear door and flashes a grin when he looks at me that makes me wonder “Should I stand? Should I salute? Should I wipe the iced tea stain off of my shirt that I just noticed?” He walks over and sits at my table while the SUVS sit parked at attention along with the twelve or so men in black with wires in their ears. I pick up my menu to find something impressive to order and I hear him ask the waiter , “You guys have a good burger?” Of course this is what he orders! So I order the same except, to not be a complete copycat, I order mine with mushrooms and swiss. Everyone else at the restaurant gazes with slack jaws and the expression of “Is this real?” Every single one of them then looks at me like they are wondering who the hell am I that could command a lunch with the most popular President since FDR.
With my nerves and my stomach settled down, I return their gazes and think smugly to myself “I am just a guy with three questions.” I eat my burger, wait for him to finish his and then I go in…
- “How do you handle being an actual hero to so many people? On the strength of being the first African American President of the United States alone, you have millions of Black people that look to you as a walking, talking real life hero! It can’t be easy to shoulder that responsibility and wear that mantle. Can it?”, I ask. He looks down, puts his napkin on his plate, smiles and says, “Look. When you spend so much time thinking about and living for public service, you don’t just turn it off because your term is up. Sure, I am flattered that people look up to me but how I handle that is offset by the fact that my work here isn’t done. I still don’t have time to wallow in complements. I am still busy trying to actually earn the moniker of ‘hero’ and I haven’t yet.” I then posed the question that I could tell he had been asked by two thousand other writers…
- “We all watched you go grey in front of us. Would you do it again?” He looked me dead in my eyes and said, “Of course I would. I am not blind to the fact that I made history. What Black man wouldn’t want to be the first? And for that matter…What man, of any race, wouldn’t want to be in a position to positively change the world?” I stared at him and felt like I had just asked the stupidest question in the world to the smartest person in the world. So I hoped that my last question would make up for it.
- “Looking at the unimaginable crises that we no longer have to imagine because they are happening in real time, such as the pandemic and the social unrest, what is the one thing that you would do to fix the world if you had a magic wand?” I asked, hoping that this imaginative question would make up for offending him with my last fumble. He paused and stared at me. He stared without speaking with an expression that told me that I had not fumbled again but he, instead, wanted me to really grasp the gravity of his upcoming answer so therefore he injected his famous “pregnant pause” and said, “If I had any inclination whatsoever that these things would come to the horrific fruition that they have when I gave up the keys to my house…I would make 3 terms the norm. The climate was different when I was in office. I would give anything to have given this country of ours four more years of relative calm. And without going into any politics or personal feelings, I can say that what I see on my television these days is not ‘calm.’”
Still class. Still poised. Still correct. And still my FIRST choice for lunch!
So my goal here was to confuse you. Hopefully, there were times when you had to remind yourself that this was a fictitious interview. My goal with this series echoes the overarching theme of Urban Upscale. “The Good Life.” Even when we are faced with daunting circumstances in the real world and our staff cannot actually vacation in St. Thomas and then write a review about a seaside restaurant…We can experience “The Good Life” occasionally through some creative literature and theater of the mind. Welcome to the fiction department of Urban Upscale. Or was it really fiction? Because…
That was the best burger that I have ever had! I can still taste it!
Who are your three people that you would have your fantasy lunch with? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!