American Culture

The Continuing Adventures of Lonelyman, #27: The Case of the Invisible Date

Lonelyman walks into Ernie’s Pizza and Italian in Northwest Denver. The hostess, a pleasant enough looking blonde woman, greets him and asks “how many?”

Lonelyman has always dreamed of responding to this sort of query with some wiseassery, like motioning to either side and saying “just the six of us” or “table for 8 – I like to move around a lot while I eat.” But he doesn’t. He smiles quietly and holds up one finger.

“Just the two of you, then?”

Lonelyman casts a quick glance around. He’s the only one standing there. Nobody beside him. Nobody behind him. In fact, nobody for a good 15 feet in any direction. He tries again. “No, just one.”


Later, after he has finished dinner his waiter approaches the table and says “how are you guys doing?”

What, thinks Lonelyman? He distinctly said “guys.” GuyS. Plural. As in more than one. But again, Lonelyman is alone.

“I’m fine,” he says, a tad uncertainly. “Check, please?”

He pays and leaves. As he exits the restaurant, he’s beginning to wonder. Is there something going on here that I’m not picking up on? There was that whole bizarre Lennay Kekua thing in the news not long ago…


Lonelyman had ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese. In doing so, he took care to pronounce it correctly: bolo-NYAY-si. When the waiter comes by later to see if everything is okay, he makes a point to ask “how is the bolo-NAZE, sir?”

Lonelyman doesn’t mind being corrected, but he does insist that if you choose to do so, you must actually be correct.

Neither this nor the later “how are you guyS?” taunting episode can be said to have enhanced the waiter’s tip.

3 replies »

  1. Here in Bloomington we have a Cajun themed restaurant that servers andouille sausage. I pronounce it ahn dwee, which is the Cajun pronunciation. I lived in Cajun country for four years. You could also go with the French, and basically drop the “w”, but every single, f-ing time they smile at me, and patiently and loudly say, ahn-doo-lee?

    If I had a rocket launcher….