Gentle Reader, my dear personal friend, Mr. C.W.L. Darling was kind enough to do something very nice this summer. He saw that a rather spectacular performance of The Pirates of Penzance was going to be put on locally, professionally – and knowing that I identify with the zany buffoonery inherent in all works by Gilbert and Sullivan, invited me.
It was a belated birthday present – that is, he purchased the tickets before my birthday, but the show itself wouldn’t be for months afterward. No matter; I adore theatre, and I above all else, I adore Gilbert and Sullivan. I grew up with their comic operas – their twisted plots were my fairy tales. I trekked up to Seattle, and there I met with Darling and his mother, Leigh, who has known me since I was a child. Leigh was kind enough to take us to dinner at a place that she’d been dying to try – Pasta Freska.
They’re known for their remarkably delicious food, and for one other thing – there are no menus. No, indeed, you’re at the mercy of this man:
He comes out, and he grills you on any allergies, or food restrictions. He then carefully studies your face, and looks deep into your eyes, and somehow your soul – he begins telling you that you adore passionately spicy things, while she is monstrous fond of shellfish, and as for him? He has a dangerous addiction to pesto.
As the first of your five courses is on its way, he returns, because he’s somehow divined that the entire party are enthusiastic wine drinkers, and this red that he’s selected will complement everyone’s taste, and everyone’s individually tailored meals.
The scary thing is that he’s absolutely right about each of his predictions. The man is a sorcerer, both with food and flavor, as well as, you know, the regular kind of sorcerer. Leigh began making her own pronouncements on how Darling and I ought to conduct our lives as mothers often do over wine. Luckily, it was time to leave for the theatre.
The cast was spectacular, naturally – the Darling’s relation was in it, and has been making quite a name for herself locally. Further, Frederick was fresh from Broadway – the famous one. Both Pirate King and Major-General Stanley were as delightful as ever they were, and as we sat there laughing in the theatre, Darling slyly snapped a photo of the two old friends, enjoying the show.