David’s habit of inelegant dress annoyed Lisa Benther. Shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops were fine for the beach but were entirely unsuitable for wearing to lunch. Yet, there he was, sitting across the table from her at Kangaroo, one of the hottest new restaurants in Little Rock. Fortunately, their table was in a corner so she could claim a seat that put her back to the remainder of the restaurant. David’s wife, and Lisa’s friend, Gloria, was dressed more appropriately for the meal, in Lisa’s opinion. Gloria’s bright print blouse, capri pants, and brown leather sandals were casual, but not sloppy-casual like David’s attire. Lisa, of course, was dressed to the nines: a white sheath dress, gold chain necklace, triple gold bracelets, and black strap sandals.

“Lisa, I feel downright slovenly in your presence! Maybe I should be the one with my back to the room!”

Gloria kicked David’s foot under the table.

“Don’t be silly, David, I always say people should wear what makes them feel comfortable. Obviously, you’re comfortable in beachwear. Pay no attention to the other people staring at you.”

“All right, you two, let’s talk about something other than your competing fashion choices.” Gloria’s right hand slid across David’s knee, her palm clenched and ready for a painful squeeze.

“Well,” Lisa responded, “what do you think of the menu at this place? Isn’t it just amazing?  I’ve heard the Chilean sea bass is out of this world!”

“If restaurants and fishmongers keep marketing it the way they have been,” David said, “it will be out of this world soon due to overexploitation. It’s not really a bass, it’s a type of cod. It was called Patagonian toothfish until 1977 and very few people ate it until the early 1990s, when marketers seized on a way to turn it into money machine.”

Lisa’s cheery smile had turned to a glare by the time David finished. “Oh, I forgot you think everything we eat is on the endangered list. Do you see anything on the menu that I won’t feel guilty about eating?”

Gloria’s hand squeezed David’s knee hard enough to elicit an “ouch!”

“I’ll be good. I just rather enjoy getting under Lisa’s skin.” David smiled at Gloria, then gave Lisa a wink.

“Well, the farm-raised tilapia shouldn’t make my guilt-meter spike too high, and the ‘locally-sourced goat cheese crostini with grilled vegetables’ sounds good, too. I’m in the mood for an appetizer. Maybe I’ll want something else a little later in the day to satisfy my hunger.” David’s right foot slipped out of his flip-flop and he stretched his leg across under the table, touching Lisa’s ankle. She smiled.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Endangered

  1. Millie says:

    Few things are more erotic than playing footsie in a public place.

  2. Larry Zuckerman says:

    Food and Porn……… go on sir.

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