A Restaurant Table Is No Place For A Dirty Grain Of Salt

Pictured: Harswil Manchester III, Esquire

Greetings to all of you tuning in to my internet broadcast for the second time. I greatly appreciate it, along with Jibsley, who is typing this column as I dictate it to him, since I have heard that excessive computering can lead to terrible hand and arm diseases. Jibsley cannot say that he appreciates it because he is not permitted by me to speak, but I can assure you that he does.

Unfortunately, although I am sipping a bit of Millton Vineyards Opou Chardonnay, my mood remains quite foul right now. Why? No, it's not because a man wearing a crooked tie to-day said hello to me as I walked down the street, causing me to believe briefly that I was in the process of being mugged, which in turn caused me to toss my wallet at the man in fear and faint shortly thereafter, which in turn caused me to awaken some minutes later to find the man bent over me to see if I was conscious, his crooked tie hanging in my face, which caused me to once again faint. That experience was quite trying, but believe it or not, something even more trying happened to me earlier in the day as I went out to dine at a favourite restaurant of mine, Le' Chas'tice Pretens'ion.

This restaurant is ordinarily very sophisticated, which is why it is a favourite of mine, but I noticed something instantly awry when I arrived and spotted a common housefly on the wall near the host's stand!

"Host!" I shouted. "Look out, for God's sake, for the fly that's nearly directly above your blasted head! Do you want a disease?"

The host looked mildly alarmed initially, but quickly smiled as he saw the fly. How he could smile under those conditions, I don't know -- I myself had quickly ducked under the nearest table, having no experience with flies at that proximity, as Jibsley is under strict orders to kill them before they get within 100 feet of me -- but he did.

"Sir, don't be afraid -- it's not a biting sort of fly," he said. "Let me take you to your table."

"As long as you think it won't lay any eggs infected with AIDS up here," I said doubtfully, but allowed myself to be taken to my table anyhow. I was very hungry at this point, and was even considering splurging on a meal that would take more than one bite to finish -- like two bites, for instance! But all that would change in an instant.

For you see, as I arrived at my table I noticed a peculiar irregularity on its surface. I had to stare at it for quite some time before I realized what it was, but when it finally hit me, I do believe my heart stopped beating for at least several milliseconds.

"Angels in heaven!" I gasped. "There's a grain of salt on my table!"

Jibsley, who had just come in from parking the car (the restaurant has a valet service, but I don't like Jibsley getting rusty), sprang into action to remove the grain, but I grabbed his arm to protect him.

"Damn it man, don't!" I shouted, my eyes nearly bulging from their sockets. "You don't want to get cancer from whomever sat here before!"

"Is there a problem, sir?" the host said, coming over to the table as if nothing had even happened!

"You --" I began, but suddenly shot a stream of projectile vomit into his face, which was undoubtedly brought on by the millions of germs manifesting on the salt grain, spreading themselves into the very air which I was then breathing! I quickly tried to apologize for my vomit while scolding the man for leaving the salt there, but the sight of the vomit made me come to believe I was dying, and I underwent another fainting spell.

When I came to, Jibsley was pouring Millton Vineyards Opou Chardonnay on my face in an effort to revive me. I quickly looked around us, and discovered we were safely back home. I never did get to eat that two bite meal, but in light of the horrifying state of the table, I'm glad I didn't. I certainly hope some busboy gets fired for that particular oversight.

Harswil Manchester III is the oldest man on the planet, and is wealthier than everyone who ever lived combined and doubled. He plans on purchasing the world's supply of salt and shooting it into the sun.

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