} It was a fancy restaurant and the food looked fantastic. As time
} passed, however, it began to taste like bitter ashes in Orrie's mouth.
} He looked up shyly. The supplicant was still sitting there, but they
} had both given up talking long ago. The magic of the evening had
} passed, and they were both just eating as fast as possible so that the
} night might come to an end. Orrie did feel a bit guilty about what he
} had said, but he firmly believed that he had ever right to say it, and
} he couldn't bring himself to apologize, even as he saw the supplicant
} sitting there, chewing glumly, using the salad fork on the main course
} and not even realizing it, pondering about what cats mean when they say
} "Meow," but getting no answer, not even trying to plagiarize another
} supplicant's question. It was all so terrible.
} Although he would never have though of it previously, Orrie found his
} eyes wandering about the room, imaging the other diners as his
} supplicant, thinking of the questions that they would give him and the
} answers he would send back. Couldn't he be happy with them? No, he
} thought, he had to sit it out with this supplicant. For now at least;
} tradition demanded as much. "So," he began finally, "would you like to
} hear a review of the upcoming film 'My Big Fat Greek Divorce?'"
} The supplicant just shrugged, toying with the food on the plate. Orrie
} frowned; that would have been a really funny answer too, he thought to
} himself. He straightened himself, leaned back casually, and tried
} again: "have I ever showed you the congrats e-mail I got for making the
} The supplicant nodded tiredly, an affirmation only: not a request that
} Orrie show the e-mail again. Darn, he thought, that e-mail usually
} makes all of the supplicants flock to me. He considered starting
} again, with "The Top 10 Ways to Know your Waiter Spit in the Soup,"
} perhaps, but he decided against it. What was wrong? This one can't
} still be mad about what I said, right? He had basically given up
} trying to make conversation at this point, and sat silently, watching
} time pass on the clock inside his head.
} Finally, in desperation, he shouted: "Okay! You win! I'm sorry I
} zotted you, but you know how that...that...that question makes me feel.
} Now will you stop giving me the cold shoulder?" He looked around the
} room, saw that everyone was now staring at him, and began to cry. It
} had been a long day, and the queue had finally gotten to him. But they
} couldn't blame him, could they? It was tough work being an