Published November 9, 2010

At last, you are recognized

'I seen you on the Internet!'
"I seen you on the Internet!"

You and Emily enter a chain restaurant at seven o’clock sharp. There is a short wait, and a hideous troll of a woman is giving you the stinkeye from one hundred feet. Unperturbed, you tell the hostess there are two in your party. “Yeah, two. Me and my girlfriend,” you repeat pulling Emily close.

The woman is still staring at the two of you. Her gaze is making you uncomfortable, and you repeat a bad joke just to say something to Emily to start a conversation: “Yes, sir, it feels like a steak and lobster night all right!”

“You made that joke last time,” she says. “Go like this,” she demands, baring her teeth and scratching them with her fingernail. “You’ve got something stuck here. Like right here.”

You run your tongue over your teeth and watch the televised horse racing. You wonder if it might be more interesting if they broadcast footage of a dozen or so people who bet on the horses instead of the actual horses. You would bet on who would lose: ideas like this, brilliant though they may be, are a dime a dozen in this lousy economy. Your train of thought returns to the foreign object in your teeth. You fumble through your pockets for dental floss, or a mint flavored toothpick.

“My James Bond toothbrush can do anything!” you exclaim at last. “It is a Colgate 360 Sensitive with a tongue and cheek cleaner. This is a little pad, like you might find on a sneaker, on the back of the brush where the bristles are. It’s really pretty cool. I think my teeth are whiter already. Is that thing still there?”

“Yeah.”

You look away, briefly making eye contact with the staring woman, who uses this one-sixteenth of a second to blurt: “I seen you! I just seen you on the Internet!” It is just as Andy Warhol prophesied.

You decide to: