William and Jennifer Harman take in some Dennado nightlife and are joined by Mayor Guillermo Jackson and his wife Adrianna. Plus special musical guest The Three Muscadines
"Indeed." William Harman agreed. He adjusted his glasses as he continued to study the menu. "It came highly recommended."
"By whom?" Jennifer asked.
"Denise." The Ambassador replied. "She's hardly ever in the office so she must be doing something with her day. I suppose she would know what's best around here."
Jennifer looked down at the menu again. "I suppose." She traced a finger down the list of selections. "O-Mac, O-Fries, O-Rings."
"Down toward the bottom," William recommended, "the house specialty."
She grinned when she saw the menu item. "Of course."
"Marshmallow Pies." Harman said. "All five Oslea flavors, but Butterscotch is featured this month."
The server walked up their table with pen and pad in hand. "Are you ready to order?"
"I believe so," William said. "Jennifer...?"
"Yes." She glanced at the menu. "I'll have the O-Scampi over O-Sgetti."
"Very good," the server nodded. "Mr. Ambassador?"
"The O-Bone steak and a baked O-tato."
The server wrote the decisions on her pad. "Sour Cream or butter?"
"Could I have both on the side."
"Yes, sir." She tucked the pad into her back pocket. "May I suggest our house wine, the O-Donnay? It's freshly squeezed. Much finer than those old dusty, so called 'aged' wines."
Harman arched an eyebrow and looked a question at his wife. She shrugged her shoulders. "Sounds intriguing. He said. "Sure."
The server gathered up the menus and walked off to place their order. Harman and Jennifer looked toward the door when it dinged. Guillermo Jackson held the door open for a blond, slightly round woman. Harman waved at the pair as they entered. “Mayor Jackson!”
Jackson waved back, “Hi! It’s been a long time. You’re looking fine!” He and the woman walked toward the Harman’s table.
The Ambassador stood to greet them and shook Jackson’s hand. “Good to see you again, too.”
“May we join you and your lovely wife?”
“Of course.” Jennifer replied.
Jackson pulled a chair from the table for the woman and pushed it back in slightly as she settled in. “I don’t think you’ve met my wife, Adrianna.”
Harman sat again. “A pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Jackson. We’ve heard much about you.”
“Pleased to meet you, also, Mr. Ambassador.” She said. She turned to Jennifer, “And you also, Mrs. Harman.”
“How is your particle accelerator coming along?” Jennifer asked.
“Quite well,” Adrianna reported. “We should be able to conduct our first atom smashing in a few weeks.”
Jennifer nodded her head, “Very good news.”
The server returned with a bottle and two glasses. “I’m sorry I didn’t know guests would be joining you.”
Jackson waved at her. “In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double”
The woman with the bottle put the wine glasses down and poured a sample into the glass in front of Harman.
The Ambassador took a sip then raised it to his wife. “Excellent.” The server poured more into his glass and some into Jennifer’s.
Harman motioned toward the glass in offering, “Would you and your wife like to join us for some of the O-Donnay?”
“Red, red wine goes to my head, makes me forget.” Jackson answered.
“I guess that means ‘no.’”
The Mayor addressed the server, “Adrianna and I will have O-Colas with light ice, please.”
“Yes, sir.” The woman moved off to get the new drinks.
“How did you convince Lieutenant Bellencek to let you leave the Embassy unescorted?” Jackson asked.
Harman held up the keys to the ancient Isuzu Trooper. “I told him to take the night off, and snatched these before he could say otherwise. He was a little wary when I let him know we were going to dinner, but he just offered directions around the stoplight at Five Corners.”
“Oh, yes.” Jackson agreed. “It doesn’t matter what direction you are coming from or what time of day, you will always wait. It’s Purgatory on Earth.”
The server returned with the dinner for the Harmans and the Diet O-Colas for the Jacksons. “Would you like to order any dinner, Mr. Mayor?”
“Thank you, no. Roam if you want to, without anything but the love we feel.”
She walked off again to attend to another customer.
Adrianna sipped her drink then placed it in front of her. “Mr. Ambassador, how much do you know about the American space programs?”
Harman cut into his O-Bone steak. “There’s a lot of private enterprise involved now, with several companies working toward manned spaceflight. But NASA still does most of the heavy lifting, so to speak.” He chewed on a piece of the steak. “Hmmm. Quite good.”
“Seems like there’s a lot left in orbit.” She observed.
“It’s a problem. NASA has to keep track of debris bigger than a pencil. I suppose the Russians and Chinese do, too.”
“What about larger items?” She asked. “Maybe the size of a small car? Or bigger?”
The Ambassador stabbed his baked O-tato and cut a slice in it for the sour cream and butter. “I guess there would be plenty of those.” He munched on a piece of buttered potato. “Why do you ask?”
Adrianna opened her mouth to speak but stopped. Instead she took another sip of her drink. “Just curious.” She said from behind the glass of soda before she sipped again.
Several strands of O-Sgetti were in Jennifer’s fork and she used a spoon to twirl it around the fork. “What do you two have planned for the evening?” She poked a piece of O-Scampi and ate it with the O-Sgetti. “Yes. Quite delicious.”
“We are going to the O-Dium to listen to The Three Muscadines.” Mayor Jackson said excitedly. “We are their biggest fans.”
“Sounds interesting,” Jennifer said.
“Come dancing, it’s only natural.” Jackson invited.
Jennifer looked at her husband encouragingly. “Sure.” He said. “Always enjoy a good concert.”
Jackson glanced at his watch. “Gotta stand up, gotta get in line.”
Harman and Jennifer shoved a couple more bites into their mouths before getting out of their chairs to follow the Jacksons. The Ambassador motioned to the server who brought the check. Harman gave her some cash before following the Jacksons out the door.
The O-Dium was across the street. The four queued up behind several people lined up at the box office of the bright pink art deco venue. They found their seats inside the theater just as the lights dimmed. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please remember the O-Dium is a non-smoking event center,” said an unseen announcer.
“Now! O-Cola presents The Three Muscadines!”
The crowd erupted in clapping and cheers as the curtains parted. Three men wearing swashbuckler outfits stumbled onto the stage. Two picked up guitars while the third took position behind the drum set.
The men raised their hands in salute. “Thank you!” The bass guitar player slurred. “We love you, Dennado!”
The concert began.