American Wine

– – Frank seems to like his second year more than the first.
– – I’m glad to hear it. Being away at school can be hard, or at least it used to be.
– – Don’t remind me… But Fred and I met his roommate’s parents, and Saturday afternoon Frank took us to a place to eat.
– – Not too expensive…
– – No… You know how in college the kids find places that are bargains.
– – Your father-in-law always thought that Fred waited for us to visit to take us to the most expensive place he could eat.
– – Frank’s not that way.
– – I guess he takes after your family.
– – So, he took us down an alley that seemed questionable. All the time Fred is asking who eats in an area like this… Then we go down an even smaller alley.
– – And worse?
– – Right… But halfway down, on the right there’s a door that opens to a little place with only four or five tables.
– – No sign or anything?
– – Not that I remember… An older Italian couple owned it. They even baked their own bread.
– – Good?
– – Really good… And the old man comes down the stairs with sausages. He cuts the bread and puts a sausage that he’s cooked upstairs into it.
– – And Fred?
– – Fred seemed to get a little more comfortable since he was hungry, and the bread and sausage smelled good… Then the older woman came with some steamed broccoli rabe, while the man sliced thin pieces of hard cheese.
– – Did they speak much English?
– – Only a little bit… Enough to explain that whatever they served will contain protein, and fat, and vegetable, and carbohydrate.
– – They said that?
– – Not exactly… Fred tried to use the little Italian he knew on them, but he only confused matters. But that’s what I took their meaning to be… You know, a balance… Then they asked us if we wanted American wine or Italian wine.
– – Wine, too?
– – So, I said I wanted Italian, and they brought me a glass of Chianti.
– – And Fred?
– – Using his broken Italian, Fred said he wanted American.
– – So?
– – So, they brought him a Coca-Cola…

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