Journal entry, 4/21/15: Earlier today Mr. Cornwall observed Justice Minotaur on a first date with a woman named Dr. Tandy Buttercup (it is not clear if “Dr.” is part of her given name or reflects a degree she has earned). The more general context here was that Minotaur has been on a number of first dates lately but has not been able to secure “return appointments.” He asked that Cornwall observe him, in hopes that if Minotaur failed again to get a second date, Cornwall could perhaps shed light on reasons why. Minotaur feared that there could be an observer effect, however, which he articulated as follows: “If the date goes rotten it could very well be your presence, Cornwall. Kind of like how if you ask a hungry wolf to watch the chickens it seems to substantially alter the behavior of the chickens.”
Minotaur brainstormed aloud how it would be possible for Cornwall to observe the date without the woman knowing that Cornwall was there as an observer. Possibilities that Minotaur considered included the following: (1) Minotaur and Cornwall pretending to be conjoined twins; (2) Minotaur pretending to be from “another country and/or planet,” with Cornwall serving as interpreter; and (3) “while Minotaur and the woman are taking a stroll in a park, Mr. Cornwall coming on the scene quite by chance and offering to measure both of them for uniforms in case military duty should be made compulsory as during earlier major wars–if the measuring went on long enough, perhaps the woman would more or less forget Cornwall was there.” Finally, it was decided that Cornwall would secure a job as a server at a local restaurant, and Minotaur would take the woman on a date to this restaurant at a time when Cornwall was working. “It is kind of like a play within a play, wherein we shall catch the conscience of Buttercup,” Minotaur enthused.
Cornwall finally secured a job waiting tables Tuesday afternoons at an establishment called Gettysburger, where each entree is prepared by a psychotic man (the owner) who not only pretends to be Abraham Lincoln but believes that he in fact is. And so it was to this setting that Minotaur brought Buttercup on a first date only a few hours ago. As Cornwall waited on these two customers, one of them completely unaware that she was being closely observed as well as served, he overheard Minotaur say the following things to his date:
“I wonder if it would be appropriate for me to ask for just a ‘tad’ of butter on my toast. Get it? Get it? As in Tad Lincoln.”
“Have you ever had a feeling that not only do you not recognize someone, but you are absolutely positive, 100 percent so, that you have never met a certain person in your entire life, and you would swear by it in a court of law? That is how I feel with regard to our waiter this afternoon.”
“When I was in the merchant marine, I once ate at a hamburger place where you ordered based on the pH level of the rumens of the cow you wanted to eat.”
“When did you first begin to realize you were left-handed? Obviously it is not something that came to you overnight, but what were the first intimations?”
“One time I was sitting in Heathrow in the boarding area and pretty much by coincidence learned that this very unpleasant man I was talking to was to be seated immediately next to me on the flight. I don’t want to say how, but it so happens I had a quart of chloroform on me in a Mason jar (this was before 9/11), which I used to put this man into a long slumber. I then had the best flight of my life, spreading myself out quite comfortably across two seats–mine and the one that would have been his. For some reason, however, neither one of the seatback storage areas that I was now privy to included the in-flight magazine.”
“When I say ‘hot date’ in reference to you, I mean it literally. It seems like there may be something wrong with your sebaceous glands.”
After she had placed her order (for a “McClellan Burger–This is a burger that we prepare continuously but do not deliver to your table except upon the severest provocation”) but before she had been served, Buttercup dismissed herself to use the restroom. After fifteen minutes had passed and she had not returned, Minotaur asked Cornwall to go inquire after her. One of the female servers checked the women’s restroom and found the stall locked and a window open. It appears Buttercup had fled the premises.