Let Them Eat Steak

steak

Not long ago, I found myself having Sunday brunch in Beverly Hills. I was, (A) Very hungry.  And, (B) Trying to impress someone. And, so I decided to blow the price of large SUV on steak frites with a side of scrambled egg whites for me and Eggs Florentine for her.

The restaurant, Le Walle’t Tout a Fait, had the requisite faux-fashion model hostess out front and offered dining al fresco, i.e. your table was half way out onto the sidewalk.

After a few bites of my steak frites, I decided the meat was somewhat “tough” which I mentioned to my brunch date. Her: “How’s your steak?” Me: “It’s a little bit tough.”

I was about to raise my arm to grab the attention of our waiter, when I saw a homeless man approaching the outdoor tables, asking for contributions. Despite being eighty degrees and sunny, the man wore a long, tan cashmere coat. It was too large for his frame and from years of constant wear, appeared to be covered by a layer of soot. As he spoke to patrons, I noticed his head pulled back and forth over his neck like a turtle going into and out of its shell.

I was happy to see him. Several patrons had handed him a buck or two. I would hand him a five spot. Maybe a ten spot. In the eyes of my date, I’d appear to be magnanimous, maybe even a bit of a spendthrift. Then it dawned on me that the situation presented a greater opportunity; In addition to the money, why not offer him my steak? Sending it back I’d seem “high maintenance” i.e., no woman’s idea of sexy. Conversely, giving him the very food off my plate I’d appear downright saintly. But not in a sanctimonious way. More like a spur-of-the-moment saint, i.e. the kind of guy a woman wants on hand when she has a flat or her cat is up a tree (As you can see, when I meet a woman I like, all decisions are calculated re: she. Yes, I agree – I’m pathetic).

And so, when the fellow came to our table I gave him $10. “You’ll owe it to me,” I said – a nice touch I thought, comically defending his dignity. “Thank you,” he said, not getting the joke. “Would you like the rest of my steak?” I said. He nodded. I scooped up the steak and what was left of the frites, wrapped a napkin around it, and handed the food to him. “Have a blessed day” he said, and scurried off, already unwrapping his meal.

The object of my affection finished her breakfast and then we lounged over a refill of coffee. We spent the next two hours wandering around the B.H. shopping district. We dropped into Prada, Armani and Ferragamo i.e., stores where I can afford to buy socks.  Finally, we strolled over to one of the little vest pocket parks along Santa Monica Blvd. that border the residential section of BH. We sat down on a park bench. Lo and behold, our homeless fellow appears. He was still wearing the long coat, and his neck was still doing the turtle tic, moving back and forth from the neck.

He approached us once again and very politely, asked for a contribution. I said, “Do remember us? We saw you earlier… I gave you my steak.” His neck stopped rocking back and forth and he peered at us. And then, pursing his lips, clearly annoyed, he said, “Uh huh, you know that steak you gave me… it was kind of tough.”

(photo courtesy of Moggara12/Freedigitalphotos.net)

Jonathan Solomon About Jonathan Solomon

Jonathan Solomon began his career as a New York based comic, making regular appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman. From there he went on to host MTV’s Awake on the Wild Side, Kid’sTV for NBC, and Short Attention Span Theater Late Night for Comedy Central. Writing for television he was on staff with the Emmy Award winning sit-com, Mad About You, Michael Moore’sTVNation, Payne, Saturday Night Special, Bachelor Life and Conspiracy Zone, among other programs. Jonathan writes humorous essays for the Huffington Post and Politico.Com and can be heard sharing semi-serious political punditry, sports prognostications, observations on stand up comedy, and generally spouting off, at stops on your radio dial from NPR to Sean Hannity to FOXSports Radio, and on podcasts from one end of iTunes to the other. He teaches stand-up and humor writing through Santa Monica College, the Writer’s Store and SAG Conservatory. For more visit SchoolforStandUp.Com

Jonathan Solomon About Jonathan Solomon

Jonathan Solomon began his career as a New York based comic, making regular appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman. From there he went on to host MTV’s Awake on the Wild Side, Kid’sTV for NBC, and Short Attention Span Theater Late Night for Comedy Central. Writing for television he was on staff with the Emmy Award winning sit-com, Mad About You, Michael Moore’sTVNation, Payne, Saturday Night Special, Bachelor Life and Conspiracy Zone, among other programs. Jonathan writes humorous essays for the Huffington Post and Politico.Com and can be heard sharing semi-serious political punditry, sports prognostications, observations on stand up comedy, and generally spouting off, at stops on your radio dial from NPR to Sean Hannity to FOXSports Radio, and on podcasts from one end of iTunes to the other. He teaches stand-up and humor writing through Santa Monica College, the Writer’s Store and SAG Conservatory. For more visit SchoolforStandUp.Com

Smiles For All