Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lidia and the socratic waiter

So we have tickets for a play and are in a bit of a hurry for dinner. We stop in a restaurant next to the theater, and Lidia sees that risotto is the daily special. The following conversation ensues:

Waiter: Table for two?
Wife: Yes, but we need to eat quickly. Can I order the risotto?
Waiter (clasps hands behind back, assumes a somewhat pedantic air): Ah. You would like the risotto. Do you eat risotto often?
Wife: Yes, we make it at home sometimes.
Waiter: I see. And how long does it take you to make risotto?
Wife: Oh, at least twenty-five minutes or so...
Waiter: And you make it well?
Wife: I think so.
Waiter: So a good risotto takes at least twenty-five minutes?
Wife (starting to smile): That seems about right.
Waiter: So how long would you expect our risotto to take?
Wife (starting to laugh): I would assume that you make good risotto.
Waiter: Of course, madame.
Wife: Then I will have a salad.
Waiter: An excellent idea, madame.