Categories > Original > Humor > Greetings from Thundersborough

House Specialty

by Kadrin 1 review

Josh Rogan meets rogan josh.

Category: Humor - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Published: 2005-05-06 - Updated: 2005-05-06 - 1858 words

When Thompson Thompson came back from work, Josh Rogan was brooding in one of their fine recliners, staring numbly at their massive television. This was nothing new, though he typically preferred to brood in his own room.

Thompson went through his normal just-got-home routine, changing into casual clothes (and a hat), flossing carefully, and then attempting to drink a tall glass of orange juice without breathing once. As their glasses were nine inches tall, this had so far proven difficult. Thompson was optimistic that he'd manage it within a week.

Then he went back out into the main room, and flopped into the other recliner.

"How's your play?"

"Closing night yesterday. Went pretty well. I've got money off it, anyway."

"Cool. What are you watching?"

"Soap opera about the travails of urban life in Probably London."

"Probably London?"

"Might be Manchester."

"Is Manchester even a town? I thought it was a county."

"Do they have counties in England?"

There was a pause, as both Josh and Thompson considered their knowledge of English geography.

"Well, we know it's in England," Josh said.

"Yeah. They're speaking English."

"I'm pretty sure it's London," said Jimmy the Bastard, from the door to the hallway.

Thompson was considering making a study on the varying effects Jimmy the Bastard's voice had on Rogan's physiology, leading ultimately to an endeavour to reproduce pitch and tonal patterns to create a powerful sonic weapon. Granted, the sonic weapon would only work on Josh Rogan, but that was surely better than no sonic weapon at all. In this case, Rogan's entire body stiffened, and his head turned, as if on a rack-and-pinion system, to face the man in the door.

"When did you get here?" Rogan asked, though asked was probably not the right word. If there were an interrogative form of the word /seethed/, or better yet, an interrogative and vocal form of /hated/, that would suit much better.

"Me? I've been here for the last five minutes." He then cocked his head on its side, and said, in a voice others might use to say 'Hey! Elephants!', "Hey! Black people!"

Rogan turned to face Thompson, some slight fluidity returning to his movements. "Does he have a key to our apartment?"

"I had one I wasn't using."

"There are, like, four black people on screen at the /same time/."

"Why did you have one you weren't using?"

"Well, I got a new one cut."

"And no white people! Not one!"

"Did you get it cut to give to him?"

"The locksmith could colour keys, and the green one looked pretty, so I got it, and then I had to do something with my old key. I figured if I just threw it out, then anyone could pick it up and come in here."

"At least they're listening to rap," Jimmy said, sounding relieved.

"Will you /shut up/?" Rogan commanded him, and turned back to Thompson. "Knowing the law of averages as I do, Thompson, if it was a choice between Jimmy and a random person from the street, I say throw wide the doors for Mr. Hobo."

"Or Mrs. Hobo," Thompson corrected, righteously.

"Hobos would steal stuff," Jimmy said.

"Which reminds me, Jimmy, when were you planning on giving back my Red Dwarf DVDs?"

"Oh, /those/! Oh, I completely forgot about them again..."

"Are you busy tonight, Josh?" Thompson asked, abruptly.

"Well, I'm planning to watch this, and then brood for a couple of hours, and then focus on not becoming my father..."

"Your father's cool. He's got that pool table."

"He walks with a limp."

"We could get you a crutch. I have a crutch."

"Why do you have a crutch?"

"I ordered it off the Shopping Channel."

"Why did you order a crutch off the Shopping Channel?"

"It was a very nice crutch. And you can't deny that it would come in useful if you became your father. I think that you and I should go out for dinner."

"I was thinking of just having some two-minute noodles and despair."

"Despair lacks nutritional value."

"So!" said Jimmy the Bastard, clapping his hands together enthusiastically. "Where are we going?"

Rogan's head did its rack-and-pinion trick again. Thompson tried his utmost to memorise the exact tones and pitches of Jimmy's voice.

"I'm sorry," Rogan definitely seethed, "this must be some new definition of 'you and I' which I haven't heard of and which unaccountably involves James the Bastard Filmore."

Jimmy the Bastard shrugged. "Well, I'm locked out of my apartment, and I told the landlord but you know how quickly he works on these things."

At one point, Thompson recalled, he had been sliding around the faux wood floors in his socks and had actually managed to crash through a wall into Rogan's room. Rogan had hastily changed the active window on his computer three times and had demanded to know what Thompson thought he was doing. They had called the landlord the next day, but the hole remained extant for three weeks. Thompson had set up a card table in it and they'd had dinner on it regularly. He'd missed the hole, when it was fixed.

"If you /want/, though," Jimmy the Bastard continued, "I could stay here. I mean, no trouble for me."

"So everything's sorted, then!" Thompson said.

"What? No! Everything is not sorted! I'm not leaving Jimmy the Bastard in my house unsupervised! Thompson, he's eyeing my Fury of the Dragon DVD!"

And thus, ten minutes later, all three of them were sitting at a table: Josh looking murderous; Thompson looking worried; and only Jimmy the Bastard actually looking happy, though provisionally so.

"I'm not sure I like this restaurant," said Jimmy the Bastard. "I mean, Indian food? Why couldn't we have just gone to Subway, like I suggested?"

Rogan picked up a knife, balanced it on its tip, and let it fall back to the table; and in so doing he managed to convey rage, hatred, and despair. Thompson supposed that was why he was an actor. "Then have fish and chips," he said, his voice hollow. "They serve fish and chips here."

"Yeah, but it's from the same /kitchen/. It all tastes the same."

"It does not all taste the same."

"It's kind of like how they all look the same," Jimmy the Bastard continued, oblivious and probably wilfully so.

"They do not all look the same!" Rogan hissed, slapping both hands onto the table, and it was a curse of timing that their rather attractive Indian waitress came to the table at just the right speed as to catch none of Jimmy's sentence and only the last half of Rogan's, and with undeniable poise turned on her heel and walked back to the kitchen.

Rogan let his head hit the table. "My previous evening plans look better every second."

"Told you we should have gone to Subway," Jimmy the Bastard said.

Four minutes later, they were visited by an equally attractive Caucasian waitress, who Jimmy stared at. "Have you had time to consider your order?" she asked.

"What's the special?" Rogan muttered.

"Well, we've pretty much only got one special here. That's rogan josh."

Josh Rogan's head came up off the table. "Did you say rogan josh?"

"It's a lamb curry with cumin, tumeric, garam masala..."

"I know what rogan josh is," Josh Rogan replied, with slightly more vitriol than he intended, and followed that up immediately with, "Sorry. Yeah, whatever, I'll have that then."

"Same as him," Thompson said.

Jimmy the Bastard spent a few moments calculating, and then reached a positive outcome, and started his order with, "Hey, baby..."

Rogan's head hit the table again. The waitress smiled, but the smile was brittle.

"Hey, baby, you make me wish I could rearrange the alphabet..."

"And, I assume, put 'U' and 'I' together?" she said, her smile widening in an unpleasant way that was nonetheless extremely pleasing to Rogan.

"Absolutely," Jimmy the Bastard said, with a smile he thought was charming. It revealed teeth that had obviously not had the benefit of Thompson's unceasing dental hygeine.

"Should I put you down for rogan josh as well, then?"

"Baby, you can put me down for whatever you want."

The waitress actually chuckled - or perhaps, Josh thought, it might have been a giggle - as she wrote down the order, and then glided back to the kitchen.

"I like her," Rogan said, from the table.

"I saw her first!" Jimmy hissed.

"Thompson, did you know about their specialty before you took us here?"

"No," Thompson said, shaking his head. "But now I do, I think it was a good idea. It would be full of nomenclative joy, and possibly irony, though that word has a very twisted meaning now. I blame Alanis Morisette."

"Why?" asked Jimmy the Bastard, who was sometimes not as quick as others around him.

Before long, the waitress returned with three plates, two glasses, and one post-it note, which she set down in front of them. In front of Josh, she set a plate of rogan josh and rice, a glass of Coke, and a post-it note. In front of Thompson, she set a plate of rogan josh and rice and a glass of Coke. In front of Jimmy, she set a plate with a single, rather small pappadum on it, and went back to the kitchen.

"We didn't order drinks," said Jimmy, "though that's probably because she didn't ask. What is this?"

"Pappadum," said Thompson. "It was designed by God Himself. When He wanted something to eat with His curry."

Obviously, Rogan read on the post-it, rogan josh has done you some terrible wrong in the past, so please accept these drinks in recompense and don't take out dire vengeance on the kitchen staff. Thanks, Sarah.

"God," Jimmy the Bastard sulked, "does not eat curry."

"Not without a pappadum, at any rate," Thompson riposted.

P.S. - Your friend is cute.

"Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure I hate it."

"Have you ever had one?"

"Well, that's why I said I was pretty sure."

P.P.S. - Not that one. The one with the tact.

"Can I have it?"

"Go wild."

Thompson grabbed Jimmy's pappadum and crumbled it into his rogan josh.

"Is that how you eat them?" Jimmy the Bastard asked.

"It's how I eat them, yes."

"Why didn't I get any rogan josh with it?"

"Sarah thinks you're cute," Rogan said to Thompson, flicking him the Post-It.

"Sarah McLachlan?" Thompson asked, scanning the note.

"I don't think so."

"Well, that's a weight off my mind." Thompson put the note down and returned to his pappadum-laden rogan josh.

Rogan tasted a bit of his own. It was surprisingly good.

"You know what?" he said. "I like this restaurant."

"I don't," Jimmy the Bastard said, kicking at the table.

"Yes, that is one of its strengths."

Thompson ate another piece of rogan josh. Josh Rogan looked up at the roof, fooling himself into believing he could see the stars. And Jimmy the Bastard, lacking anything else to do, kicked the table again and very nearly spilled Thompson's Coke.

"I think we'll have to come back some day," Rogan mused.
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