Writing inspired by the SWC creative writing prompt: Write an absurdist critique of some aspect of society by reversing the accepted norm.

Decent Deluxe Deli’s Code of Conduct

By Caroline Stevenson

Dear Diner,

We strive to give our customers an unparalleled dining experience. But to do that we have to be happy and do our utmost to vanquish any anti-social behaviour or practices before they have chance to emerge within our iridescent walls lined with the stuffed heads of endangered animals. Happy chefs equal happy customers! So to rule out any unpleasantness or inconvenience for us, just take a moment to peruse our code of conduct before booking a table with your fingerprint signature:

1) Under no circumstances should you arrive for your booking on schedule. The Decent Deluxe Deli prides itself on serving members of society who are so in demand that even their PAs are also assisted by their own PA. If you turn up to your table at the time stated, you create the impression that the Decent Deluxe Deli only caters to a bunch of squares with way too much free time on their hands, which could prove fatal for our business. Plus who would elect to look like a square? Should you turn up punctually as a first-time customer, we will ignore you for at least 30 minutes and pretend you are the chauffeur for one of our diners. Turn up punctually a second time and you will be permanently barred from the Decent Deluxe Deli.

2) Our chefs can only stay at the top of their game if they have constant challenges to rise to and cook in a constant state of jeopardy. So bear this in mind and don’t divulge any food allergies and intolerances to our staff. There are no secrets or hidden ingredients on our menu: those allergic to shellfish order the Bodacious Crustaceous Sundae at their own risk. Besides, we are of the belief that an intolerance merely arises from a lack of regular exposure, so it is our policy to alternate work surfaces regularly in our kitchen so that traces of peanut are bound to come into contact with traces of wheat, liquorice, pigeon livers, you name it. More often than not, we have a doctor-in-training in our midst and it’s inconsiderate to deny them the opportunity to hone their craft by helping out a diner going into anaphylactic shock. Everyone likes a hero, and the resulting article in the press helps the Decent Deluxe Deli continue to thrive.

3) We don’t go to the trouble of preparing hot meals only for you to allow them to go cold whilst you wait for your friend to get back from the bathroom before tucking in. Waiting for everyone else’s plates to arrive before you start eating hurts our chefs more than a splash of hot oil in the face. If we detect a diner delaying their consumption of a meal, they will be given immobile jelly and melted, water-flavoured ice cream as punishment.

4) Contrary to popular belief, restaurants aren’t museums for still, edible life. Any photos taken of our creations will be surrendered immediately to the managers of the premises to post on Instagram. Any subsequent financial profit or advertising offers from a popular post will go directly to Decent Deluxe Deli. If you don’t like the idea of people reaping the benefits of other people’s efforts, perhaps you should reconsider your influencer ambitions.

Thanks for the taking the time to read through our code of conduct.

One last thing: we can detect your age via your fingerprint signature. If you are aged 55 or over, then regrettably we cannot offer you a table at the Decent Deluxe Deli*. We are sure you’ll understand. Can’t be too careful with image these days!

*Exceptions apply to elderly relatives of A-listers celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, provided that the A-lister is in attendance.

Caroline Stevenson

Caroline Stevenson

Sunday Wrters' Club member

You can find out more about musical theatre “Let’s Fly Away”  where Caroline plays by visiting their Facebook page. 

And you can book in for a night of musical entertainment with “Let’s Fly Away” when they play at Kulturpark Traun by visting the website.

Portrait of Caroline courtesy of Markus Raffeis

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