“What’s this restaurant called? The Minnow?
Why a minnow? Why not a shark, or a marlin, or some other heroic type of fish?” asked the Billionaire, a mildly demented septuagenarian. “Because,” replied his wife, Eunice, “all those fish are extinct. But we can still eat minnows. And minnow soup is very good, hardly radioactive at all, and so low in mercury.”
Eunice was significantly younger than Thurston Howell III. A former model, she spent most of her time in one of their two dozen homes, a penthouse on Central Park West — a two minute helicopter ride from the Minnow. In her arms she carried one of her two dozen Shats. As Eunice herself had explained it on numerous tv shows, “a Shat is a hybrid cat/sheep mix. We had a few of our genetic engineers blend some sheep dna into a cat’s and now we have the gentle Shat. Its fur is not only soft, you can spin it into wool thread and knit so many things out of it. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the Shat will help tackle the global warming problem. Think of all the pasture land that can be turned into forests. And it’s a special wool — the Shat’s wool is so light, it’s as cool as linen in the heat and warmer than silk when it’s cold. It’s patented, of course.”
Combing her manicured fingernails through the curly chocolate brown fur of her Shat, Mr. Shitz, she and her husband strode through the bejeweled front door of the Minnow.
“Why’s it so empty in here?” Thurston asked the hostess. Aside from the staff (Ahed, the hostess, and the chef, a former US Navy cook named Jonas Grumby, known as JG, and the head waiter Gilles) there was only one other couple in The Minnow. In the far corner sat Ben Paltrine, a movie star. Though most well-known for his blockbuster superhero movies, Paltrine had cut his cinematic teeth writing and directing critically acclaimed independent films about working class Bostonians suffering from chronic diarrhea — an epidemic as widespread as it is poorly understood. Across the candle-lit table from him sat an expert on the subject of his upcoming feature. Professor Angela Savid, an internationally recognized philosopher, agreed to meet with Paltrine to discuss the history of the anti-war movement with him, and political radicalism in the 1960s and 70s in general.
The hostess, Ahed (who was something of a genetic engineer herself — a graduate student working on cloning VI Lenin from a bit of his DNA pilfered from his tomb), replied that people throughout the city were staying inside on account of the hurricane warning.
“It’s projected to be a category 7,” she said. “A seven?” Thurston replied incredulously, “why that’s supposed to be good luck. Lovey, let’s sit by the window. I’d like to watch this storm come marching in.”
Rolling her eyes, Ahed seated the couple at table number five.