Going on a dating site, Melanie connects with Carlos, a musician, and he invites her to his gig that night. Melanie is unsure about meeting Carlos. What does she really know about him? But she calls her friend, Bridget, and they head down to the bar. When Melanie arrives Carlos is onstage, playing lead guitar with a drummer and a bassist.
The women are seated at a table up front when, between songs, a man at the bar shouts out, “FREEBIRD!” Carlos ignores him. “I wanna hear FREEBIRD!” the man yells.
Melanie and Bridget exchange looks. While continuing to play with one hand, Carlos slowly lifts the other hand with his middle finger raised. “Here’s your free bird,” he says to the man.
When she came in, Carlos immediately recognized Melanie from her photo on the dating site. Their eyes met and they exchanged smiles. With the first set over, Carlos heads for the women’s table and introductions are made.
“Are you always good at putting hecklers in their place?” Melanie asks him.
Smiling at her, Carlos says in a Spanish accent: “I paid my way through university by playing clubs. I’ve learned how to interact with the audience, shall we say.”
The three then begin a conversation that leads into a discussion of songs. At one point, Melanie says: “You know, the Navaho have many songs for rain, while in our music we have many songs about love.”
“Yes, we do have many songs about love. Why do you think that is?” he asks her, leaning in close.
“I think songs are written about what is most precious to us, and maybe what we feel we lack.”
“Yes, love is very important,” Carlos says, staring deeply into Melanie’s eyes for several seconds. “And now it is time for me to play some more songs,” he says rising. As he passes behind her chair, he pauses to give her shoulder an affectionate squeeze.
Bridget murmurs appreciatively, “Now he’s what I’d call a tall, cool drink of water.”
In a very upbeat mood now, the women decide to order the crab and cream cheese wontons to go with their drinks.
“I wonder what Carlos would do if you and I were to heckle him?” Bridget says. While they like the idea of teasing him, both wonder aloud if they’d actually have the nerve to do it. What would his reaction be? And would the people there understand that it was a joke?
Looking around at the bar patrons, Melanie spots a beautiful olive-skinned woman come in. She heads for a dark corner at the back and sits down alone at a small table. Melanie looks back at Carlos. He is focusing on adjusting the tuning of his guitar and doesn’t notice the woman.
The second set begins with the ‘The Lazy Song’. Grinning and meeting Melanie’s eyes, Carlos sings: “I’m going to meet a really nice girl, and have some really nice sex…” The two friends look at each other. They know the amusing song well, and this is their opportunity. Carlos continues with: “And she’s going to say…”, and Melanie and Bridget shout out, “Oh, yeah. This is great!” Carlos flashes them a big smile.
The next song is “Bad Moon on the Rise.” Encouraged by his reaction, Melanie and Bridget sing along with Carlos. “There’s a bathroom on the right,” they all sing in true John Fogarty style.
When the song is over, Carlos says to the audience: “I see we have some singers here. And one of them is my promising new friend, Melanie. Isn’t she a beautiful woman?”
In a flash the Latino woman is striding up to the front. Carlos’ watches her approach. She slaps him hard on the face, crying: “Carlos, you cheating bastard!” Then she grabs her purse from the back and walks out.
“Let’s go,” Melanie says to Bridget. Throwing down some money for the tab, Melanie rises. And then she stops as something occurs to her. She shouts it out for all to hear: “Mexican tap water! That’s what you are Carlos!”
CRAB & CREAM CHEESE WONTONS
- 1 pkg. wonton wrappers, thawed
- 4 cups vegetable oil
Puree until smooth in a food processor:
- 250-gram package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 small green onions, cut in half
- 1 tsp. drained horseradish (opt.)
- ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 120-gram can crabmeat, drained
To make the wontons, place 8 wrappers on a work surface, and moisten the edges with water. Place a scant 1/2 teaspoon of filling in center of each wonton wrapper. (See cook’s tip below) Press edges together firmly and fold wrappers in half, corner to corner. Leave the triangles flat or fold corners upwards. Deep-fry wontons in hot oil in a saucepan, heated to 375F or until a cube of bread, added to the oil, browns in 30 seconds. Have ready a slotted spoon, and a plate covered with two paper towels. Drop the wontons, 8 at a time, into the hot oil and deep-fry for 1 – 2 minutes, until golden. Remove wontons to the plate. Keep warm in a 200F oven, and continue with the next batch.
Cook’s tip: It’s common to make the mistake of putting too much filling in a wonton. The result can be the wontons breaking open during deep-frying.
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