Dense and Denser

The endless clanging of dishes being stacked in the back room permeated the atmosphere as pungently as the second-hand cloud wafting over from the solitary old man's cigarette two tables away. The afternoon sun beamed in through the dis-shevelled, dust-encrusted slats of the venetian blinds. Watching the blades of sunlight slice through the smoke, Blake thought to himself how eerily similar this was to a Great White concert as he finished his Yu-Hsiang Beef and Chow Mein. 

Failing to recognize his own disruptiveness to the other patrons in the restaurant, Blake's lunch-mate Roger took yet another long, loud sip of his black pekoe as he read the fortune he had just extracted from his cookie.

"Here's my fortune," he said to Blake, who was sitting blank-stared, still pondering the natural laser show. "It says,

'Many receive advice; only the wise profit from it.'

I'm sorry, but I just don't see how that's gonna help anybody."

Awaking from his catatonia, Blake said, "Yeah, heard that. What's mine say?"

Roger responded, reading the other fortune, "Okay… oh, this is a good one. It's totally true… 

'People find it difficult to resist your persuasive manner.' "

Blake flatly stated, "If you believe that, then you're a complete idiot, that's all."

Thirty seconds of smoke-filled silence passed. 

"Yeah, I guess you're right," said Roger. "Hey, these things are dumb. Let's get outta here."

Sliding out of the diamond-tuck upholstered red leatherette booth, and putting on his jacket, Blake winked at the immaculately carved dragon on the wall, then picked up and pocketed the tip on his way out.


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