Another hot mess from the archives…
Here at the Neurotica Café, we offer a full dining experience to ensure that you have the most emotionally-appropriate meal you have ever had. We accept all major credit cards and most insurance plans. Reservations are strongly suggested, both mentally and physically.
1. The Passive-Aggressive Patty Melt
The server will lovingly take your order, and then tell you that it’s all going to your hips anyway so you might as well eat a buffalo. When your drink arrives, there will only be one ice cube and seven straws. The server will gently place the glass on a perfectly-positioned coaster, and then knock the thing over, soaking your crotch. After cautiously dabbing at your personal region with a soft and fluffy towel, the server will then backhand you and talk disparagingly about your failures in life.
The burger has been specially seasoned so that the first bite is absolutely scrumptious, with the next being disgusting and vile. Half of the fries will be mushy and wet, with the other half being burnt to a crispness that can put your eye out, and all of them will coo at you lovingly until you try to pick them up and then they run. As you prepare to leave, the server will scoop up your tip and thank you graciously, then turn to the side, spit on the floor, and proclaim “you are dead to me now!”
Served with an edible copy of Deleria Weakstrong’s “You Are So Pretty but I Still Want to Hurt You.”
2. The Co-Dependent Cobb Salad
This delicious salad has lots of colorful ingredients that light up when you look their way, but grow dark and despondent when you talk to anyone else at the table. The lettuce leaves will not leave you alone no matter what you do. The salad dressing is very sticky and you will not be able to wash it off your hands. And the croutons are actually tiny voice recorders that constantly ask “what are you doing?” and “where have you been?”
Served with cling peaches.
3. The Wanton Wonton Soup
This steaming soup will be unable to remain faithful, trying to serve itself to everyone else at your table. The soup wants all the boys in her yard, and cannot stop herself from offering free samples to anyone with a pulse. She will get drunk on soy sauce and dance on the table wearing nothing but diced green onion. When you return from the bathroom, you will find that the wonton soup has become egg drop soup, but she won’t know who the Baby Daddy is.
Served with condoms.
4. The Reclusive Reuben
This elusive sandwich is only briefly on the menu, usually late at night. Most of the time, however, we only serve rumors about the sandwich, since most of us have never actually seen it. It’s been said that the sandwich once appeared in black-and-white movies back in the day, achieving major stardom, but then retired from public view while still in her prime rib. She rarely grants interviews and has her sauerkraut discreetly delivered in unmarked packages.
Served with a GPS device.
5. The Obsessive-Compulsive Omelet
This tasty breakfast favorite is actually available all day long, because the omelet is unable to stop scrambling itself. Whilst the dish is on your table, there will be constant slicing, dicing and whisking. The server will only allow you to take one small sip from your beverage glass before she will refill it. And when the check comes, you will have to keep paying the tab until the credit card machine explodes.
Served with a pogo stick.
6. The Paranoid Pork Chops
This dish actually will not leave the kitchen, terrified that he will be accosted by unsavory condiments before the server can make it to your table. The dish is deathly afraid of heat, frying pans and boiled water, so we’re not sure why it even lives in the kitchen, yet it does, constantly screaming at sudden noises and diving into the cabbage bin. This dish is a good selection for dieting diners, as you will never get to actually eat it.
Served with mixed vegetables spelling out “We know what you did”.
7. The Split-Personality Pea Soup
Three different servers will surround your table, each of them pretending that they don’t know the others are there. It doesn’t matter what you order, because when they finally come back to the table, they will have things that are not on the menu. Each of them will tell vague, hazy stories about what transpired when they were away, filled with memory gaps and phrases like “and then I woke up and I was wearing a tutu” or “I don’t know what happened to the toaster”. After settling the tab, don’t wait for your change. They won’t remember where your table is or who you are.
Served with your choice of sides: Joanne Woodward or Sally Field.
8. The Sociopathic Stew
Your server will have a hard time taking your order because they never learned to be concerned about the needs of other people. They will be very rude, and will not understand when you try to point out that maybe they shouldn’t be denying the rights of the other dinner guests. When your stew arrives, the server will pour it on the floor (“they can’t have it if I can’t, even though I don’t really want it”), throw your homemade rolls across the room (“the butter comes from socialist cows”), and then wave about an unread copy of The Constitution, the seal and the comprehension unbroken. Then they will walk out the door and join the Tea Party.
Served with amazement that some parts of the country are still banging on rocks.
9. The Deep-Dish Depression Apple Pie
No one will come to your table to see how you are doing. Ever. Then the building will burn down. We only have one of these in stock, for obvious reasons.
Served with imaginary friends and a sense of self-worth.
10. The Deranged Dumplings
This is our special feast for twelve or more guests. As you munch on boiled dough dripping with grease and gravy, our entire staff will do a line dance consisting of intricate choreography celebrating the wonders of a beautiful mind that is not so pretty anymore. During the rousing finale of the floor show, members of the audience will have the opportunity to stand up, yell out where they are from, and then proudly announce what mental conditions they’ve been convinced that they suffer from. Prizes will be given for the most creatively disturbed. Therapists will be on hand for the losing participants who can’t handle rejection without being extremely dramatic. Bring your friends!
Served with straight-jackets, sample prescriptions, and a personalized pill box that will play Tori Amos songs when you open it.
Thank you for dining with us at the Neurotica Café. Please be sure to tip your servers, since the government basically allows us to pay them nothing and they sure would like to make enough gas money to get home tonight. Cheers!
Final Note: This post is not meant in any way to make light of mental issues that anyone might be experiencing. After all, I personally take medication to help me deal with some of the very items on this menu. Sometimes you have to take a break and just get silly about it, then jump back into the fray and carry on.
Previously published, tiny changes made. If you’re feeling festive, please share one of your own neurosis-reflective dishes in the comments. Bonus points if you include a “served with” closer.
P.S. The opening photo is a detail shot of a framed print I have somewhere in this house. (I haven’t seen it in a while, not sure where I’ve shoved it.) Bonnywood is full of moody art pieces, including myself and Partner…