by Ben Hargrave
First and foremost, I want to say grazie, gracias, danke, and go raibh maith agat to everyone here: Don DiMeco, Señor Vasquez, Herr Müller, and Mrs. Shaughnessy – welcome. The Kaplowitz family is truly, truly honored to have been chosen to host this month’s business summit. These formal dialogues are vital to the success of our individual organizations that, as we all know, must work together in these turbulent social and economic times in order to survive. But before we begin I feel the need to quell your previously stated concerns by saying that I chose this particular location because it’s the last place the feds would think to look – Chili’s.
I want you to understand that I know this was a risky move, but we have to keep the spooks on their toes, and there is no way they would ever suspect this Chili’s off I-290 as our new spot to talk shop. Now that the issue is settled, let’s get down to brass tax. I think it’s obvious to everyone that our numbers have been taking a huge hit this past quarter. It’s really a buyer’s market out there and we have to start reevaluating our operational strategy. If we don’t do something soon we’ll be sleeping with the fishes, like that tasty Trout Meunière that Herr Müller cooked up last week. And speaking of doing something soon, have we decided on an appetizer yet?
Me and my balebuste come here at least once a week and we’re head over heels for the queso dip. Also, their salsa is pretty tasty too, if a little on the salty side. Definitely not as good as the salsa rojo that you make, Señor Vasquez! But it’s definitely unique. Oh, you know what? To make things easier let’s just order a trio of Triple Dippers – that way we get to taste a bit of everything. There’s no need to fret about the service either; Steph is our regular server and she’s the best. We love Steph.
Would you look at that! We made our first big decision of the night – smooth and painless. I wish half of our work resolutions could be as easy, but such is the life we lead. Now, I think the next order of business should be about the rat problem. There needs to be a full-scale crackdown, I’m talking a real exodus. Leaks are happening every week and it’s bleeding us dry. Don DiMeco, you have my condolences. I know you had to off two men this week, real mentsches – or so we thought – that had been with you for ages: Tommyboy and Sheldontonio. It’s a real shame, but it’s nothing we can’t bounce back from, just like the Chili’s empire.
Did you know they were in a rut these past few years? You would never think it, but it's the truth. So what did they do? Complete overhaul. They redecorated their restaurants, added some real flavor to the menu, and introduced a tablet at every table where you can order food, play games, and pay your bill! Our organization needs to adopt the same mindset if we want to survive. That’s why – if you look under your chairs – you’ll each find a Lenovo Miix 3 tablet. We’ve been stuck in analog for far too long. I say it’s time to embrace the digital world and time to wrap our lips around the salty rims of some Mango Presidente Margaritas! I put in a round, they should be here soon.
The absences of the traitors will need to be filled, obviously, just like how my stomach needs to be filled with the Quesadilla Explosion Salad I ordered. That means we need to hire some fresh blood. Luckily, we have enough of the old guard around to pass the torch before they retire. Just tell your capos to think of these new soldiers as a blank slate – an empty tortilla, if you will – while they are a Chili’s chef on the burrito line. All they need to do is teach them the necessary skills – like adding so many ingredients from their mis en place station – to turn them into fully actualized Smothered Smoked Chicken Burritos, aka: Made Men.
· house-smoked chicken = muscle
· 3-cheese blend = intelligence
· black beans = loyalty
· citrus-chili rice = energy
· house-made pico de gallo = combat skills
· citrus-chili sauce = weapons expertise
· sour cream = composure
· smothered sour cream sauce & melted cheese = battle scars
· pasilla-honey chile sauce & chopped cilantro = original flare
Mrs. Shaughnessy, because you have the most experienced crew, I think it would be smart if your men mentored the new hires. I know they could really cook up and confirm some new burritos – I mean wiseguys – in no time flat. That reminds me, where is our food? And drinks? There’s practically no one here and it’s been an unusually long wait. Steph would never let this fly.
Something’s happening. Wait a sec – I see Steph. Ay-yay-yay! Why is she carrying over a Molten Chocolate Cake? Did one of you tell them it was my birthday as a goof? Haha, you all are a riot!
What’s that on the cake there?
It’s an FBI badge.
With Steph’s face on it.
I hope Chili’s delivers to prison.
Ben Hargrave is a comedian, writer, and videographer living in New York who makes his own peanut butter (is so good). Check out his tweets @HarHarHargrave – it would mean a lot to him.