PeterSJC

Can you help me find this story?

Sometimes my facebook page is kind of like a blog, and I want to add an occasional feature, called something like "My fiction picks from the web," primarily but not exclusively gay-themed but chosen for their universal themes that would perhaps appeal to my non-gay friends and relatives.

One of my all-time favorites—I think its title was something like A table for one, but I was unable to find that with Google—is...

[SPOILER ALERT...]

...An older gentleman makes a reservation for one at a French restaurant that he and his late partner had often frequented, decades earlier.  The snooty maitre'd gives him a disdainful look, tells him his preferred seat is unavailable—notwithstanding that the restaurant is almost empty—and masterfully conveys with connotation the idea that the older man is not of the class of people that the restaurant would like to attract. The man accepts the ill treatment, but a young waiter intervenes, even "clocking out" so he can share a delightful meal with the older man.

[OK, I think I have given enough detail here. It is such as great story, and I don't want to give it all away, if I don't have to.]

The story is one of my very favorites, I hope there is a version that's not on the site that also has the pure filth in which I sometimes love to wallow, or the site with a picture of two young men, bodies pressed together but the bases of their extremities clearly visible from the side. Those things sometimes appeal to me, but probably not to the people I would like to share this with.

Thanks in advance,

peter

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1 hour ago, Pedro said:

Try ‘Dinner for One’ by Cole Parker here on this site. 

http://awesomedude.com/cole-parker/dinner-for-one/dinner-for-one.htm

Yes! Thanks so much.

Aside from the general feel-good ending of the story, there are two things I really appreciate about it. As I have previously stated in these forums, most stories that I enjoy involve redemption often triggered by the intervention of another person. Tom redeems himself from his error in not firing André sooner. That's an example of redemption as we usually consider it. But as someone—Cole?—has pointed out in a different forum, my definition of redemption extends into a broader area that someone might simply call "personal growth." But in my view, Tom was the agent of redeeming both Carl and Albert from their lonely old age. Neither had done anything morally wrong, but their transformation was a redemption, nonetheless.

My second point about this story is minor, but the kind of detail that makes Cole's story so enjoyable:

With his eyes still sparkling with his laughter, Tom asked, “Have you decided on a wine, Carl?”

“I was thinking of champagne. Do you have a suggestion?”

“Yes, I do. Can you tell me what price range you’re thinking of?”

Carl started smiling, and then couldn’t help himself. He began laughing again. Tom stood watching, and his infectious grin broke out.

When he regained his equanimity, Carl apologized. “I’m sorry, Tom, but that just struck me as funny. Your maitre d’ made much the same comment, except his was meant to be rude and to sting. Yours was meant to make me comfortable. Such a contrast, and he’s the one who should show more maturity and professionalism. I much approve of your method.”

Tom bowed his head briefly, and said, “Thank you, Carl. That’s very kind of you.”

What a great illustration of the difference that kindness can make when one asks a question.

Well done, Cole!

 

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Thanks, Peter.  That's one of my favorite stories as well.  It might be the only one I've written without teenage characters, one of the very few without a teenage protagonist.  

I've seen older people treated that way by overbearing, pretentious snobs. And I've seen older people accept the behavior with wan smiles.  I've frequently had the feeling they were accepting the snubs because they were polite and wouldn't sink to the level of their abuser.  It wasn't lack of self-esteem or spirit that restricted their response; it was that they had a great deal of character.

C

 

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7 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

Thanks, Peter.  That's one of my favorite stories as well.  It might be the only one I've written without teenage characters, one of the very few without a teenage protagonist.  

I've seen older people treated that way by overbearing, pretentious snobs. And I've seen older people accept the behavior with wan smiles.  I've frequently had the feeling they were accepting the snubs because they were polite and wouldn't sink to the level of their abuser.  It wasn't lack of self-esteem or spirit that restricted their response; it was that they had a great deal of character.

Cole, it is one of my favorite stories, precisely because the characters are older—except, of course, for Tom, whom I imagine as a very hot-looking man in his twenties. As I prepare to enter my eighth decade, I am comforted by idea of second chances and mature romance.

Obviously, you are right about Carl—after all, he's your character—and others keeping their self-esteem. After a lifetime of saving up hurts, I am becoming a little bit better at brushing them off. But I still think that being exposed to insults takes a toll, and that makes Tom's kindness even more important.

***

Changing the subject here, I started this thread by saying that I would like link to your story from my facebook page. I was assuming that would be OK, but it occurs to me that I should ask. May I do that?

Thanks,

peter

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Certainly.  I guess.  I'm not on Facebook and really don't know how it works, but if it means a larger reading audience, that's great.

C

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6 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

Certainly.  I guess.  I'm not on Facebook and really don't know how it works, but if it means a larger reading audience, that's great.

OK, this is an experiment. I don't have a huge FB "following," and most people aren't going to click the link, but I would be delighted if even one person discovered your work and started following it. My real reason for doing this is that I use FB to share a lot the little things I experience in life with my friends. Secondarily, when people hear that I read gay literature on the web, they sometimes jump to unwarranted—OK, sometimes they might be warranted—conclusions about what that is, and providing a few examples could save me a lot of explanation.

https://www.facebook.com/peter.r.chastain/posts/10215531051406429

Please let me know if the link doesn't work. I might have to adjust my FB privacy settings.

Thanks!

peter

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It works in that it takes me to Facebook.  But I have to sign up to open the page, and I'm not about to do that.

C

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1 hour ago, Cole Parker said:

It works in that it takes me to Facebook.  But I have to sign up to open the page, and I'm not about to do that.

C

Cole

Whoops, my bad. I should have tested the link in non-signed-in mode. 

I completely respect your decision not to have a FB account. FB works for me, except when I allow the addiction to take over my life, but I have railed—usually on FB itself—against the facebookization of America. The evils are too many to even begin to list here.

This link should work for you:

Oh, wow...  the forum software just embedded my FB posting, instead of just displaying the link. I'm not sure The Dude will appreciate that as much as Zuckerberg probably does. :(  For now, I'll leave this up.

p

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3 hours ago, PeterSJC said:

Oh, wow...  the forum software just embedded my FB posting, instead of just displaying the link. I'm not sure The Dude will appreciate that as much as Zuckerberg probably does. :(  For now, I'll leave this up.

Peter, there are ways to get around that. You have to display the link in your browser's address bar and copy it from there. I just did it as a test and that worked for me. Also, clicking on "Dinner for One" in your post takes you to the story on AD.

Colin  :icon_geek:

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7 hours ago, colinian said:

Peter, there are ways to get around that. You have to display the link in your browser's address bar and copy it from there. ...

Nah, that's how I've been doing it (in Chrome under Windows). But I did find a way that works for me. Right after I paste a link, a message—which I had not previously noticed—pops up, telling me that it is about to embed but giving me a chance to display just the url.

p

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On 2/8/2018 at 12:25 AM, PeterSJC said:

Nah, that's how I've been doing it (in Chrome under Windows). But I did find a way that works for me. Right after I paste a link, a message—which I had not previously noticed—pops up, telling me that it is about to embed but giving me a chance to display just the url.

Okay, I'll expand a bit. In the bar at the top of a post you're writing there are a lot of symbols that make no sense in relation to what will happen when you click them. Position the cursor and/or highlight the text where you want to have your link; then click the symbol that looks like X3 and when it's clicked will take you to a dialog box that lets you paste or enter the link and when you click the "Insert into post" button it will position it in your post. You can select text in your post, or enter whatever text you want like "click here to be amazed" in the dialog box, or you can leave it blank and the link will also be used as the text.

No trying to grab something that pops up for a second or two. The dialog box remains open until you click the "Insert into post" button. If after opening the dialog box you decide you don't want to proceed, either click the X in the top right corner of the dialog box, or press the ESC key. 

I have no idea why, in this version of the IPS fourm software, that these symbols don't mean what they imply. It's left as an exercise for the students of this course to explore, on their own, these bizarre symbols and the action that results from clicking on each of them.

Colin  :icon_geek:

 

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On 2/9/2018 at 12:56 AM, colinian said:

... click the symbol that looks like X3 ...

I have no idea why, in this version of the IPS fourm software, that these symbols don't mean what they imply. It's left as an exercise for the students of this course to explore, on their own, these bizarre symbols and the action that results from clicking on each of them.

 

Oh, Cool! Thanks! I really appreciate your patient help.

I sense and share your frustration. As writers, editors, and user-interface geeks, we are in the business of communication. It's hard for me to tell that the thing that vaguely looks like a squiggle next to the X is a subscript 3. None of those icons, with their elegantly subtle grey scales, is actually legible, IMO.

OK, so here is a possible solution: Someone could configure away all of the horrible buttons ...and add a whole bunch of new, cooler buttons! Just a bit of visual artistry plus a SMOP, and it's done! :) 

[JK. Beating a hasty retreat.]

p

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3 hours ago, PeterSJC said:

I have no idea why, in this version of the IPS fourm software, that these symbols don't mean what they imply.

Because AwesomeDude is running the Carbon 4.x - ipsfocus theme and the buttons are all screwed.

Go to the bottom left corner of the page and click Theme (the tiny menu title with a little down pointing triangle next to it). Change to Default - hey presto, you got black writing on a white background, but more important the menu for the thread writing/editing is correct. The link button is actually... The link button!

Conclusion: the current theme is to blame.

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8 hours ago, William King said:

Go to the bottom left corner of the page and click Theme (the tiny menu title with a little down pointing triangle next to it). Change to Default - hey presto, you got black writing on a white background, but more important the menu for the thread writing/editing is correct. The link button is actually... The link button!

Ooooohhhh, so much nicer. Thank you, William!

p

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There are quite a few posters here who much prefer the white-on-black Carbon-4 theme appearance of the forum. When I'm using the Carbon-4 theme it seems that there are other problems besides the symbols: 

  1. When posting, it seems slower to respond.
  2. There are more cases of the forum software locking up.
  3. There are cases where a new post "disappears" and causes the poster to re-enter it, only to discover, later, that the original was posted meaning there are now two posts.

Of course, there are problems with the Default theme, too. There is one that irritates me:

  1. If you cut something from one place in a post to another, then a black bar appears near the bottom of the post that reads: Pasted as rich text   Paste as plain text instead with, at the right end of the bar, an X in a circle which, when you point at it, shows a notation that reads Keep formatting – but pointing at or clicking the X doesn't do anything. The X seems to work when using the Carbon-4 theme.

Colin  :icon_geek:

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5 hours ago, colinian said:

If you cut something from one place in a post to another, then a black bar appears near the bottom of the post that reads: Pasted as rich text   Paste as plain text instead with, at the right end of the bar, an X in a circle which, when you point at it, shows a notation that reads Keep formatting – but pointing at or clicking the X doesn't do anything. The X seems to work when using the Carbon-4 theme.

If - example - you copy a previous post from this thread which has formatted text, say hyperlinks. The X will preserve the format and keep those hyperlinks, posting as plain text, will get rid of them. Here below is, 1. Plain text option, 2. X Option.

1. OK, so here is a possible solution: Someone could configure away all of the horrible buttons ...and add a whole bunch of new, cooler buttons! Just a bit of visual artistry plus a SMOP, and it's done! :) 

2. OK, so here is a possible solution: Someone could configure away all of the horrible buttons ...and add a whole bunch of new, cooler buttons! Just a bit of visual artistry plus a SMOP, and it's done! :) 

The copy paste in the default template should work like this for everyone.

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This is clearly a reminder that no matter how great it may taste, you never want to see how sausage is made!

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My high school drama teacher always said "What happens backstage, stays backstage -- unless I catch you at it!"

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