Freudian Slips: The Biggest Catch of All

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

August 03, 2006

The Biggest Catch of All

In 1984, I shared a work office with an energetic and attractive woman who became my wife early the following century. Allow me to digress. I have always been a sparkplug for orneriness that is combustible around easy targets. From the first time I met Diane, she sported a loveable bull’s eye the size of Wyoming.
Working in the field of mental health, our job responsibilities consisted of running errands and monitoring deinstitutionalized clients at residential sites. One day Diane asked me to stop at the local McDonald’s restaurant to bring her back a fish filet sandwich. After ordering my co-worker’s lunch, I could not leave well enough alone. Shame on me but I removed the actual fish filet from the sandwich and fed it to the birds. Back at the office, I watched Diane cry foul as she blamed a lousy McDonald’s worker for botching her lunch order.
“It’s hard to find good help these days.” I admitted to the tune of a disguised double entrendre.
Days passed by. When Diane asked me to pick her up another fish filet sandwich, a coy Cheshire cat smile engulfed my face. No longer inclined to disposing of the messy fish filet, I had thought of a way to perfect the practical joke. My McDonald’s drive-thru window order must have sounded like a crank call.
“I would like to order a fish filet sandwich. No fish patty, special sauce, no cheese, pickles, onions, or tomatoes on a sesame seed bun.”
“That doesn’t leave very much.” hinted the confused worker. “Are you sure?”
“Totally. Smear sauce over a bun and toss it into a paper bag.” I instructed steely.
Back at her office desk, Diane rifled through the bag to get to her piping hot fish filet sandwich. Fearing the worst on an empty stomach, Diane warily opened the foam carton like a coffin. She found the grave robbed, the bun naked.
“No fish! What again?” scoffed Diane.
If my laughter would have escaped me, it could have been heard clear across the flat plains of Wyoming. Diane could not believe her string of bad luck so I suggested we try another McDonald’s restaurant. After another run of fishless filets, Diane knew something was fishy so I had to admit to the caper.
Fast forward through marriages and divorces to other people. Time all but stopped on the starry night of our first date fourteen years later. Leaving nothing to chance, I chose an eatery famous for its ribs and chicken. Their menu offered no seafood entrées but that would not deter what premeditated mischief I had in store for my date. Using the greasy palmed bait of a $20 dollar bill, our waiter agreed to serve my new girlfriend a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich. I cod you not! Even at the expense of relationships, my practical jokes practically never exceed a statute of limitations. If this relationship stood a chance to work, Diane needed to get more than a taste of me outside of work.
I kept my poker face on through Diane’s mock ordering off of the restaurant menu. Comfortable conversation followed. It felt right. When the waiter plopped Diane’s dinner plate down, she sat flabbergasted. It really felt right then.
“What is this?” queried Diane like a bundle of nerves.
Wanting my lead, the waiter floundered and backed away from the table.
I argued, “Looks to me like a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich. What did you order?”
“Not this.” protested Diane. “I ordered a…Joe, did you? Oh, my God! There better be fish in that sandwich.”
I served Diane a complete fish filet sandwich for the first time and she has been hooked ever since. We courted then married three years later. Diane still has that same sandwich stored in the freezer as a keepsake from our first date. If nothing else, it tells the story of how I caught the biggest catch of all.
Happy fifth wedding anniversary, darling!

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14 Comments:

Anonymous et said...

Happy Anniversary!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

You're the last of the big time romantics!

Happy Anniversary!

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Catherine Mary said...

That's so cute! Happy Anniversary!
Catherine Mary

1:28 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

et,
thanks.

merci,
I tell my wife, now everything is on ice.

catherine mary,
she bought me airlines tickets for our anniversary...one way!

3:04 AM  
Blogger sue said...

Happy Anniversary... you onry thing, you!

2:56 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

My gift to the happy couple can be found at this link:

http://paxromano.blogspot.com/2006/08/happy-5th-anniversary-to-mr-mrs.html

9:17 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

AHHHHHHHH!!! Congrats!

2:01 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I love your sense of humor. What a grand time you must have had with the fish and the sandwiches. It's like a tale from a movie. You romantic devil you. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the catch and the catcher.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

sue,
thanks for visiting.

Pax,
Thanks for the fitting tribute on your blog. I'll share with Diane.

Karl,
The wife and I are calling it a miracle.

Pissed of Patricia,
thanks for stopping by. Yeah, my sense of humor is warped.

6:56 PM  
Blogger E said...

Awesome post. Congratulations!!

11:44 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

E,
thanks.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sweetie, Your such a romantic, Happy Anniversary, Love, The Mrs.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww...that was cute,(but is your wife such an airhead not to have figured you were the one to take the fish the second time?)

5:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Anonymous,
Sounds fishy, I know.

7:50 PM  

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