The woman next to you at the sushi bar. Deep middle-age. Hair dyed black. Skin tan, perhaps leathery, from tanning salon and two-pack-a-day smoking habit. Voice raspy and deep from two-pack-a-day smoking habit. Breath reeking of wine and cigarettes. Accompanied by younger, overweight, blonde friend from work. Hanging out with younger blonde friend makes her feel younger. Sitting at the sushi bar with younger blonde friend also makes her feel younger. Releases raspy, snake-like “ahhh” after every sip of hot tea or miso soup. After every sip. Pitched, edgy, raspy voice penetrating the conversations of those around her. People noticing her. Making her feel younger.

“Yeah,” she says. “This is the good stuff!” and “I’m a really great cook!” and "What is that, Miso? " and “You know, I tell ’em, just give me the recipe and the ingredients, and I can make anything!”

The woman next to your wife in the movie theater. Early-twenties. Blonde. Pretty. Well behaved and respectful. Accompanied by two blonde friends. Same age. Pretty.

Character on-screen says tells protagonist, “Just don’t cheat. Don’t use a Deus Ex Machina.”

Woman next to your wife says out loud, “Do … what?

Perhaps this seems funnier to you because you have an English degree. Which means you read Beowulf. And liked it.

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