Bon Appetit

A/N: The title says it all. :o)

Danja (who is actually a professional chef when she isn't writing fanfic.)

"I still can't believe this place is a Taco Bell," said John Spartan as he and Lenina Huxley entered the restaurant.

"You'll love it. It's one of the finest in town," said Lenina.

The restaurant in question was an upscale French restaurant (After the franchise wars of the early 21st Century, Taco Bell had taken over every restaurant in town. From the humblest burger stand to the most upscale restaurant, they all bore the name Taco Bell.)

"How many?" asked the host as John and Lenina walked in.

"Two, please," said Lenina.

"This way," said the host as he led John Spartan and Lenina to their table. John wore a cream two-piece suit, matching tie, and white dress shirt. Lenina wore a floor length white beaded gown.

"Nice place," said John as he and Lenina sat down. The walls were lined with faux mahogany paneling (Real mahogany was seen as being environmentally irresponsible.) The table itself was covered with a white linen tablecloth (Made with organic fibers, of course.)

The waiter -- a wiry, balding man in his mid-to-late forties -- approached the table and said, "Hi, I'll be your waiter tonight."

"What are the specials?" Lenina asked.

"We have an organic tofu chicken roulade drizzled with white wine sauce and stuffed with organic fontina cheese and locally sourced organic spinach … "

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa ... Hold up," said John. "Did you say tofu CHICKEN?!"

"Yes, sir," said the waiter.

"It's not CHICKEN!" John exclaimed.

"Of course it's chicken," said the waiter.

"It ain' chicken!" John retorted. "It's … I dunno what the hell it is, but it sure as hell ain't MEAT!"

The waiter blanched. "Surely you're not suggesting we … KILL a chicken now, are you?" he asked.

"How else are you supposed to get chicken?" John shot back.

"It looks like chicken, it tastes like chicken. For all intents and purposes, it's chicken," the waiter replied smoothly.

The waiter blushed. "Have you any idea … how chicken was MADE … back in the old days?" he asked, his voice lowered to just above a whisper.

"Yeah," said John. "You killed it, cleaned it, plucked it, cooked it, and ate it."

"Have you any idea … what the chicken went through?" the waiter asked, his voice tinged with outrage. "All the pain and suffering?"

Life's a bitch, then you die, John thought.

"Let's hear the rest of the specials," said Lenina, attempting to restore order.

"Very good," said the waiter. "We have soy chicken gumbo with organic vegetables and soy Andouille sausage, soy beef tenderloin with organic parsley and garlic butter, soy lamb medallions resting in an organic Cabernet reduction, soy filet mignon wrapped with soy applewood-smoked bacon …"

"Whoa, time out," said John. "Did you say soy filet mignon?"

The waiter sighed and said, "Yes, Sir."

"Is there any place in town where I can get some REAL filet mignon?" John asked.

The waiter glanced around nervously. "You mean … 'kill-a-cow' filet mignon?" he asked.

"Umm, yeah," John replied.

"We … don't do that anymore," said the waiter. "It causes a great deal of pain and suffering for the cow."

"Since when am I supposed to bond with my fucking DINNER?" John roared, slamming his fist down on the table to make his point.

"Let's order something from the vegetarian menu," said Lenina soothingly.

"They have separate MENUS?" John exclaimed.

"Yes, John," said Lenina.

John looked at the vegetarian menu and thought, Could've fooled me. "I'll have a salad," he said.

"Very good, Sir," said the waiter. Thank God THAT'S over with, he thought. "House, garden, avocado, spinach, or Caesar?"

"Garden salad," John replied.

"Very good," said the waiter. "Our garden salad features locally sourced organic Romaine lettuce, free trade organic arugula, organic heirloom tomatoes, organic baby spinach …"