Hank and Karen’s matching flower-print shirts sagged with sweat. “According to Yelpenlebensmittelhund, this is the best restaurant in Hamburg. I’m sure they’ll have the authentic schnitzel you’ve been after,” Karen said.
“It better be just like Bobby Flay makes it at Mesa Grill at Caesar’s Palace,” Hank grumbled. He scanned the menu for words in English. “Why don’t they put pictures in these things. Garçon!” A man in an apron approached the table. “Bring us two schnitzels. And make sure they’re just like the ones in America.”
Apron-man placed his arms at his sides and half-bowed. “Many pardons, sir and madam, but the only thing on our menu is hamburgers. You Americans kept coming to Hamburg and asking for hamburgers, so we gave in. Now it’s nothing but hamburgers.”
Hank threw his cloth napkin at the floor. “Where the hell am I going to get my schnitzel?”
“Not in Hamburg. The whole city’s gone hamburger.” Apron-man clapped a steady rhythm. His legs pranced about as a polka took hold of his limbs.
“But doesn’t Hamburg have a thriving port?” Hank asked. “And an aerospace industry?”
Staff streamed from the kitchen to join the dance. Shouts of “Ya!” punctuated the stomping and clapping. Restaurant patrons banged on their tables with thick-cast utensils. “Not anymore, jackass. Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers!”
Beer steins smashed the glass marked Break in Case of Emergency. Revelers extracted an accordion, a tuba, and a bass drum. A polka tune poured forth, drawing passers-by from the street into a sweating, stomping free-for-all. “Roll out the burgers, we’ll have some burgers and fun. Roll out the burgers, we’ve got the blues on the run.”
Karen shouted over the din. “Pardon me, but I thought it was the French who are rude and passive-aggressive.”
Apron man shrugged. “Blame the European Union. We can all be snotty now.”
A man wearing a beret with a black-and-white striped shirt scurried to Karen’s side, The odor of four-day-old sweat and cigarettes hovered over him like seagulls casing an open garbage bin. He kissed her hand and held it to his chest. “Ma cherie, your husband, he is an oaf. Run away with me, and let us invade Poland together.”
Hank swatted away the hands trying to pull him into the dance mob. “This place is getting a terrible review on Yelpenlebensmittelhund, that’s for sure.”