Welcome to the Hate Café
It’s common knowledge that half of all marriages in America end in divorce. Most psychologists have focused their efforts on lowering the divorce percentage. However, Chrislip College professor Dr. Max Trask has embarked on an innovative treatment, which he calls “restaurant therapy”, to more quickly determine which marriages are unlikely to survive.
“Whereas most of my colleagues attempt to dull the pain of a failing relationship, my goal is to minimize the misery by quickening its demise,” said Dr. Trask. “Since 90% of new restaurants eventually fail, I figure that if a newly married couple can survive a week together in the kitchen, they’re destined to remain together. If not, I’ve saved them years of pain and fruitless therapy. Either way, I get free labor for my new restaurant, The Hate Café.”
Newlyweds Bart and Becky Foster noticed that their once torrid love affair cooled about six months after the wedding. “Friends suggested counseling before we closed the book on our relationship,” said Bart. “So we went to Dr. Trask and he said that we can pay him $150 an hour to sit on his couch or we could fix him some dinner. I think that that’s when he got the idea to buy the restaurant.”
When this reporter called to book a reservation, he was told that happy hour may or may not begin at six. As this reporter pulled out the chair for his date, Becky glared at her husband, who retreated into the kitchen. She warned the diners that Bart’s Soufflé au Fromage, a cheese soufflé, tasted like crap because, while she wanted to measure the butter and flour precisely, he insisted on adding them by instinct. “He’s the same way in bed, only doing what feels good to him,” complained the apparently soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Foster. “I’m like the soufflé,” she shouted toward the kitchen, “you have to melt the butter in a saucepan before stirring in the flour with your wooden spoon. That’s the problem: I’m never properly blended!”
The French cuisine and the marital tension made for an interesting dinner, with this reporter and his date speculating on the date of the Foster’s eventual divorce. This reporter insisted to his date that they keep things casual since he’s not a very good cook. Dr. Trask commented that while a 20% tip is customary, the 15% gratuity left by this reporter indicated that the Foster’s marriage is on life support.