Skip to main content

What The Hell Was That? (4:12)

(A horrible dinner with one of the 20th century’s most reviled human beings.)

This happened one winter

many years ago

he said, “We might be joined for dinner

by someone I know

So get that table in the back room

our usual spot

I’ll see you there

at 8 on the dot”

By 8:30 I was on

my second glass of wine

I loved that man

but he was never on time

He finally rolls in

with his mystery guest

is that who I think it is?

oh my yes

oh no  

hoo boy

I had seen him in newsreels

and on TV

I never thought I would meet him

so casually

we three share a table

the waiter brings drinks

he raises his glass

insists we all ‘clink’

The menu was written

on a board on the wall

nothing fancy – burgers

spaghetti, meat balls

The waiter takes our order

we make small talk

about politics

Who’s a dove

Who’s a hawk?

Another round of drinks

here comes the food

this guy‘s in some kind of

playful mood

He looks at my burger

he stares at my fries

he leans over his spaghetti and says

“Are you really dating this guy?”

I say yes I am

he says “I give it two weeks”

as he snaps his fingers

and pinches my cheek

Then without another word

he reaches out his hand

grabs a fistful of fries

in a gesture quite grand

He shoves them into

his gaping mouth

they all disappear but then

two tumble out

He picks them up off the floor

puts them back on my plate

wipes his mouth on his sleeve

and says, “Oh man the fries here are freakin’ great!”

Well my friend ordered chicken

with spinach on the side

but our dinner guest

would not be denied

He reached out grabbed a leg

put it back, grabbed a wing

took a bite -- said

“This is the most delicious thing”

Then he put the wing down

picked up the leg

he taunted my friend

"If you want it back -- beg!"

then he licked his fingers

wiped them on his shirt . . .

dropped his fork

pretended to look up my skirt

I glanced at my friend

not sure what to do

he shot a look like

'this is not about you'

He asked for the check

I opened a book

I pretended to read

I did not want to look

At this guy lick his fingers

run ‘em through his hair

all I could think was

we should get out of there

So we grabbed our coats

our scarves and our hats

walked out to Third Avenue

said, “That’s that

that’s that

what the hell was that?”


A couple years later

this man was dead

nobody mourned

that’s what they said

I thought about that night

in the back of the bar

behavior that

bordered on the bizarre

Some people hate

dining alone

but way worse than that

way worse than that

is having dinner with . . .

(you have to play the song to know the answer)


CL: vocal/guitar

Steve Doyle: bass

Sam Merrick:  drums

Emily Bindiger: harmony vocals, glockenspiel

Robbie Kondor: accordion

Brian Bauers: harmony vocals

Handclaps: CL, Steve Doyle, Emily Bindiger, Robbie Kondor