Soup of the day

One day, quite a few years ago, some friends and I went for lunch in the Empire Diner in New York City. Nowadays the Empire Diner is pretty much just a diner, but back then it was very different.

It wasn’t so much a diner as it was the performance of a diner, somewhat the way the Museum of Jurassic Technology is the performance of a museum. Everything about the Empire Diner was kind of in quotes, but in a subtle way.

For example, we noticed on the menu that there was a soup of the day for $3.00. There was also a soup du jour for $3.50.

We called over the waitress to inquire. What was the difference, we asked, between the soup of the day and the soup du jour.

Well, she said, if you order the soup of the day, it costs $3.00. If you order the soup du jour it costs $3.50.

Now we were curious. “Is there any difference other than price?” we asked.

“Yes,” she said, “the difference is that you order one in English and the other in French.”

“So we can just order the soup of the day and save $0.50, right?”

The waitress shrugged. “Your choice.”

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