The Gnome cannot be described as svelte… Nor, he hastens to add, fat. Neither would be strictly accurate. He is however willing to accept he is succumbing to a soon-to-be middle aged state of pleasantly plump.
Perhaps subconsciously aiming to add to this plumpness, he wandered into a New York branch of a well known burger joint looking to get a quick fix of monosodium glutamate and caffeine. Asking the server for his order, she looked him up and down and refused point blank to hand him the Diet Coke he had asked for.
“I ain’t serving you no Diet Coke honey”, she drawled in an accent that would not have been out of place in a remake of ‘A Bronx Tale’. The Gnome started. Even after a couple of years of living in Manhattan the English accent occasionally confused members of the proletariat, but comprehension did not seem to be at the root of this particular problem. Far from misunderstanding the order, the lady was simply refusing to fill it. Exceptional customer service being such an integral facet of New York life, the Gnome felt there must have been a reason for her recalcitrance and could think only of one explanation.
Spreading his overcoat to allow her to get a better look at the Gnome in all his glory, he looked her in the eye, smiled and suggested that of course she wouldn’t. Given the trim physique in front of her it was understandable she should refuse to serve a diet Coke, under the natural assumption he needed the full fat lardy variety to encourage the extra padding needed to withstand the ravages of a particularly cold New York winter's day.
She looked back pityingly, and with no trace of humour pointed across the counter and replied.
“No... That ain’t the reason. I just serve food. You pick up the drink over there…”