One diner said the problems began long before the bill arrived. “The owners seemed concerned about how much food the congressmen were wasting. To me, it looked like they ordered one of everything, took a couple of bites -- if that -- and then forgot about it. Servers came by pretty regularly to ask whether they wanted doggy bags, or if something was wrong with the food. Every time, McConnell snapped at them and said, ‘No. Just throw it away.’”
A server at the restaurant verified the account: “We were asked by the kitchen staff to do everything we could to package the uneaten food. We told Mr. McConnell that if his party wasn’t going to eat it, we wanted to bring the untouched leftovers to the shelter down the street. I mean, there were whole menu items on the table they never so much as looked at. But Mr. Cantor said that we’d only be ‘enabling beggars to keep begging,’ and that it was unsanitary. What bothers me is that this is an Ethiopian restaurant. Hunger is a huge issue there. I explained to Speaker Boehner about all the impoverished, starving people in Ethiopia. He laughed and said, ‘Better send ‘em to Dukem on U Street then, ‘cause this place is a f***king rip off.’ Then he put his cigarette out in the platter of Lamb Alicha Wot I’d just delivered.”
An hour later, witnesses claimed, Cantor received a cell phone call that prompted him to ask for the bill. Fausto Madrigal, a regular patron at Yetenbi, said Boehner snatched the check from Cantor’s hand and studied it for a while. Then, he demanded to speak with a manager.
“When the manager came over,” Madgrial said, “John Boehner got in his face and asked, ‘What’s all this? We didn’t eat half of these things, so why should we pay for them?’”
Madrigal said the manager reiterated that his staff had offered to take uneaten items back to the kitchen several times, and that Mitch McConnell instead demanded they be put in the garbage. He also clarified that some of the food had been “picked at,” and was therefore billable.
Boehner told the manager, “I’m not talking about all that s**t. I’m talking about the dishes we ate. They came with all these sides, these weird veggies and sauces. We didn’t eat any of those sides, so we’re not paying for them.”
“The manager tried to explain that they were part of the overall cost, but Boehner wouldn’t have it,” Madrigal said. “So he and his friends took the check to another table in the corner and started marking it up. They worked on it for about three hours. Then they presented their version of the bill to the manager. ‘We’ll pay the amount on this check,’ Boehner said.”
The manager, who asked to be referred to only as Berhanu, said, “I told Mr. Boehner that I couldn’t accept a customer’s handwritten bill, and he became quite enraged. The strangest part is that the amounts were almost identical, but the items listed were very different. He crossed things out and spelled the names differently. He added the word ‘Freedom’ before the names of many of our plates. And, he wanted to pay most of the bill up front but then return at dinner time to pay the rest. I told him that was impossible. I also asked, ‘If the amount you will pay is the same as ours, why not pay the bill you were given?’ And he blew a stale cloud of cigarette smoke in my face and barked, ‘Because this one is MINE.’”
When Berhanu refused to accept Boehner’s amended bill, the Speaker and his two lunch companions left the restaurant without paying. At that point, Berhanu called the police.
Spokespeople for the congressmen and Capitol Police have yet to release statements.
(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.