We’re at the after-party, thinking about going for a cigarette, looking for our friend, when the waiter comes over with the menus and he’s like, Take the chipotle with the lime chili.

And I’m like, I don’t have my own choice about what to do with my salad?

And he’s like, No, you don’t have a choice. If you don’t take the chipotle with the lime chili, you and your date will die.

So I go, Can I have some more time to think about it?

And our waiter’s like, No, it’s not negotiable.

And I start freaking and my date starts freaking and they drag us to the rooftop patio and they point kebab sticks at me and my date and they say, Either you agree to the chipotle with the lime chili or you and your date die right here on this rooftop.

So I take a dessert fork and push it to my date’s throat and say, You want to kill her? Fine! I’ll kill her for you right now!

And the maître d’ comes over and he’s like, What’s the problem here?

And I say, We’re asking for a little more time with our salads, like five more minutes to decide.

So the maître d’ looks at us and goes, Okay, in five minutes we’ll be back.

So my date and I are going crazy because they’re going to kill us if we don’t take the chipotle with the lime chili. And she’s screaming, We have to get out of this after-party! We have to go! They’re going to kill us!

We run into the kitchen where the sous-chefs are plating up a bunch of salads, the chipotle with the lime chili, but they don’t know the waiters want to kill us. They don’t know us from Adam.

And I’m like, we want to tip the head chef—can we do that?

So this busboy says yeah and goes to find the chef and I’m looking for the fire exit and my date’s talking to this dessert guy like, Oh, what are you making?

The dessert guy’s heating some kirsch in a pan when the busboy returns with the maître d’. He hasn’t seen us yet.

And I’m staring at my date like, Are you thinking what I’m thinking? So she throws her lighter in the kirsch and—boom!—it’s on fire, flames everywhere, I throw the pan on the maître d’ just as he sees us. He’s wiping at his face, falling into the tray of salads—bouncing all the plates into the air and that chipotle with lime chili is just everywhere, in my date’s hair, all over her laminate, in my eyelashes—everywhere. And I’m standing there shocked like, This is my life? This is my life?

And my date screams, Run! Just run! So we crash out the exit door, she’s clacking down the fire escape in her heels, I look back at the maître d’, he’s throwing anything at us—stuffed pork loin, carmelized pea-snaps, hazelnut spätzle, arctic char—it’s just brutal.

On the sidewalk, we catch up with our friend and cab it to like eight different places, Foxley, Spice Route, Czehoski. Finally we end up at this restaurant opening at last call, so totally shaking I can barely light her cigarette.

That shit is in my head like it was just yesterday.