Moien, bonjour, and hello. Welcome to Chez Gaël. Is it your first time here? Oh, wonderful. Yes, we have been here for five years now. A long time. You live in the neighborhood, but you have not dined with us before? A pity! But at least you are here this evening.
Could I start you off with something to drink? For monsieur and madame, I suggest a kir royale, made with Luxembourgish crémant and créme de cassis fait maison. For the young ones, we have soft drinks and freshly squeezed juice.
Oops, how could I forget? How silly of me. Could I start you off with a bizarre ritual in which I use an app on my phone to scan a QR code on your phone to see what’s in your blood?
If I may, I recommend we do it quickly and without commentary so as to avoid deepening the discomfort we feel now that we are all forced to participate in this most unusual arrangement. In fact, I insist we do not make eye contact while I check.
Excellent choice. Your hands are moving towards your jacket pocket and handbag. You see, this is not so hard. This gesture has become automatic. Monsieur, if you could please just make the QR code larger. That’s it. Merci monsieur.
Madame, very fine discretion, villmols merci. And you’ve got two children, I see. Young man, that is a very fine thin moustache you’re growing. Might I hear your voice? Ah, thank you. I assume you are older than 12. May I please scan the QR code on your phone? Much obliged, thank you. And the mademoiselle, might I inquire about her age?
Eleven, I see. So I am therefore not obliged to perform the CovidCheck. So relieved I am that, in this moment at least, I may revert to my usual role, which is a server, and not a verifier of blood–
–Unless the mademoiselle has not been truthful about her age. I am but a professional from the hospitality industry whose pleasure is to provide food, drinks, and service to guests. However, we do wish to avoid being shut down for non-compliance. Therefore I am in the very unfortunate position of being required to evaluate the mademoiselle’s physical development. Please pardon me while I do so. Trust me, this is as unpleasant for me as it is for you.
I hate my job.
May I kindly request you, the parents, provide evidence of the age of the mademoiselle? Ah! So you have her passport in your handbag, madame. Excellent. I will just inspect it. Indeed, 11 years old.
I really hate my job.
Now, may I start you off with a drink?
Gustav K. is a waiter at a French bistrot in Luxembourg