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By Scott Sullivan

Editor

Dates from Hell

Marjorie Moon’s date with Paul Guadalupe Gonzales in a swanky Los Angeles restaurant was going fine till he disappeared from it.

Gonzales ordered two entrees — a chicken dish and four lobster tails — expensive wine and a soufflé for dessert, told Moon he had to go make a phone call and kept going.

She paid the $250 bill, left the restaurant, called police and learned her paramour was a serial dine-and-dasher.

Gone-zo was arrested last week on 10 felony charges linked with his dubious dating etiquette since 2016. He faces up to 13 years eating prison food as a consequence.

There’s more than one way to get free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gone-zo may have to settle for serial cereal breakfasts and Boone’s Farm till he gets out, but I made it through college on worse and paid for it.

Remember Aramark, Michigan’s private prison food vendor from 2013 till the state put their contract in the compost heap 18 months later amid allegations of prisoner-employee sex and unsanitary conditions? Even crooks deserve better than rodent droppings and maggots in food?

Former Saugatuck Public Schools Business Director Liz Broderick was so impressed she hired the firm to replace a local cleaning vendor who dared suggest district cost cuts including not hiring her extended family.

Turns out Aramark’s prison replacement vendor, Trinity Services Group, hasn’t done much better. It’s been fined $4.5 million so far for contract violations, unplanned meal substitutions, delays and staffing shortages.

Now even Gov. Rick Snyder, a longtime privatization champion, is calling to return prison food service to public workers. That’s sure to make prisons more attractive. Folks like me will be clamoring to break in.

Moon wasn’t the first to meet Gone-zo through the online dating service Plenty of Fish. He ditched at least eight other women with hefty restaurant bills and even performed a snip-and-ditch in a hair salon, leaving with wet dye in his hair, still wearing its plastic smock.

When he shows up at prison that way I’d like to be a fly on the wall, if not in the food, to see it.

“You’re the charmer who stiffed girls for grub?” his new cellmate would ask, flexing his massive biceps so the Satan tattoos danced on them. “Dine on this, lover boy!”

As Gone-zo picked up his teeth from the floor he’d contemplate the puréed cuisine he would soon be eating.

“Where’d ya get the name ‘Guadalupe’?” his cellmate would ask.

“Sacred shrine to the Virgin Mary,” Gone-zo would gum. “Catholics believe that the Blessed Mother appeared four times to the Native American Saint Juan Diego near modern-day Mexico City in December 1531.”

“Sure he wasn’t seeing things?”

“Millions make pilgrimages to what is now a basilica there each year.”

“How’d a guy with that name land here?”

“This is not the end. It’s a new beginning.”

“Use that line on the broads you ditched?” his cellmate would say, grabbing Gone-zo’s hair and putting him in an airplane spin.

“You could at least let my dye dry.”

“Speaking of death, look who’s here.”

Moon would walk in. “Paul, I’m disappointed by your behavior,” she’d say. “Would the Virgin Mary have done that?”

“She appeared to St. Juan pregnant with the Child Jesus,” he’d reply. “So she’d have an appetite.”

“Yeah, but four lobster tails? She probably doesn’t even have a cell phone.”

“You’re missing the point here,” the cellmate would say.

“There’s a point?”

“Eat healthy while you can, or end up like the guy who wrote this.”

“Wait,” I’d protest.

“Too late. You’re in this with us,” he’d say, brandishing fists with brass knuckles inked to them. “We wouldn’t be here without you. You’ve got a date with the dentist right after Gone-zo …”

“Well done, Satan,” Moon would say.