"Dude, what the?" Dave said, clasping a hand over his forehead. "The dick never pays you."
"No, he did," Freddie says. "Once. But tonight he pays. Big time."
"What, actual cash? Here? Is that why we're sitting at an expensive restaurant?"
Sitting by the bar at Au revoir Mon Amis were Freddie and his best friend from childhood. Whilst Dave had a proper job, Freddie was never one to conform. He'd stumbled on this line of work when Dave asked Freddie to stand in line for him at the cafeteria at high school. He was cramming for the mid-term, so Freddie got a free lunch just to stand in a line he was already going to stand in.
Their classmates all graduated and went to college. Freddie went as well, but majored in waiting. For other people doing those tasks no one actually wanted to do.
And word got around. Some years Freddie can make more than Dave, a resident doctor.
"No, he doesn't know he's going to pay."
"What, are we going to rob him?"
Freddie turned and smiled. "Rob him of his dignity!"
Dave inhaled deeply. When Freddie wasn't waiting, he was writing his screenplays, and coming up with cheesy lines.
"Tonight, Douglas Wentworth, the third, will propose to Madeline. I've spent all day picking up the perfect flowers and picking up the ring. I delivered them earlier and had to watch them put the ring box into her souffle."
"I don't understand how you're going to rob him of his dignity."
"Just wait and see."
Douglas Wentworth, the third, and his soon to be bride entered as if they owned the place. The table that Freddie had secured waited for them. They ate and laughed, and Madeline was in love. And most likely to say yes when the time came.
But Freddie thought she ought to know what kind of shit husband Douglass Wentworth the third was going to be.
They brought dessert out, a souffle, and immediately the violinist appeared, and Douglas Wentworth the third fell to one knee. All the patrons stopped and turned to watch the show. He said some words that were inaudible to the restaurant, and she stuck a fork into the souffle. She pulled out the Tiffany ring box, smiled and nodded, presumably to the question. She flipped open the box and her eyes seemed to pop out of their socket.
"Dude," Freddie said. "You should see how many carrots it took to make that."
"I don't think it works like that. Carrots don't make a diamond."
"This one was. Two days of eating nothing but carrots."
Madeline dropped the box. Everyone saw the orange-brown contents fall and then splatter. She ran.
Freddie grabbed Dave's arm, and they too ran. With the Tiffany Petite Elodie ring was safely in Freddie's pocket, he vowed to never eat another carrot.