Tag Archives: restaurant

The Spot Writers – “Drinks with Dialogue” by Tom Robson

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s belated contribution comes from Tom Robson, author of  WRITTEN WHILE I STILL REMEMBER  and many short stories. The prompt was “the no-phone restaurant.”


Drinks with Dialogue

She was still talking, unaware that I had stopped fifteen yards behind her on the busy boardwalk. I turned to count the group we’d just passed, resting on the bench or BBQ picnic table or simply leaning against the stout horizontal beam that separated the walkway from the harbor waters some ten feet below.

“What are you looking at now?” was the question that interrupted my counting. My wife had backtracked to join me.

“Nineteen.” I replied and I pointed to the group who were oblivious to the attention I was paying them. I was no more than four paces away and Barb urged me to keep my voice down.

“No need!” I responded.  “Eighteen of their minds are lost to texting, talking or whatever on their devices. I bet the phone of the one there,the one in the front smoking, has died. Look at her! She’s begging her friend to let her use her phone. And that’s the only face to face communication among all nineteen. And Ms Smoker’s friend is ignoring her plea.”

“So why stop to poke your nose into their business? Let’s go. They are beginning to notice your staring. And I’m sure some can hear you.”

“Not a chance! They’re all “Phone deaf!”

“You and your obsession with people addicted to devices. Give it up!You’ll never change the trend.”

“Trend? Trend? You had it right when you used the word ‘addicted’. It’s a way of life. There’s more than three generations that can’t exist without a device immediately available to them. They are lost and incomplete without them.”

My wife had heard it all before. With a “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!’ she turned to continue our Saturday afternoon walk along the waterfront boardwalk. I dutifully rushed to catch up with her.” Let’s stop for a drink.” I urged. That bar they’re outside is new. Let’s have a drink in there. I like the notices by the door. Can you read them?”

“You know I can’t! So, tell me, what do they say?”

Unable to hide the delight in my voice, I read all the messages  displayed. “Abandon your device all ye who enter here. Cell free suds! Mouth to mouth conversation available. Talk to me!  Listen to someone!”

“Do you think I’m going to drink in a place that agrees with your technological extremes? If it’s banning cell phones, tablets, lap tops and any devices, it won’t last the month.” Barb was already inching away.

Before I could persuade her to accompany me in support of a business that was trying to discourage i-phone dependence, the door from the “Talkers Tavern” flew open and an angry young woman, clutching her cellphone, was ejected by a large doorman.

“You can’t fricking do this!” She loudly protested as he blocked her efforts to rejoin her friends inside. “I have my frickin rights! Look at all of them over there!” And she pointed at the nineteen who had earlier captured my attention.” Eighteen of them were still attending to their device communication, oblivious to the disturbance the reject was creating.

“Those people left quietly when they chose to use their phones!” responded the doorman.

Right on cue, two of the city’s finest, the bicycle mounted patrol policing the busy boardwalk, emerged from a gathering crowd. While one tried to calm down the irate woman, the other questioned the doorman.

I strained to hear what both said to the still angry woman, after they had heard both sides of the dispute. The woman was not going to win her argument. But one constable agreed to accompany her back in so she could gather her friends. But he insisted on taking her phone from her until they came back out. She argued, but relented.

The doorman prevented any bystanders from following the pair into the ‘Talkers’ Tavern.’ The remaining cycle cop requested that the gathering gawkers move on. A crowd was gathering and it was changing from curious to questioning  and could become hostile.

My wife knew she had to get me away from taking sides in a no-win situation. She took my hand and said “ You can buy me a glass of red on Murphy’s terrace. On the way back to the car we’ll have to go past the ‘Talkers’ Tavern’ and we can see if it’s still in business! I have a feeling it’s not going to last long.”

Police sirens came closer and we watched as the blue lights turned from Water Street into the car park adjacent to the ‘Talkers’ Tavern’.

I knew my wife was right yet again. Murphy’s it would be!


The Spot Writers are:-

RC Bonitz         rcbonitz.com

Val Muller          http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. Mackenzie     https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter

Tom Robson     https://robsonswriting.wordpress.com/




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The Spot Writers – “No. Phone. Restaurant.” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is “no phone restaurant,” and the post comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Scarred Letter, a tale of bullying, secrets, and sticking to the truth no matter the consequences. You can learn more at www.ValMuller.com.


No. Phone. Restaurant. 😦

By Val Muller


The texts were flying in almost faster than Sammie could process them.

Rachel: They’re gonna send me to FL for the summer.

Amy: Why FL?

Rachel: To live w my Gma

Amy: The churchy one?

Rachel: YES!

Rachel had finally done it. She’d told her parents about Rob, and they were freaking out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Sammie barely noticed the glowing sign advertising The Seafood Shack as the sedan slowed—but darn it! Why were they so close to the restaurant already? The electronic drama unfolding in her hand was much more engaging. As Sammie’s mom pulled into the parking lot, Sammie jumped in on the conversation:

Sammie: What good will Florida do?

Rachel: Gma will keep me away from Rob 😦

Rachel: And send me 2 church

Amy: They can’t own you.

Rachel: No

Rachel: But they’ll cut me off if I don’t obey

Sammie: Cut you off?

Rachel: Car insurance, tuition for next year, stuff…

Sammie: Sucks.

Rachel: Said guys in their 20s are off limits.

Rachel: Ive never seen em so pissed.

Amy: What does Rob think?

Rachel: That’s the thing. He wants to break up.

Rachel: Or.

Amy: Or what?

Rachel: Or me move in with him.

Amy: What!

Sammie: What!

Amy: Dude!

Amy: What about college, tho?

Sammie: And if you live with him?

Rachel: Mom n dad would literally disown me.

Rachel: Not sure how long I’ll be here.

Amy: What u mean?

Sammie: What? Where?

Rachel: My parents r looking for me.

Amy: R U running away?

Sammie: Where R U?

Rachel: I’m hiding in the woods can u get me?

Sammie looked up. Her mother was eyeing her from the front seat, her eyebrow cross. “We’re here, Sammie, in case you didn’t notice.” She cut the engine, and the doors clicked to unlock.

Sammie forced a smile.

“Be nice, Sammie. Be polite to your grandmother. We talked about this, remember? No phones in the restaurant.”

“For my birthday,” Grandma said. She turned around from the passenger seat, and the excitement in her face melted when she saw Sammie’s phone. “Oh,” she sighed.

“Sammie.” Mom sighed, too. Like mother, like daughter.

“I know we talked about it,” Sammie said, “but I think I may have to pick up Rach. See, she—”

But Grandma chimed in. “In my day, we respected the people we were with. We didn’t have cell phones constantly distracting us. It’s just plain disrespectful. I don’t know what the world is coming to…”

Sammie risked a glance at her phone. She looked back up quickly. “Sorry, Grandma.”

She turned to put her phone away but couldn’t help looking down. The texts were flying in again, already scrolling off of the screen.

Rachel: And when they find me, they will take my phone.

Rachel: I’ll srsly never see u guys again!

Amy: I don’t have a car

Amy: Sammie, can u get her?

Rachel: I’m scared.

Rachel: They’re gonna take my pHone.

Rachel: They said no contacting anyone over the summer while at Gma’s

Rachel: Seclusion.

Amy: OMG, that’s like…

Amy: They’re gonna get ur Gma to brainwash you!

Amy: You’ll become all churchy like her.

Amy: You’ll marry a preacher’s son or something

Sammie looked up. Two generations of angry eyes glared at her from the front of the car. Mom’s lips moved in slow motion. “Turn. The. Phone. Off.”

Sammie glanced down just long enough to type three words.

Sammie: No. Phone. Restaurant.

Then she powered down her phone even as a barrage of texts came flying in. She exited the car and joined her mother and grandmother. Then she trudged on to Grandma’s birthday dinner sequestered from the teenage drama unfolding in the electronic ether of her now-dormant 4G network.

It would be a long evening.

* * *

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com


Have you read The Spot Writers’ first book? Check out the just-released Remy’s Choice, a novella based on a story we wrote a while back. It’s available at Amazon  for only $1.99 e-book and $5.99 print.  Remy, just out of a relationship gone wrong, meets handsome Jeremy, the boy next door. Jeremy exudes an air of mystery, and he seems to be everything she’s looking for. While Remy allows herself to indulge in the idea of love at first site, she realizes she’s the girl next door according to her boss, Dr. Samuel Kendrick.

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The Spot Writers – “No Phone Restaurant” by RC Bonitz

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of DANGEROUS DECISIONS and the recently released ONLY EMMA. The prompt for this month is “No Phone Restaurant.”



Annie stared down at the blank screen on her smart phone. Of all the bloody times for the battery to die. She’d read only part of the text before it faded from view. Something about him enjoying their conversation at Pippa’s party last night and would she like to meet him for lunch. But where- she didn’t catch that.

Scott, his last name was Hansen wasn’t it? The sweetest guy with the biggest smile she’d ever seen. She’d been talking to Pippa when he appeared out of the blue and introduced himself and that was it. They must have talked for two hours. She looked around, searching for a pay phone, then remembered the name of the silly restaurant, the No Phone House. She wasn’t even supposed to be looking at her cell phone. She sighed. What did it matter. She didn’t know Scott’s number anyway.

Annie glanced at her watch. 12:28. She’d already eaten and it was probably too late to meet him. The best thing was to get home and charge her phone and read his message carefully. She downed the last of her coffee, touched a napkin to her lips, and pushed back her chair.

“Hey, where you going?”

Annie turned to see one handsome hunk of man beside her table. Blonde, tanned, muscles everywhere, and that great big smile from the night before. She gasped and cried, “Scott, hi.”, her voice way too shrill and shaky.

“Had your lunch already?”

“Um, yes, but I could manage a cup of soup or a salad.”

He pulled up a chair and sat down. “I texted you but you didn’t answer.”

“My phone died.”

He grinned. “Lucky thing I picked this restaurant then.”

“This was where you wanted to meet?”

“You betcha. I figured I’d stop by, just in case.”


He reached out and gently touched her arm. “I’m damn glad I did.”


The Spot Writers- our members

 RC Bonitz


 Val Muller


 Catherine A. MacKenzie


Tom Robson







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