Saturday, April 24, 2010

Body Langauge Blogfest

OK - Melanie got me into this - sorry I'm a tad late on it but malicious microbes were visiting.  Anyway I stole this from Melanie's blog  to explain a what this is about:

 Harley D. Palmer over at Labotomy of a Writer (click on this to see the other entries) was talking with Ashelynn and came up with the idea for a blogfest for a scene where there is conversation, but without any dialog at all...whatsoever. Just body language.

So - here's my stab at it.  GULP - my first attempt please be kind.

Muto was THE up and coming new age spa resort.  There were three Muto spas already one in Taos, one in Beverly Hills, and a third in Jackson Hole. The latest one was going to be opening in the Columbia River Gorge to much fanfare and as part of the celebration local chefs were invited to create a signature dish.  If the head chef liked it, it would be added to the gala celebration dinner menu. And here she was - Kate Cameron – culinary school drop out about to try her best to have her quinoa salad become part of that menu. 

            Kate followed the directions she’d been e-mailed and parked and headed towards the kitchen.  One thing puzzled her, no sound.  Well no human sound that is.  She could hear birds chirping and cars passing by on I-84 but no voices.  She attributed it to the fact that Muto hadn’t opened yet and probably had just a skeletal staff at the moment.

            She walked in; the place was swank that’s for sure.  Her eyes caressed the marble floors, the mahogany paneled walls, the teak furniture that looked sleek and elegant and no doubt had been imported from Denmark just as the crystal chandeliers had been imported from Germany. 

She caught sight of two women dressed in what appeared to be Muto staff uniforms.  Kate approached them smiling, they smiled back but when Kate opened her mouth to speak their smiles vanished in an instant, their eyes flew wide, their hands flew to their mouths and they rapidly rushed past her, one of them casting a nervous glance back.  Odd that, she thought, but with a shrug she headed off in the direction of the kitchens.

            There was only the sound of her footsteps clicking against the marble floors, echoing in the stillness of the vast area that was Muto.  She found the kitchen, opened the door and peeked in.  There, standing by the prep table was a very tall, very thin, very stern looking woman dressed in chef whites.  She glanced at Kate then cast her glance down to her watch then back at Kate.  Feeling her face starting to burn with embarrassment, Kate smiled sheepishly and entered the kitchen.  She was about to apologize when she saw the sign.  No Talking.  It said in large type.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  No talking?  NO TALKING?  Really?  Then she’d remembered what Irene, her friend, had told her.  Muto was the latest thing in spas.  They tried to create a monastic feeling where guests become in tune with their other senses and contemplate their inner self all in TOTAL SILENCE.

            The head chef crossed her arms in front of her chest and peered down her long nose at Kate.  Kate smiled half-heartedly.  The woman stepped back her gaze falling on the prep table.  Kate glanced around nervously, nonplussed at the utter silence.  Then she saw the ingredients for the salad in a small cluster at the end of the table.  She straightened her shoulders, tugged on the hem of her chef’s jacket, looked the head chef in the eyes and nodded.  The woman made a sweeping gesture with her hand towards the table.  Kate nodded curtly and strode over and began to prep. 

The salad was simple, quinoa, roasted peppers, black beans, raisins, slivered almonds, in a light tahini dressing.  Simple.  She unrolled her knife bag and took out her favorite santoku.  The head chef glanced down at the knife then back at Kate.  Kate set the knife down slowly and placed both hands on her hips looked at the woman and arched an eyebrow.  The head chef smiled raised her hands and took a few steps back. 

            It took a little less then an hour for her to assemble the salad and plate it.  She’d topped the salad with some toasted almonds.  Muto’s head chef turned the plate examining Kate’s creation.  She glanced at the almonds and frowned.  She took a fork and started to remove them from the top of the salad.  Kate glared at her and pulled the salad plate away.  The chef blinked at Kate, her brow furrowed then she smiled, put down the fork and nodded.   Kate pushed the plate back over to her.  The chef picked the fork up and glanced at Kate.  Kate grinned a Cheshire grin and bowed low rolling her hand out in front of her chest with her left foot forward.  The chef took a bite of her salad and a genuine smile lit up her face, her eyes twinkled and her nose scrunched up. She placed the fork down, wiped her mouth with a napkin, turned and bowed to Kate.


  1. hahaha! LOVE how you got around the talking thing!!! also, love the conversation. :o)
    bravo! *applauds*


  2. Very clear conversation. The hands on the hips, the yanking the plate away, the bow. Very good. Excellent first blogfest. :)

  3. Marvelous job at no dialogue. Intriguing take on the concept. Careful, you might spark a new trend at the spa!


  4. This is your first blogfest? You handled it like a pro. The silent dialogue was quite clever. It is clear you put quite some thought and obvious talent to the challenge. Bravo. {The sound of cyber-hands applauding.} Roland

  5. Great post! I love that you even made it a rule that there was no talking at the Muto spa! Awesome!

  6. LOVE IT! You are amazing and so talented!

  7. As usual, your command of the written word is wonderful and makes for an enjoyable read. What I liked about the situation with Kate is that most of us in Kate's situation would probably use the same gestures and body language even with speaking. You've tapped into the human nature of interaction very well by placing a emphasis of NO TALKING. Well done, say. Well done!!

  8. Hmm, too bad you're not closer to Seattle, you could join our writer's group.

    Without the dialog, my eyes kinda glaze over at the thought of eyes rubbing across floors, and after a while I kinda wished she would scream and knife the woman. I watch a lot of Gordon Ramsey so I'm used to seeing yelling and screaming in this setting. ;) This seemed kind of artificial to me, and I was surprised she didn't flip.
    I want to see the head chef take a whiteboard and write, "You donkey! Get out!"
    Other than all that I liked it.

  9. Very amusing! Agreed with everyone - this was a very well-done conversation without conversation.