Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for coming to Alan’s Pub for dinner tonight! As you probably know, our restaurant is officially a cell phone-free zone, so if you could just drop them all in this bag here, that would be great. You’ll get them back at the end of the meal.

If you’ll just come with me, I can show you to your table. What’s that? Yes, it is rather dark in here. Pretty much pitch black, actually. That’s on purpose. We used to have lights, but we found that they reminded people way too much of their cell phone screens, so we got rid of them. There have been a few more injuries here since we adopted that policy, but everyone agrees it’s been worth it. Everyone who still works here, at least.

Yeah, we’ve had a fair amount of turnover lately. Mostly people quitting. And then a few employees who accidentally fell down the stairs because of the darkness and died.

Ah, here we are: your table! Take as long as you need to fumble around for your seats. Got it? Almost? Yes, there we go. And now if you’ll just sit back, I will gently but firmly place these gags in your mouth. They might be a little uncomfortable, but trust me: it’s the best way to make sure none of you talk about your cell phones or current events or any type of information you normally get from your phone like that while you’re here. We tried to use the honor system with our customers for a while, but it turned out none of them could be trusted. It’s a lot easier for us to give you that authentic cell phone-free experience this way.

Please, stop struggling. Struggling only makes it harder on all of us.

Now, what would you like to eat? I know you can’t really talk or see anything, which might make it hard to convey what you want, but just do your best, and we should be able to send you something vaguely similar to what you ordered. Or, if you want, we can just send all of you some grilled chicken. Does that sound good? Mumble something if you think it sounds good. Great! I’ll go tell the chef just as soon as I finish tying your hands behind your chairs.

Yeah, this is a new policy as well. When we let people just use their hands however they wanted to, a lot of them would end up writing things about how much they missed their cell phones or about how they were just generally desperate to get out of our restaurant by any means necessary. We weren’t too happy that either of those things were going on, and this seemed like the best way to take care of them.

Look, you’re still free to leave whenever you’d like, OK? You just need to tell us very clearly and succinctly that you want to go and explain why. Can you do that?

Sir, you’re just mumbling a bunch of stuff. So I’m going to assume that you want to stay here. That’s fair, right? Great. I’ll be right back with your order. You might not be able to taste that much of it what with the whole gag and everything, but you’re not really missing anything. The food here is pretty bad given that our chefs can’t see what they’re doing very well.

And once again, you are all very welcome for providing you with an authentic, cell phone-free night. We know how incredibly hard those are to come by these days. So, you know, please make sure to tip accordingly.

Join upcoming November classes in Satire Writing, Sketch Writing, and Stand-Up Joke Writing.