Time to Go

Dinner Is Served at the
Second Door to Your Left

There’s an unforgettable scene in Louis Bunuel‘s “The Phantom of Liberty” (1974) when the party guests pull down their undergarments and sit on toilet bowls at what looks like a dinner table, that’s a fine example of the master Spanish filmmaker’s sense of surrealistic humor rarely seen these days at movie theaters anywhere.
Leave it to the Chinese, though, to dilute and emulate the scene in the context of a restaurant chain, no less, that opened first in Taipei exactly 30 years after the movie and it’s now spread out to Hong Kong and the mainland. Although here no one is required to pull down their paints in order to be served, the humor of the whole situation is not amiss.
In the movie, one of the protagonists goes to the bathroom and opens a cabinet, where a dinner plate is ready to be eaten. When someone knocks, he obviously says, as anyone would, “It’s busy.” One wonders whether the Chinese restaurant’s owner Wang Tzi-wei thought, at least for a moment, in having some kind of take on that scene too. Most likely, he hasn’t  even seen the movie.  It doesn’t matter.
This is one of those cases where you need to wash your hands before you go to the toilet. Bon Appetit!

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