Written by Al Ewing
Artwork by Joe Bennett
Inks by Ruy José, Colors by Paul Mounts
Chef’s Note: This scene is interesting in terms of how the gestures and body language of each character play out as they eat. Doc Samson is quite engaged, and is both eating rapidly and using his food to illustrate his points – pointing and waving around each dipped and dripping french fry.
Betty, on the other hand, is quite the opposite: her salad of no interest at all, fork hand limp, the onions on her fork even limper, her gaze passive and distant, her words listless and disengaged.
And then Bruce shows up. And Bruce is no longer allowed to see Betty, and he knows that.*
So Betty becomes Harpy and Harpy is now quite interested in and involved with her sammich – her hunger suddenly rediscovered. As well as her directness: “Bruce. We’re eating.”
No “hello”, no “how are you”, just a direct notation of fact: you’re interrupting our meal. Talk about setting boundaries: an instantaneous fortress of standard social convention (don’t interrupt my meal) reinforced by an actual gargoyle in the flesh. Betty’s feelings here couldn’t be made clearer.
The arching of Harpy’s pinky while eating her sammich is the coup de grâce. She is showing that she is not bothered or angry at all. Bruce affects her not a whit and she wants him to know that-
the most important thing to know about the pinky in the air is that it has no place in today’s etiquette. Etiquette is about showing courtesy, kindness and respect to others and there is something quite snobbish about holding the pinky out when drinking. It is as though the small gesture is meant to make others feel bad about themselves and there is nothing kind, courteous or respectful about that.
Chef’s Note: What kind of sammich is a bit of a mystery. When we first see it, it seems to be something like egg salad, but when Harpy brings it up to her maw the filling appears to have transformed into a slab of thick pink meat. More metaphor perhaps?
Chef’s Note: In some places, the right to an uninterrupted meal has actually been encoded in law:
Longer breaks provided for meals are not considered work time. Federal law states that employers cannot require employees to work during their meal break. For example, if an employee is interrupted by work assignments or phone calls and cannot take a full break, the employee must be paid for that time. Employees must be allowed to leave their work area, but not necessarily the employer’s premises.
There is an exception for instances when only one employee is on duty. In cases where there is only one employee, the employee does not have to be relieved of duty during a meal break. However, this is only when the employee consents; if the employee requests an uninterrupted meal break, the employer has to provide it.