One could almost see stink lines emanate from the Thin White Duke's creasing brow. He had so generously offered to make dinner for the other personae, had slaved all afternoon in the kitchen, and now here the personae sat, barely nibbling at the main course.
His eyes flashed when they caught sight of Major Celliers chewing on the petals of a rose he had plucked from the centerpiece. "Found something more palatable than my stuffed red peppers, Major?"
"Oh, I wouldn't say more palatable," Celliers replied with his own eyes twinkling and his lips half-smiling. "But you've offered us no traditional scoop of sherbet between courses, and I have to cleanse my palate somehow."
"He has a point," said fellow military man Lieutenant Paul Von Przygodsky. "There is a certain sameness to your cooking. I mean, a salad of red peppers drizzled with red pepper vinaigrette followed by roasted red pepper soup followed by stuffed red peppers, with candied red peppers for dessert? And the stuffed red peppers are stuffed with more red peppers! It's ridiculous!"
"I told you I was cooking the foods I eat," the Duke replied. "This diet of mine has served me well for years now
"Red peppers and skim milk," whispered Thomas Jerome Newton (who was already developing heartburn and unwrapping a roll of antacids) to Julian Priest. "Now we know what makes the Duke so thin
"And here I thought it was just a side effect of the cocaine," Julian replied. "Well, his diet might be
Sir Roland Moorecock was bolder with his commentary. "I've seen more variety and imagination at a Steven Seagal film festival! With cooking like this you ought to be the Thin White Dishwasher instead!"
The resulting argument between Sir Roland and the Duke was enough of a distraction for the other personae to slip out and order a delivery of Chinese food instead.