It’s girls night out at All-Talk-But-No-Pay-Equity Incorporated and the cubicle walls are starting to shake.

Luckily for Sarah, Thursdays are two dollar salmon tartar night at the new Skinny Mermaid fish house down the street. Since she is still waiting on that raise (Perhaps Sarah needs a quick lesson on waiting? Tell her to click What Are You Not Waiting For), she packs in her omega-3’s in a weekly feeding frenzy. The prospect of dine, wine, and a good time has her and her indentured female co-workers banging on their keyboards like teenage tweeters at a Justin Bieber overnight vigil.

The office manager slants his eyes towards the northeast corner of the maze and squints. The remodeling he commissioned from the local women’s penitentiary architect was still in lock-down. He relaxes.

Three months ago, there was a total collapse. The mostly female HR department shook the snaps off the modular furniture with waves of resonant tapping as they hurried to send off that last status report before their Thursday evening ritual. The northeast corner of the workstation matrix flattened and the collective hunger monster rushed the exit, ripping through each bewildered male occupied cell in her path.

When heels decide to hit the pavement… stay clear.

The women arrive at the Skinny Mermaid.

Always diligent with her choice of sustainable fish, Sarah raves about the restaurant to Amanda, the new woman in the group. “All their salmon comes from closed containment farming facilities. So there is no chance of disease or contaminants spreading to wild fish in the surrounding water.”

Amanda nods in approval as she tries to hypnotize the handful of articulated fish in the lobby aquarium into following her eyeballs.

The place is packed like salmon feed. Speedo wearing young waiters slip through the patronettes to the latest surfer vibes serving Skinny Mermaid Salmon (SMS) tapas with tequila chasers.

Sarah intercepts Amanda’s questioning facial contortion. “Who would have thought? it’s totally mouth-watering! And if you can do 10, you get to wear the mermaid tail and nab a surfer boy for the night.” Sarah leads an amused Amanda and their colleagues to a reserved booth under a thatched palm gazebo.

The first round of slug-and-chugs arrive and the girls cheer: “Salud!”

Amanda frowns. “It tastes like salmon but the texture is a bit strange.” She slings back the tequila shot. “Hey. Not bad. Why are they so cheap? Isn’t there a shortage right now?”

Sarah signals the waiter for a second round. “Skinny Mermaid has their own fish farms so that they can keep the stocks healthy and full. Here. The menu explains it all.”

Amanda flips to the back of the menu and reads: “All Skinny Mermaid Salmon™ are transported live from our dedicated closed containment farm to each Skinny Mermaid location and served within 10 minutes of processing.” She turns to Sarah about to snack her second helping and says: “Processing?”

Sarah pauses with the tapa hovering near her mouth and teases: “Would you rather it says ‘beheading?’ Or ‘being sent to the marine guillotine?’ It wouldn’t be good for business.”

Just at that moment, their waiter slices through the crowd and torpedoes towards Sarah’s SMS as she sits there laughing at Amanda’s expression of disgust and holding the morsel between her thumb and middle finger.

But Amanda beats him to it. She doesn’t wait until it’s too late. She grabs Sarah’s wrist just in time to…

…to be continued in Skinny Mermaid Salmon Continued