“Who?” he responded.
“Murphy,” I answered. “It says Murphy’s Famous Clam Chowder on the menu. I just wondered who Murphy is.”
“I have no idea,” he answered, “but I’ll try to find out. Are you ready to order?”
I gave the waiter our order, including the corned beef sandwich and Murphy’s Famous Clam Chowder for me and clam chowder and a nova platter for my wife.
A few minutes later the manager, who we’d gotten to know from previous times at the restaurant, came over to greet us and tell us that he had no idea who Murphy is. I told him that I was very upset about not knowing who Murphy is and he promised to try to find out for us.
Shortly after he left the waiter came back with two cups of Murphy’s Famous Clam Chowder and the information that he’d asked everyone in the entire restaurant who Murphy is, but that nobody knew.
“I’ll keep asking,” he told us.
The clam chowder absolutely lived up to the reputation for being famous because it was wonderful and that only made me more anxious to know who Murphy is.
As we continued with our meal the manager returned and we chatted about a variety of things, but all he could tell us about the clam chowder was that they only had it in March for St. Patrick’s Day and that he didn’t understand that any more than we did.
On our next couple of visits to the restaurant the question about who Murphy is was the first topic of conversation and usually became a part of the greeting when we arrived. It seemed that now that the query was set in motion it had become pervasive and was being passed around the wait-staff and management, but no one was able to find out the answer.
As March continued we had a cup of Murphy’s Famous Clam Chowder each time we ate there, but once March was over so was the existence of this wonderful soup on the menu.
We still continued eating there, but meals were never the same without the prelude of clam chowder, even as we switched to the tomato soup which, while wonderful, could never match the perfection of Murphy’s Famous Clam Chowder.