Justin: Hey guys. I just came from the post office and you’ll never guess what happened.

Jeremy: You got a letter?

Justin: I got a letter. This is what it says:

Dear Jeremy, Justin, and Nat,

Hey guys, how was your weekend? I went to a theme restaurant. Bye!

— Liz Meriwether

Jeremy: A letter from Ms. Meriwether about theme restaurants? Isn’t that interesting? That’s what we’ve been talking about all week. Theme restaurants have a rich and thick history. The first theme restaurant arrived in America with pirate immigrants in the late 19th century — in a gunnysack. Captain Bill Oakley opened his new restaurant, Fish ‘n’ Ships, to rave reviews from a less than enamored crowd. Upon entrance all parties were shackled to each other and informed that food was scarce. The limited menu offered only two entrees: Cannonball Souffle and Scurvy. The Little John Silver Kids’ Menu was a bit more accommodating. In the festive spirit of piracy, the wait staff and the galley cooks would stage a mutiny during each seating. A bloody coup would follow often resulting in a surprisingly stiff casualty rate. Patrons left hungry, battered and widowed, but entertained. By the late 1940s, Captain Bill had, by all accounts, plundered all he could from the treasure chests of his patrons and, with Fish ‘n’ Ships merely a fleeting image in his mind’s eye, he walked the plank of thwarted dreams.

Justin: For many years it appeared that the once-booming theme restaurant industry would never rebound from such a loss. But it did. And did it? It did. Well, it enjoyed a brief resurgence in the 1950s thanks to a dance craze, but it reached its real heyday when hunger became fashionable again. Nowadays, theme restaurants add a touch of antebellum fun to every street corner. Instead of “Make Out Point” and “Lover’s Cove,” hordes of disaffected youth flock to theme restaurants in droves.

Nat: I’m a disaffected youth. I wish I could have my own theme restaurant.

Jeremy: So Justin, if you could have a theme restaurant, what would you have?

Justin: My restaurant will be movie-themed. But not all movies, like Planet Hollywood. Just one. Saved By the Bell. I know what you’re gonna say: that’s not a movie, but hear me out. It’ll have that time when Jessie overdosed on caffeine pills, or when Kelly couldn’t afford to go to the prom, or when voluptuous Lisa kissed Zack and wouldn’t tell a soul. But I promise you this: no Mr. Carosi. He’s the guy who ran the beach club. None of him. Except that time when he gave Zack a new car for winning the volleyball contest against the rival team of twin brothers from Sands Beach Club. And while I may not be able to afford performances by the Zack Attack on a daily basis, I feel confident that I will be able to procure entertainment by Lark Voorhies, most likely in the form of spoken word. And I promise you this: Bayside High’s resident fat kid and student council treasurer Alan won’t be licking the icing off my sheet cakes.

Jeremy: I don’t like most things, so I must admit that this decisionmaking process has been a trying time in my life. But I did decide on a theme. My restaurant will be pizza themed. Hey Justin, come to my restaurant.

Justin: Now? Okay. Hey Jeremy, can I get a Coke?

Jeremy: You can get a pizza.

Jeremy & Justin: LAME!

Justin: I will never eat in your restaurant.

Nat: I thought it had a nice atmosphere.

Justin: Any good theme restaurant will pass the NEE test. NEE stands for Nourishment, Entertainment, and Education. The NEE certification board meets tri-monthly for its bowling league and bi-monthly to decide which theme restaurants pass its test. It’s a rigorous, grueling ordeal, but once a restaurant has the NEE seal of approval on its wall, it’s doing great.

Nat: I’m a disaffected youth. I wish I could have my own theme restaurant.

Justin & Jeremy: LAME!

Nat (sulking): I’m sulking.

Jeremy: All right Nat, go ahead.

Nat: I’ve been to a lot of theme restaurants, but they all failed in one respect or another. And that’s because there’s only one theme that would come close to approaching the true essence of the NEE. Picture this: Winter, 1943. It’s cold. Armed guards patrol every avenue. Cold, hunger, and evil are everywhere. It’s bad. It’s so bad.

Jeremy: Nat, that’s not a restaurant. That’s Nazi-controlled Germany.

Nat: Yes, but with entrees. There’ll be beans, beer and borscht, all topped off with our signature Blintz-krieg dessert. It’s just Reich!

Justin: Don’t insult our veterans. Some of them went into your restaurant and never came back.

Jeremy: But it does pass the NEE test.

Justin: So what have we learned today, Ms. Meriwether? Theme restaurants, while an enjoyable departure from the humdrum of everyday fare, are theoretically impossible. So sleep well, O Captain, my Captain, Bill Oakley, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Nathaniel Drake, Justin Noble and Jeremy Robbins are going to write again. Submit a letter to scene@yaledailynews.com. Bye!