Wrote a little story. Criticism welcome. Compliments in the form of U.S. currency only, please.
It's called "Horror Lunch".
I went out to lunch the other day with my friend Hank the Cannibal. We call him that because he eats people.
I met Hank the Cannibal back in elementary school. His desk was next to mine in Mrs. MurphyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fourth grade classroom, and when I saw he had a Boglins bookbag, I told him I also liked Boglins, and we were friends ever since. In the middle school we went to, everyone goes to Camp Hoshina for one week during the school year, and we ended up going the same week. In fact, we were in the same cabin. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have much fun at Camp Hoshina. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t used to sitting on a public toilet, but nobody can go a whole week without going, and believe me, I tried. I thought the food there was really great, which was part of my problem. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know it at the time, but Hank the Cannibal had an even worse time at Camp Hoshina than I did. Back then, he was just called Hank, even though he was already eating people, because we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know he and his family were cannibals. I just thought he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like the food, which I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand, because I thought it was really great. But it turned out he was really, really hungry all week long. We still had a some good times that week, though.
Hank the Cannibal went to a different high school than I did, but we both have jobs at the mall, so now I see him almost every day. I work at Robbos Books, down at the end of the mall near the Sears, and he works at The Dream Machine, the arcade down at the other end by the food court, but I still see him a lot. Hank the Cannibal is a pretty easy going guy. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never know he was a cannibal to look at him.
The other day, Hank the Cannibal and I decided to go out to lunch, since we both had our lunch breaks at quarter past twelve. We went to the Subway, because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right there, and we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel like driving. I ordered the deli cold cut sub, with bacon and double meat, cheese, and mayo. I also got the jumbo Pepsi and three of those really good macadamia nut cookies they have. Hank the Cannibal got a veggie sub on whole wheat, with a bottle of water. Hank the Cannibal is a very good looking guy, almost six feet tall, and keeps himself in good shape. You would think being a cannibal would be an unhealthy lifestyle, but Hank the Cannibal is just about the healthiest person I know. Me, I like to eat, and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t much like to exercise. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m only five feet three inches tall, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m almost two hundred and ninety pounds. But I like to eat.
We sat down with our sandwiches, and, as usual, Hank the Cannibal looked at my sub with an unholy blend of disgust and disapproval. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will never understand how you can fill your body with that poison,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, almost with sadness. Now when it comes to Hank the Cannibal and his eating people, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m usually not judgmental. Live and let live, I say. Who am I to judge what other people like? I like interracial midget porn, and Hank the Cannibal likes to eat people. WhoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s to say that one is any better than the other? But that day I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in the mood for Hank the CannibalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s healthier-than-thou routine. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh, look whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s talking,Ã¢â‚¬Â I retorted. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This from the guy who ate Megan MacDonald.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Look, Terry,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Megan was a really sweet girl. She had a very tender heart.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“She was so UGLY!Ã¢â‚¬Â I snickered. Ã¢â‚¬Å“She had pimples all over her face, and she was cross-eyed!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Come on, Terry,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, getting that disappointed parent look on his face I knew so well. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You of all people should know you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t judge a book by its cover. You work at a bookstore, for heavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sake! When it comes to people, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the inside that counts.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Listen here, Hank the Cannibal,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said, adopting a firm tone of voice. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like vegetables. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just the way it is. I know youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all into being healthy, but come on! You eat people! How can you sit there with a veggie sub judging me when you know youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re having Evelyn Johnston for dinner?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Evelyn takes good care of herself, Terry. She uses coconut body lotion, and has a cucumber facial once a month. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve hardly needed any marinade at all. Now, on the other hand, just look at that,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, pulling back the white roll from the uneaten half of my sub. A rasher of bacon, stuck in a thick glob of mayonnaise, slowly rolled down off the bun and fell with a plop on the pile of salami, ham, roast beef, and turkey beneath. Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got at least four animals that had to die to make up your lunch, and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any idea where any of them came from, or how they were treated before they were sliced up. Not to mention the amount of salt that they have to heap onto all that processed meat to keep it from rotting.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Look Hank the Cannibal, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not arguing with you. I know it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t very healthy. But it tastes good, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hungry. Besides, eating people canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be very healthy either.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“On the contrary, Terry,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Hank the Cannibal, his eyes lighting up. Hank the CannibalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eyes always light up when he talks about eating people. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very healthy. You can find out all sorts of things from a person before you eat them that you could never find out from a cow or a pig or a chicken. Remember Kathy Parker? I never knew it, but I found out she was a Mormon, which means she never drank caffeine or alcohol, which meant her liver was really terrific! And Amy Bigalowe told me she was a runner, which meant that her legs werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t good for anything other than slow cooked stew.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another thing,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why is it you only eat women? I think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re sexist, is what it is!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hank the Cannibal put down his bottle of water, and pulled a hurt face. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I find that offensive, Terry. Truly offensive. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve eaten plenty of men. Why, I can still remember when we had a cookout for my sixth birthday, and my Mom and Dad cooked up our neighbor Mr. Halverstram! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sexist at all. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just that, on the whole, I tend to find women more appetizing. They usually take much better care of themselves than men do. Besides, if you were a cannibal, would you really want to eat a dude?Ã¢â‚¬Â
I thought about that one long and hard, not so much because I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t decide if IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d want to eat a dude. I knew I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. It was just hard for me to imagine being a cannibal at all. As I thought about it, I polished off the last of my sub, and started in on the macadamia nut cookies. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, I guess I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. Still, I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see how you sleep at night.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“With a very full belly, Terry!Ã¢â‚¬Â Hank the Cannibal said with a laugh, Ã¢â‚¬Å“a very full belly!Ã¢â‚¬Â
I chuckled and shook my head, then finished my Pepsi in three big swallows. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, I guess IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d better get back,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost one.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yep, me too,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Hank the Cannibal, wrapping up the uneaten half of his veggie sub. For a cannibal, Hank the Cannibal sure does eat like a bird.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Enjoy the rest of your day!Ã¢â‚¬Â I told him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You too,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
But I knew I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. The sub, three cookies, and jumbo Pepsi were on the fast track through my digestive system, and I knew I still had four hours of my shift to go.