I don’t know about this one…

                (NOTE: the following is a short piece written during a writer’s workshop that I have been attending. The project was to write a piece about going to lunch with somebody. The class was given five minutes to produce as much story as possible. What follows is unedited (well, LIGHTLY edited). You have been forewarned).

                Fred is a voracious eater. He is known to empty entire buffets tables at one sitting. In fact, he has been forevermore banned from every buffet restaurant in Potter County, Texas and increasingly more next door in Randall County.

                Fred had invited me to lunch at one of the last places that would take his business. I made sure I got there before him so that I would be able to eat before they threw him and me out.

                As it happened, he arrived just seconds after me. The manager took one look at him and pronounced his store closed. He had heard of Fred’s ability to devour a buffet table like a heard of locusts over the fields of the Texas Panhandle. I managed to talk him into letting us stay only by my personal guarantee that I would keep Fred’s perpetual hunger in check. No such luck.

                The first round produced an empty meat stand as Fred’s overlarge personage laid waste to heaps of chicken, beef, fish, and every scrap of pork in the place. The manager grew angry and stared at me. I winked and assured him I had everything under control.  

                Before I could get back to slow Fred’s culinary destruction, he had polished off all of the meat on his highly stacked plate and was now waddling towards the dessert table. I knew I had to stop him now or there would be the devil to pay. “Fred”, I inquired, “Aren’t you worried about all this food you’re eating?” “I’m hungry,” Fred replied hollowly. He was “in a zone” and there would be no stopping him. The dessert table never had a chance.

                We were thrown out with great hostility. Fred looked around and decided that he wanted to join the Army. “The Army!” I exclaimed. “Why in the world would you want to join the Army?!”

                Fred looked me dead in the eye and said, “I saw one of thier commercials that said I could take all the food I want but I had to eat all the food I take.” I feel sorry for the Army.


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