Monday, November 21, 2005

What is it with you people and celery?


It took only one bite to tell him everything he needed to know about the sandwich. Someone had put celery in the tunafish. Mother fuckers. He turned instead to the potato chips. They were safe. There was no visible evidence of celery in the chips.

He had long suspected that someone was subversively inserting celery into his food; this was one more instance in many. He noted that thus far someone had found a way to put celery into his egg salad, his potato salad, his soup and his stuffing. Now it was in his tuna fish.

His eyes moved around the restaurant. It was more of a cafe than just an ordinary restaurant. The counter was lined with vinyl and stainless steel stools spaced evenly. Behind the counter was an open "window" looking into the kitchen allowing the Mexican cooks working furiously in the food prep area to pass meals through to the servers. Was it the cooks that had infiltrated his sandwich with celery? He watched them for a few moments. None of them looked his way or even ackowledged his existence. He let that theory go.

The middle aged, heavy-set, bleach blonde waitress came by. She had on way too much makeup; it looked as if she was trying to pull off that teenage, semi-goth look but without the pretty features to pull it all together. On her, it simply looked like shit. "How is everything?" she asked as she picked up his Coke for a refill.

"Everything is fine" he lied. He didn't want to complain. He knew a complaint would result in only further celery infusion - or worse - if worse was possible. He watched her for few moments as she laboriously performed her duties. She bussed tables, set tables, took orders, picked up food at the window and served it. Only very minimal food prep responsibility took place under her watch. It wasn't her.

While eating the chips and mumbling quietly to himself about this latest celery invasion, his analysis led him to the conclusion that it could not have been anyone in this cafe alone responsible for the recent culinary events. After all, the soup had been from a can. No one in this restaurant was responsible for preparing that soup. Accordingly, the conspiracy must go much deeper than Jimmy's American Cafe.

He was convinced that the conspiracy went far beyond the walls of this cafe. What he wasn't sure of was what to do about it. He was rapidly coming to the point where he feared meals. This lunch alone would cause an enormous setback for him. He would not likely venture out for a meal for another month - or more. Additionally, half of the food items resulting in celery detection were purchased at his grocery store. He could no longer trust those people either.

It wasn't the flavor that bothered him. It wasn't really the texture either. It was either a combination of those two things or it was neither; it was the concept. That shit really doesn't have any flavor. It does have a little unsettling crunch about it. But what is the purpose? What is the point of the celery. There had to be some reason that they were putting it into his food. Was it laced? Did it provide them with some way to monitor his movements? Was it some sort of a test?

He didn't know. He did know that he didn't like it or trust it.

Just two weeks ago, he had ordered a buffalo chicken sandwich at a local sports bar. The first bite was safe. The chicken was tender, the sauce left a warmth in his mouth that was thoroughly enjoyable.

The second bite was devastating. There it was. On his chicken sandwich - strips of celery. What the fuck. He had to pull the strips, half chewed out of his mouth. Then he had to tear his sandwich apart to pull off the other remnants. But it was no good. The meal was ruined.

Now this one was ruined too.

He asked for the bill and insisted everything was fine when the waitress asked insistently if everything was ok. He couldn't and wouldn't complain just in case she was part of the conspiracy. He thought it best to just pay the bill and go. He did.

His car was parked on the side of the restaurant. As he left the front door of the cafe, he paid careful attention to the cars passing on the street. Did that car just slow down? Was the driver watching him? It was a relatively non-descript dark blue sedan. The only thing intersting about it was the dark tint on the windows. Why did they need such dark tint on those windows? Is there someone in there trying to avoid his searching eyes and active mind?

Quickly, he walked to his car and got in, checked the mirrors, put on his seat belt, started the car and backed out of his space. He signaled and pulled onto the street passing in front of the restaurant. As he passed in front of the restaurant, he noticed that the waitress was looking out the front window at something. Was it him? What the hell was she doing?

He gunned it a little and headed in the direction of home. The level of anxiety quickly and frantically rising in his chest. His heart was pounding to the point where he could literally feel it thrumming in his ears.

Then he saw the car. The non-descript dark blue sedan. It pulled up next to him at a stop light. Nervously he looked ahead and then at the dark blue car. Then ahead. Then at the car. The light was still red. He couldn't catch his breath. Hyperventalating. C'mon light, c'mon, turn green.

Finally, it did. As soon as the light turned green, the dark blue sedan took a sudden right turn in front of him, cutting him off and pinning him against the curb. He slammed on his brakes and stopped with a quick chirp. Now terrified as thoughts of escape raced through his head but without form or identifiable plan. The doors of the sedan flew open and he was quickly surrounded by men in identical dark uniforms. They approached his car in a rapid swarm and one of the uniformed men pulled open his door.

"What is it with you people and celery?!" he cried out as the uniformed men pulled him from behind the wheel.

11 Comments:

Blogger Omar provided this enlightening comment...

Damn! I recently had a hauntingly familiar experience, but it wasn't celery, it was lemonade. We could be kindred spirits, flamingo. Will the center hold once they finally ketchup, or will we all become Hunter S Thompson-ed?

9:34 PM, November 21, 2005  
Blogger Erin O'Brien provided this enlightening comment...

Damn! Omar about like to freak my shit with all his smarted-up talk.

1:11 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Chester Shunt provided this enlightening comment...

ATM stands for "ass to mouth".

4:48 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Chris provided this enlightening comment...

Bravo!

7:33 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger NowhereGirl provided this enlightening comment...

He he he, the funniset thing I have read ALL day. Brilliant, biatch, brilliant!

7:41 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

You could blame celery on Sadam Hussien and Iraq. It's also used to diguise anthrax....Donald Rumsfeld said, as he read Bush's briefings to him.

(My American bashing will end soon. Not now, but soon... I promise)

9:17 AM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

You beautiful flock!

I'm going to sign out now. I will remain in this office, so I'm still working, but I will say goodnight.

Cheers my feathered friend.

PDD

2:30 PM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger PDD provided this enlightening comment...

now i'm going.

Good night my love.

pdd

(it's 5:05pm in Toronto)

3:05 PM, November 22, 2005  
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