Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fiction: Food Safety

I miss posting fiction. The theory was to stop posting and maybe I'd eventually write something that I could, y'know, submit somewhere, because you can't submit it after you've blogged it. But then I stopped writing fiction much at all. So, here we are. This one is from July, but I don't think I ever posted it.

The teacher told the second grade, "For tomorrow's art project, bring the shells from two hard-boiled eggs."

"Large or extra-large?" asked Josh.

"It doesn't matter."

"But it has to matter. Extra-large eggs are twenty percent bigger. That's more eggshell."

The teacher studied Josh, then sighed. "If you have extra-large eggs, bring two. If you have large, bring three. Then there will be extra."

"Okay." Josh nodded, content.

Josh's mother boiled three eggs before dinner and taught Josh to peel them, but the pieces came out too small. She boiled more after dinner, but the pieces came out with egg on them. She boiled more right before Johnny Carson, and made him promise to take them to school whole.

"Miss Othmar will show you how she wants them peeled."

"But peeling them is homework! You do homework at home!"

Josh's mother studied Josh, then sighed. "You can bring the eggshells in, too, to show your work."

"Okay." Josh nodded, content.

The next morning, Josh was horrified to learn that his father had thrown the eggshells into the compost heap.

"They're filthy! I can't bring those in!"

"I'm sorry, Josh. That's what I always do with eggshells. I didn't know."

Josh packed up the whole eggs and took them to class, where he told the teacher, "I wasn't too lazy to peel them. I peeled some others, but my father threw them away."

"It's all right, Josh," assured the teacher. "These are very nice."

"I've got three."


"They're extra-large, but I wasn't sure about the twenty percent."


"So I brought three."


"Is that enough?"

"It's plenty. You have extra. Don't worry."

Halfway through making the eggshell picture, Melinda Conner edged over to Josh. "Teacher says you have extra. Can I have some?"

Josh frowned at her. "Why didn't you bring your own?"

"My brother ate my eggs and put the shells in the trash. I would have gotten them back, but they touched the chicken package."

Josh's eyes widened, and they both said it at once. Like an a cappella choir. "Salmonella."

They blinked at each other, and both of them smiled.

Fourteen years later, they were married. With two prenuptial agreements, and a spray bottle of diluted bleach in the kitchen. They were very happy.

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