MAY 2008


In the Restaurant
By Bradley Sands, Apr 13, 2008

The waiter brings you the most delicious lasagna known to man. Baked with all your favorite foods. Served on a supernatural plate. Pulsating with energy rendering this eclectic clash mouthwatering rather than stomach-churning.

You transport a forkful to the bottom of your nose. The aroma makes your nostril hairs tingle. You take a whiff. It reminds you of picnicking with your sweetheart on a summer day. You prepare yourself for the first nibble.

An entrée from another table catches your eye. It is an octopi smothered in mayonnaise. A glob of drool skids down your chin. You drop your fork, startled by the affection that you feel for this unpalatable meal.

You stare down at the lasagna with regret. You contemplate signaling for the waiter. Instead, you choose to avoid confrontation.

A baby wails. You look over at the bane of the restaurant and film industries. It is lying inside a cradle. The cradle has been placed on top of a table between a young couple. You wonder if the restaurant is out of high chairs. Are they going to eat the baby?

You scan through the restaurant’s menu. “Baby” is listed under entrées. $26.99.

The lasagna makes a noise. It sounds like it’s passing gas. You shout, “I’ll have the baby if you don’t...” then squeeze your throat violently. No one reacts to your outburst.

A toad gasps for air. It is dying from lung cancer. You turn to give it your sympathy.

The false toad has deceived you. It is not a toad, but a shish kebab of human hearts. The hearts are working in tandem to gasp like a lung cancer patient. A man points the skewer towards his mouth. You envy him.

The aroma of the lasagna makes you nauseous. The supernatural plate is now powerless. Its warranty has expired.

You hurl the meal across the room. Pasta and all your favorite foods rain down upon the customers.

They react to your outburst with outbursts of their own.

You make a scary face and charge.

And after you’re finished, not one iota of flesh is left on a bone.

Bradley Sands wrote a novel called It Came from Below the Belt. He edits a literary journal called Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. You can visit him at his website.