Are You Gonna Eat That? (Short story)

 “Are you gonna eat that?” she asks. 

 I look down at my plate. “Nah, too much gristle,” I reply, pushing it away from me.

 She rolls her eyes. “I’ll take it then, Mr. Picky-Eater. No sense letting it go to waste.”

 My wife, the garbage disposal. I shake my head. “Hell woman, you’ll eat anything.”

 She grins. “You know it. To hell with starving third world countries, I’ll eat it myself.” Taking a bite, she licks her lips happily. “Damn, this is good. What’s wrong with you?”

 “I don’t like Chinese food too much.”

 “And you don’t like Mexican, either. I’m surprised you don’t starve to death.”

 “Yeah, that will be the day,” I reply. I reach across the table for a plate that’s laden with all meat patties. “I just prefer good old American cuisine.” I bite into one of the patties. It’s a little raw but still delicious.

 She sighs. “Well at least you don’t cook all the flavor out of them.”

 We eat in silence for a few minutes. The only sound is the noise of us chewing our food. Finally she breaks the silence.

 “I saw Patricia at the store the other day.”

 “How’s she doing?”

 “She looked a little pale to me, but she’s gaining weight she says. Her doctor told her she was getting fat. She said she got so mad she could have bitten his head off.”

 I laughed out loud. “Knowing her, she probably did.”

 She laughs with me. “Yeah, she’s got a big mouth on her, we’ve known that.”

 “Open mouth, insert foot. Anyone’s foot.”

 This sets my wife to laughing so hard that she has to wait before putting more food in her mouth.

 “So, how are she and Bill doing?” I ask.

 “She said Bill’s been sick. Food poisoning or some such.”

 “Oh, that sucks.”

 “Yeah.” She takes another bite of her food, talking all the while. “I invited them over for dinner sometime. She said they might do that. I told them we have plenty to eat because you eat like a bird.”

 “Yeah, I love birds,” I tease.

 She tries to laugh but ends up choking on her food a little.

 “Slow it down,” I tell her.

 “Can’t help it,” she replies, after clearing her throat. She reaches across the table for another leg and thigh.

 “I’ll leave you the breast,” she says with a wink.

 “Well, that’s mighty thoughtful of you.” I pick up the breast and take a big bite. “Mmm..mm, there’s nothing better tasting than this right here. You can have the leg all you want, it’s nothing compared to the white meat.”

 My wife just smiles and continues eating. She’s chewing every bit of meat off that leg.

“So honey, what are we going to do with the head?” I ask.

She sets the leg bone down and picks up the thigh, casually wiping the blood off her chin. On the table, a woman’s lifeless face, frozen in a silent scream, stares back at us like a zombie’s TV dinner.

 

 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

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