Something in Your Food - 7/21

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Re: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby fordsparamours » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:13 pm

During a break in all the personal training action Thunder leads me across the street to ‘his place’. One wouldn’t think such a sculpted piece of man meat would go nuts for carbs, but Thunder does. He says it’s one of the reasons why he works out so much: Thunder is an Italian food junkie. His favorite sauces are puttanesca, rose, and pesto. I tell him I might know what pesto is, which makes Thunder laugh. He orders a plate of spaghetti with pesto, tells me it’s the best, and scoots it aside when I turn green. As it turns out I know what pesto is. Not a fan of pesto.

The owner of the restaurant, Taddeo, brings me a bottle of bubbly water to settle my stomach. Every time he moves a fragrant parfume of meatballs and Italian herbs float my way. Taddeo, talks with his hands. The water is the expensive, imported kind bottled in artistically uneven glass. Taddeo promises not to put it on Thunder’s tab.

I take a sip and watch Thunder’s face go completely expressionless. We were talking about gym music before hand. Michael Jackson is big with the boys at the weights. Those doing circuit training like Lady Gaga. Grumble George, the sourpuss gym overseer, prefers Michael Bolton. Thunder lets George put on a single Michael Bolton song once per day. George chooses the obscure ones. I try to pick up the conversation where we left off, “Aren’t all Michael Bolton songs obscure?” Thunder isn’t responding.

He’s sweating. When I set the bottle of bubbly water down his eyes follow it. “Don’t get me wrong, “ he starts. “I like you. I do. We’ve been friends for a long time now. I can talk to you about anything, including that hair I can never reach. But . . .”

I look down at the bubbly water. In the bottom, sparkling like a megawatt smile, is a diamond ring. “Huh. You didn’t plan this?”

“Taddeo! Please, you’re embarrassing me!” Thunder holds up the bottle of bubbly water, shakes it.

“Ahno!” Taddeo runs over, his apron flapping at his knees. He has red sauce all over his hands. “It is ordered special. A man brought this in today, for his pretty bride. I make the dinner. Now I must call and say I cannot do this for him. I have ruined the bottle. It was a perfect bottle. It is ruined now!” Taddeo’s words slur into an accent the more upset he becomes. He pulls at his hair, the red sauce smearing across his forehead and over an ear. “Not that you are not pretty. Is she not pretty, Thunder? She is so pretty. Maybe, soon, you give her a ring?” By the end of his small speech I struggle to translate.

Since Thunder is looking more than embarrassed, his wide brown eyes not meeting mine, I jump in. “Thunder and I are good friends, but not lovers. I’m helping him find his paramour.”

It is the wrong thing to say.

I don’t know if Thunder knows Italian. Each complaint, growl, lecture was met by Thunder bobbing his head. Even with Thaddeo grumbling at Thunder the language sounded Romantic. Thunder’s shoulders rise up around his ears as the seconds pass. He’s beginning to look like a bodybuilder who has gone lost his neck somewhere.

I take pity on Thunder. “I wish, Mister Taddeo, I could find Thunder a nice Italian girl. He loves Italian food so much.” I ignore Thunder’s warning look. “He says yours is the best. It’s why we came here today. Thunder told me he doesn’t eat anybody else’s Italian food.”

“Bah!” Taddeo slaps the table top with his hand. It is just for show, though, because when he turns away with the bottle of bubbly water Thaddeo’s cheeks are pink. “I will bring you my special. No pesto!” Taddeo returns with cheesy shells liberally sprinkled with onions and roasted garlic. I paste on a smile.

Thunder waits until Thaddeo returns to the kitchen. “What’s wrong now?”

“I’m allergic to garlic.”

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Re: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby Anis » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:14 pm

I look down at my meal and see an eye, staring at me. The waiter comes rushing down and apologizes. That should've never gotten on your plate madam. I blink. The eye blinks back. All of a sudden everyone at the restaurant dissappears, nothing else remaining except that piercing eye gazing at me. Blinks again and the waiter comes back into sight. We will replace your dish, of course. This is the remainings of a pig we used to make a feijoada.
Blink. Nothing but night. Am I incapable of seeing or everything has turned into darkness? Am I dreaming? No sound can be heard as well, no scents. Blink. Please, miss let me take your plate, again we apologise for the inconvenience.
I look at it, white, red, blue. A pale blue eye staring at me. Sad. Lost. Abandomned. Left over of a meal that requeires nothing else but left overs. Stares at me, but doesn't see me. Blink. Please let me take tthis away from yo,u miss. And, finally, it goes away.
I look at my new food. No eye.

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RE: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby Scott B. » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:41 pm

“Please, I can explain!” the portly bistro owner, Tyler, stifled his frustration into a stiff whisper. His head spun nervously, first right to left, then right again, glancing at the hostess and finally back to me. He was embarrassed to say the least and why shouldn’t he be? It’s not every day that a restaurateur has to explain to the Northwest’s premier food critic how a single blonde hair ends up beneath a serving of three-cheese ravioli.

He was flushed now. “Mr. Delaney…” and then he just trailed off. Tyler had no idea where he was going with any of this and just started wringing his hands again and again, mumbling my name. I stopped him, patting his head with my words as it were, and ever so articulately assuaged the awkwardness of the situation. Was this the best Il Piatto Freddo was capable of? No wonder I was the only customer.

“Tyler. May I call you Tyler?” I did not wait for a reply. “I want you to know that my reviews have closed many doors in this business. I may be dissuaded from forwarding my review to the local health department if you can manage to present me with an entrée free of human debris. Shall we try again Tyler?”

I waited.

He said nothing.

He just stood there wringing his hands. All this frustration made me unbearably warm and I loosened my collar. Another fifteen minutes passed before my replacement meal arrived and by this time I had removed my jacket and was feeling rather cotton mouthed. Tyler shuffled over, eyes down and lay before me something that could have easily come from the pages of Saveur. Tyler may very well redeem himself tonight.

“Mr. Delaney I have prepared the sturgeon and wild mushroom ragout over fresh greens. It’s the house specialty.” Sweat rolled down his forehead, forcing an unnatural-looking double blink as it trickled into his left eye. For a moment I could not move my gaze from him, as if everything around me had slowed.

I shook my head and reached for the water goblet. Wine tended to go to my head, but I was still looking at my first glass of pinot noir. Nonetheless I dove in to what would quickly become the best meal I had tried in a very long time. I sat my fork down and waved him over to the table. I motioned him to sit.

He waited.

I said nothing.

“Tyler, this was an absolute masterpiece,” went through my brain, but all that came out was unintelligible gibberish. What was wrong with my mouth? Suddenly I felt like I was on pins and needles and my tongue felt as if it weighed a hundred pounds. I fought for control of my own mouth, blathering on, and began to panic.

Tyler looked at me as I gulped at my water, trying to calm a sudden stomach cramp. I stood, knocking my chair backward in an attempt to reach the restroom, but as I took my first step toward the doors I collapsed onto my hands and knees.

“It’s more than a case of indigestion Mr. Delaney,” the hostess smirked, “you’ve been poisoned.” She was moving slowly toward me. I reached out to her in desperation, but she side-stepped my outstretched arm and rolled me onto my back with the pointed toe of her shoe.

She peered over me. “My sister was Heather Manchester. You reviewed her restaurant Singular last March. Do you remember that Mr. Delaney?”

I nodded my head feverishly. The food was indeed divine, but not the type of place I wanted cluttering up Portland’s Pearl District. So…I called the salade niçoise ‘humdrum and better suited for a Pampered Chef party’ hoping my reputation and word-of-mouth would do enough damage to shut the doors for good. So what?

The hostess gripped me beneath the chin, shook my head side-to-side briefly and then looked me square in the eyes adding, “Heather killed herself the day your review came out in the paper. Her depression had always been a struggle, but what you did must have sent her over the edge.”

I was wheezing violently and felt like my heart was about to burst as Tyler came into view, still wringing his hands. “She worked three jobs to pay for culinary school. She graduated top of her class and everyone loved her food. Everyone that is, except for you Mr. Delaney.”

His words faded away and I did the same.

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RE: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby muse2me » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:48 pm


Special Today; Eggplant Parmesan
Get a Squash Blossom Goblet for just $1.00 w/meal purchase

“Come on, Bobby, please. Mama never asks us for anything and you know she wants that goblet to finish her set.”
“I hate these places; I’m a meatetarian from a long line of meat lovers, go with one of your friends… tomorrow.”
“Uh…hello…tomorrow’s Christmas.” Smiling, Kathy set her bright blue eyes on high beam, begging silently.
“Crocodile!” He’d accused and she laughed recognizing she’d won.

They were given a booth, a menu and a promise from the waitress; she’d be right back with water. Bobby buried his face in the menu, frowning, while Kathy cast about for familiar faces.

“I’ve never heard of half the stuff on this menu.” Bobby complained. “What the heck is Meso Soup?”
“It’s good for you…salty, hey look! There’s Kay Lantz and her sister Barb.” She pointed over his shoulder then waved enthusiastically.
“Oh, God,” he moaned. “They’re not coming over are they?”
“No, silly, just wave at them, will you?

When the waitress appeared Kathy said, “Get the special, hon, you like eggplant parmesan and the chef here makes it wonderful.”

Their food arrived on big yellow petal shaped plates, hot cheese bubbling atop slices of crispy fried eggplant. The first bite filled his mouth with tangy tomato, warm cheese, and sweet eggplant. He chewed slowly enjoying the spicy blend of oregano and basil bursting over his tongue. He licked his fingers when he used them to wipe the corners of his mouth where a bit of the sauce had crept out.

It was a generous portion and he was just over halfway through when suddenly his teeth met something rubbery. He rolled it around with his tongue, isolated it, picked up his napkin and spit into it.

Kathy wrinkled her nose, “what are you doing. Bobby?”
A garbled drawn out “blugh-ayuck!” escaped his lips as he looked down at his napkin.
“Ewww!” Kathy’s stomach turned over. “Is that a Band-Aid?”

Nearby, their waitress heard the commotion. She hurried over to their booth and there was a frustrated exchange of words ending in the poor waitress scurrying off to the kitchen. The owner was horrified, apologetic, humble in his effort to defend.
“I can assure you, Signore; nobody touch-a your food with a band-aid. Questa e la verita del Dio. My chef, he wear the gloves, besides, he have-a no bambinos. Why does he have-a the Sponge Bob Band-aids, I ask-a you?” He held his hand out pleadingly.

Bobby looked closely at the Band-aid in the napkin. Sponge Bob?
Nearby diners were now watching the scene with ears strained, necks craned. The family of four in the next booth, just come in, rose quickly and left.

It was Sponge Bob sure enough and an earlier scene flashed through his mind… him, dropping little Hannah at the sitter, a little boy, a Sponge Bob box, the sitter saying, “it’s okay the box is empty.” … reaching down he ruffles boys hair and the boy grabs his hand. Oh, Lord. “Uh…hey,” Bobby stammered, “these things happen, I uh…I’d like to just forget it.”

“Bobby, what are you saying?”
“It’s Christmas, Kathy, cut the man some slack.”
Kathy eyes narrowed.

“I no forget, there is-a no charge-a today. You come back I give you both fine dinner, no charge. My daughter here, she fix you up.” He nodded to the waitress who shook her head in agreement and gave them a pale smile.

“Uh…thanks, great.” What a mess, he thought. And the food was really good. He and Kathy trudged along behind the waitress to the register. Then Bobby had an idea. He quickly added the bill in his head and rounded it up to the nearest whole number. Brightening he asked the waitress, “Say, do you have gift certificates?”

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Re: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby LittleEden » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:48 am

The waiter appeared carrying one very small green salad, on a gold rim china plate barely larger than the palm of his hand. With the grace of a dancer, he placed it on the linen tablecloth, in front of her.

"Dressing on the side, as you requested", he stood by her side as she inspected the salad. She turned over each lettuce leaf with her silver salad fork. She cut in half each of the three cherry tomatoes. The carrot stick she snapped into with her fingers. She nodded her approval and with a flick of her wrist dismissed him.

Once in the kitchen he froze in fear. The first time ever she had not tested the salad dressing. No scooping it up in a teaspoon and letting it dribble drop by drop, back into the tiny crystal bowl. Under his breath, he whispered, "What if she found --- before he finished, screams came from the dining room.

No need to inquire. He knew. She had eaten an extra calorie hiding in the salad dressing.

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Re: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby sns3guppy » Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:23 pm

I winced, and swallowed with trepidation. Any doubt washed away in my Coke, and I knew the truth. Martin’s Diner wasn’t at all what it appeared, a den of artificial food, cookie-cutter repetition, and a desert devoid of flavor. I wasn’t shocked, but surprised. I paid for cardboard, but received gourmet.

I’m a conservative fellow, yet the discovery could scarcely be contained with deadpan aplomb. In the space of a heartbeat, Milford Aubrary, general manager extraordinaire, was on me, eyes of a hawk, intently scrutinizing me swallow another bite. To say it was good would be to call the Taj Mahal is a nice shack. I washed it down unceremoniously with my coke; a hollow, rude echo in my glass as the final dregs of soda slurped past dying ice cubes.

“May I help you, Mr. Tulare?” Milford Aubrary asked, attentively hovering while I dabbed cautiously at my lip with a generic napkin.

“I’m quite alright, sir.” I replied. "Unless you care to bring me another drink.” I offered up my glass.

“Mr. Tulare,” Milford Aubrary charged, "let's not pretend why you are here.” He took my glass, turning it once in his fingers. "You are a food critic, we both know that.”

“I’m afraid you have me confused with someone important.” I nonchalantly replied. "I just stopped to try the pickles.”

“Of course.” Mr. Aubrary rolled his eyes. "We do not serve pickles, Mr. Tulare.”

“I see that, and it’s most distressing.” I said. "Not entirely disturbing, but certainly a distress.”

“I can get some pickles if you like, sir.” Aubrary’s voice dripped with distain. Clearly pickles had no place in his joint.

“That won’t be necessary, Mr. Aubrary.” I allowed. "I have what I came for, and though I stopped in just for fast food, you already know what I have found. I expected blandness, a wasteland of taste, and hidden here, quite contrary to the food I bought, is a cornucopia of culinary adventure. You’re busted, Mister.”

Milford Aubrary began to sweat. On any other day, he’d have perspired. But today he broke out in a hot sweat. His eyes darted left, then right. He checked over his shoulder, glancing upward to the dusty security camera and its red power-on light, before begging me in an exasperated, low voice. "Please, I can explain!”

“I’m not interested in excuses, sir.” I pinned him with a stare. "Spin as you will, but you cannot escape the richness in this food, nor the deceit with which it is offered up as tasteless trash. You can’t help yourself, can you?” With some satisfaction, I noted him wince. He knew it, I knew it, and we knew it.

“How long have you searched?” He asked, simply. How long? Enough to write a dozen books about the search. Enough to raise a family for my cover. Enough to begin to grow old. How long, indeed.

“Long enough.” I replied.

“I tried, you know.” Confessed the former Mr. Aubrary. "I couldn’t force myself to be a baker of bread, or a maker of muffins. I am a classically trained chef and an artist. It’s who I am. It’s who I’ve always been.” His upper lip trembled slightly.

“Who you have always been is Pierre Maurette, Messer,” I retorted, calling him out. My words fell not as conviction, but indictment. "Nazi collaborator.” Stony silence echoed between us.

I studied him closely. Old, getting older, like myself, his shoulders hunched slightly as though he carried an unseen burden. We both knew that burden all too well. He knew it from the decades it weighed him down, and I knew it because it carried the lives of both my parents. He seemed grandfatherly, innocent, nobody but a humble merchant in his declining years.

Unseen around us, palpable and present, stood and sat multitudes that never enjoyed declining years, who knew only a violent end and a restless wait for now, this solitary moment, a turning point in all our lives and afterlives.

“Standing or sitting?” I asked, simply. Pierre Maurette said nothing. Standing, then. Without a word, I drew a 9mm luger from beneath my jacket and shot two rounds through his heart. Pierre Maurette groaned heavily, and fell dead to the tiled floor as Milford Aubrary. My empty glass dropped from his lifeless fingers and shattered, shards of glass pelting my shoe. I took a last bite of Aubrary’s signature burger, and downed it without benefit of a coke. Milord’s food tasted fantastic.
Last edited by sns3guppy on Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RE: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby ElleCR » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:49 am

It's not every day that I treat myself. It IS everyday that something bizarre happens to me. I shouldn't have been surprised that these two events would smash into each other in a weird goulash at lunch. Except I didn't order the goulash, even though I like goulash. I was in the mood for lasagna. I knew something was awry when I stuck my fork in the first layer. I encountered something crunchier than a noodle. Poking around, I excised a colored pencil. A bright yellow, blunt ended pencil to be exact. The owner came barreling out of the kitchen thumping his head. He raced over to my table, and dug into my meal pulling out the pencil.

"I was leaning over the steam tray and it fell out from behind my ear."

I stood up, gathered my things, and left.

I should have ordered the goulash.

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RE: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby Raleah75 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:08 am

I was eating dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant in town. Personally I think it has the best Thai food which I have ever eaten. Well one day I was eating my Thai Red Curry Soup, I found a penny on my spoon! A PENNY! The owner saw what had happened, he comes over; looking frazzled, and begs, “Please, I can explain!” Waiting somewhat expectantly, I wonder what possible excuse he could have for there being a penny in my soup. I wasn’t disappointed. “In my country it is a great honor to bestow upon a treasured guest in the home the gift of a penny. It is to bring prosperity and joy to the recipient. You are here so often, that in my excitement and desire to show appreciation, I forgot, and placed the penny in your soup. “ This was most definitely not the explanation which I was expecting, and I couldn’t help my snicker slightly. “I appreciate that you like me coming here often, however, finding dirty money in my soup, tends to make me not want to eat.” “Ma’am, please accept my most humble apologizes, and also, your meal today, and of course your next meal is on the house” he replied. “Of course, and thank you for the dubious honor.” I replied.

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RE: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby booshfan421 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:55 am

"Excuse me, waitress, but there seems to be a... a FEATHER in my pasta. Would you care to explain exactly how it got here? And, while you're at it, I'll have a fresh bowl!"
"Couldn't I just remove the feather for you, sir? I'm sure it will taste just fine..."
"REMOVE THE FEATHER?!" the man thundered, "How dare you? How DARE you?!" he seemed to take a slight breath before he continued "What d'you take me for, woman? Do I look completely STUPID? I'm paying good money for this food, I'll have a fresh bowl, or I won't pay for it at all! And there had better be an excellent explanation as to how this feather managed to wriggle into my food. You'd better work something out quickly!"
The terrified waitress scuttled away to fetch another steaming bowl of pasta. She dawdled on her way out of the kitchens, praying he would forget the rest of his preposterous demands, but the expression on his face remained stormy as ever.
"Right. Go on then. Start your story - I haven't got all day. And while you're busy explaining things, I think I'll tuck into my food," he began to shovel pasta into his greedy cakehole, and the waitress stammered an incoherent reply.
"I can't hear you, woman! Speak up!"
"It was my bird, sir. That feather is from my bird."
"Your WHAT? Your BIRD?! What kind of place is this? What kind of five star restaurant keeps BIRDS in their kitchens? Eh?"
"It's not... it's not a real bird, sir. It's a statue. With real feathers and everything. You see, it was alive, once, but that was a long time ago. A very long time ago indeed, sir. And, you see, this bird was a very precious artefact, because it was... it was magic, sir. This bird had special powers - it could curse villains, and reward heroes with anything they desired. Anything at all, sir. You name it, and the bird could grant you your biggest wish. But, you see, sir, the bird started having bad effects on the villagers that lived around the lake it resided in. They got greedy, see, and started performing good deeds like providing the homeless with a place to stay, and as soon as they received their prize, they'd take away the good deed and reverse it, as if they'd never done anything in the first place. So the mayor ordered that the bird be turned to stone, and preserved, so the villagers couldn't use it anymore. But its feathers remain magical, sir. As long as you have three magical feathers, you can still have your wish granted."
"And why exactly is this 'bird' in your kitchen?"
"My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was the mayor of that village, sir. The magical bird has been passed down through the generations, and now it's mine. I can't afford to keep it at home - anyone could break in and steal it while I'm working, so I carry it wherever I go."
"That was a very interesting tale, but I'm afraid I don't believe it for a second. A magical bird? I wanted a legitimate excuse, not a fairy story!"
"But please, sir! It is true! You can come and see for yourself, if you like, sir! And, as an apology, you can pluck three of these mystical feathers from my stone bird, and that'll prove that he's real!"
"Right, then. I've finished my meal - I'll come through right now!" she could see the greed growing in his eyes. Chuckling silently to herself, the waitress led him right through to the kitchens and held open the door for him.
"I don't see any bird in here, woman!" he bellowed, but as he turned around he realised that the waitress was gone, and, in her place, was a huge stone bird. Almost rubbing his hands together in glee, he began to explain his biggest wish - but the bird took no notice. The giant beast, with its grey-white feathers looking ridiculous against the stone base, shook itself, and, for the first time in hundreds of years, began to feast on the tender human flesh of a villain.

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Re: Something in Your Food - 7/21

Postby Trissa » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:16 am

The Medlody Cafe was always the "in" eatery in Morgan's Bay. Fresh lobster off the boat and sweet blueberries: the best Maine had to offer. The atmosphere was perfect, too. No need to dress to the nines for Melody Cafe. It was relaxed dining as customers sat at polished pine tables amid the artwork of local artists. On weekends, there was live music. It was a place we could take friends and business clients and know we would always have a good time and a great dining experience.

Melody Rathbun and her family had owned the cafe for three generations. Melody had been named after her great-grandmother and Melody now had a little Melody of her own. Melody Number Three worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher while her mom "womaned" the cash register and worked the front of the house.

It was our thirteenth wedding anniversary. There was no question as to where Neil and I would celebrate.

"Table for two?" Melody asked. She flashed her big toothy grin at us. "How are you two? I see we have something special going on tonight."

Neil took my hand. "This poor woman has put up with me for thirteen years. I thought I should reqard those unlucky years of service with a fine meal."

Melody scooped up menus and we followed her to a table near one of the warm brick walls. She gave me a wink. "Thirteen has always been lucky for me. And to start your lucky thirteenth, let me choose a nice bottle of wine for you." Neil and I started to protest, but she insisted saying we had brought so much business her way. "Consider it an anniversary gift."

True to her word, Melody provided us with a bottle of Korbel. A fresh bread basket was brought out, too, with honey butter and cheese. I peeled back the bread cloth and took a chunk of fresh baked bread. That's when I noticed something shiney at the bottom of the basket. "Why, Neil, you old devil. Did you have her put something special in here?" I smiled broadly at Neil as I dug into the basket and produced...a shiney metal retainer.

Melody was seating the table across from us. The glint of metal caught her eye. She dropped the menus in front of the couple she had seated and was at our table in almost one motion. "Oh, my stars and garters," she breathed, her eyes closed tight. "I'm sooooo sorry."

I placed the retainer on my napkin, covering it slightly. "Let me guess, Little Melody is working tonight?"

Mama Melody nodded, her eyes still closed. "Sorry. She must have forgotten to put them back in after she ate. You don't know how many she has almost lost in the school lunchroom."

Neil snorted. Melody and I looked at him as he tried to control his laughter. It wasn't long before I joined him. Mama Melody finally opened her eyes, grateful we weren't causing a fuss. In appreciation, we got dessert free, too. That night we all came away feeling pretty lucky.


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