Wednesday, May 19, 2010
EVERY DAY Harold has a fried egg sandwich for breakfast.
This is not the biggest news, not by any means, but it is true.
Harold likes himself a greasy egg, over easy, fried in real butter. He puts butter on the toast, too, and covers it all with a Kraft single which, as the package clearly states, is not actual cheese, just a cheese product.
Harold cares not.
He drapes it over the egg, covers the pan with a lid for a few moments, long enough to rearrange the fruit in his Fruit of the Looms and pick his nose. He flicks the boogers into the nearby scrap bucket and doesn't wash his hands because, well, why would he?
When the blanket of cheese product melts like a teenager's resolve on prom night, Harold slides a spatula under the egg and fwaps it neatly on the toast. He squishes the toast down over the egg so the cheesy stuff and the egg yolk meld together and leak out seductively. Harold tosses the spatula back in the frying pan and carries his sandwich over to the coffee table where a big glass of homo and the TV clicker await him.
Harold's gut rumbles appreciatively as he shoves the sandwich in his gob with force, speed and accuracy. If fried egg sandwich eating was an Olympic sport, Harold would be a gold medalist, no steroidal adjustments necessary. He is a man among men, who doesn't let little things like cholesterol, heart attacks, obesity or his wife's nagging slow him down.
He does, however, wait to make his daily egg after Florine has left for work. He also buys his own eggs and does up his dishes so Florine is none the wiser.
(That's what he thinks. But Florine knows. A wife always knows.)
When he is done and Canada AM has gone to commercial, Harold belches and carries the plate to the sink. He runs some hot water and squirts in some Dawn, the kind that donates a dollar for oil-slicked ducks, and he goes to pick up the frying pan to wash it.
He lifts off the spatula and stops. Dead in his tracks.
There is a face in the pan.
A grease face.
He sees two button eyes, a long Roman nose and sweetheart pursed lips.
He fetches the camera off the buffet table and takes a picture of the face, just in case it turns out like Karen Schindler's famous alien or the face of Jesus on the wall of Tim Horton's down east.
He kinda grins a big loopy grin as he thinks of his picture in the Toronto Sun, right beside the Sunshine Girl.
"You look kinda like the man in the moon," he sez to the pan.
"You look like a fat pig," sez the pan.
"Really," sez Harold.
"Really, really," sez the pan.
Harold feels his blood pressure rising.
He is 53 years old and he is not going to take any flak from any damn frying pan.
"Huh," sez Harold, and he picks it up and tosses it in the hot soapy dish water and he swabs off all the grease and he whistles while he works.
He holds the frying pan up to the light coming through the kitchen window and sees it is clean.
"And what do you have to say now, frying pan?" Harold says, chuckling.
The frying pan is wordless, faceless.
"I think you're a real arsehole," says the kitchen sink.
American Week deadline is fast approaching. To all you American writers, I say send me your stories, approximately 600 words, approximately wonderful, approximately by May 24, 2010. No other guidelines but that. Send them, along with a patriotic photo of yourself, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your story absolutely has to be better than this one. So don't be afraid, send them to moi and I'll spangle you with star, stripes and banners.