NaNoWriMo08 — Porch of Maidens I.Q.F. (excerpt 4)

While opening the mail, Stephanie noticed a handwritten envelope. Those were almost always trouble, usually containing complaints about stores that had sold a consumer an expired product. They could be singularly inarticulate and almost exclusively written by people who seemed to be about 90 years old and have trouble holding a pen. This one, in addition, was bulky. Stephanie opened it with trepidation.

To whom it may concern at Regis Foods:

I have been a loyal consumer of Regis Foods products for many years. Because of the quality of your products, I have not minded paying a premium price. But all that has changed.

This past Sunday, I had our whole family (a large number of 20 people including my children and their spouses, plus all the grandchildren) over for an Easter Lunch. I made my famous buttered peas and pearl onions recipe as a side dish.

You can imagine my horror when my daughter-in-law crunched down on something in her peas and onions. She spat it out to discover that she had ingested a snail! A snail! Of course she immediately ran to the bathroom and threw up the entire contents of her lunch. But my family lunch was ruined.

I will let you know that my son is a lawyer and you should be expecting to hear from him soon.

I would like to know how it is possible that a snail could have gone past what I believed to be your stellar quality controls.

Yours in disgust,

Ethel Hausman

Stephanie peered inside the envelope to discover the offending snail.

Maverick happened to walk by just at that moment.

“Oh, you got presents today did you?”

Maverick sometimes had a way of delighting in the oddest things.

“Yep, somebody’s pretty miffed that we ruined their Easter lunch. “

Maverick read the letter and looked over the snail.

“They shouldn’t worry about it so much. This is exactly the kind of snail that gets made into escargot, it’s not like it would have poisoned anyone,” Maverick continued, “You know I worked for a tea company before I worked here. We got this one complaint where someone had found a lizard in their teabag. The legs were sticking right out of the teabag. It’s the weirdest thing because, I mean all kinds of things get into the tea leaves, but with all the chopping and boiling that goes on, it just goes into the tea bag and no one would even notice. But this person found this lizard in her teabag and sent it along to us. The receptionist had it sitting on her desk for the longest time. It was such a strange sight.”

Stephanie didn’t know what was worse, that someone had found lizard legs sticking out of their teabag or her newfound knowledge that lizards were always in teabags and no one ever knew about them. She was very glad in that moment that she was a coffee drinker. That is until she realized that coffee beans came from plants too and were chopped up into little pieces before getting put into bags or cans and put on grocery store shelves. Who knows, maybe she was actually drinking an unhealthy percentage of French-roasted gecko.

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About Tentative Equinox North

Theatremaker, Homemaker, Thoughtmaker. Great hair, Probably looking forward to my next nap.
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