24 July 2005

Something to consider over lunch

A bunch of young larrikins burst into the saloon, obviously excited after the rodeo. Most of them headed for the bar, but one noticed an older man sitting alone at a table, just a-settin’, staring at a bowl of chilli beef on the table in front of him. The lad moseyed on over.

“Howdy, grandpaw!” he greeted tham man loudly, slapping him on the shoulder. “If yer gunna sit there all day lookin’ at that an’ lettin’ it go all cold, yer won’t mind if I have a bite now, will yer?”

The man, looking a bit dazed and bemused, wobbling a bit after the manner of drunks everywhere, shook his head and pushed the bowl across towards the lad, who grabbed a spoon and began shovelling it in, grinning, as the man watched carefully.

As he got to the bottom of the bowl, his spoon bumped against something, so the lad stopped, dug, and lifted out... a dead rat. Stiff with age, patches of beef’n’bean-soaked fur falling, plib, splut into the bowl... “Eeeeeurgh!”

He looked left, he looked right, his cheeks distendin’ ’til he looked fair fit t’ squirt chilli outta his nose ’n’ ears — but there was only the bowl. “H’bluuuuuuuargh!” out came the chilli again, all in a rush.

As the lad was sitting, starting is disbelief at the newly re-heated bowl of slightly used chilli steaming gently in front of him in the cool night air, came the man’s voice from alongside. “Ayup. That’s about what I thought, too. Took me longer’n you t’ find the rat, though.”

No comments: