Breakfast of Champions (Not the Kurt Vonnegut Story)
While its creator’s intentions may have been noble, the result was a seething beast that mocked nature and good culinary practices in general.
The plate sat before me, its contents bubbled and oozed, and its bulbous features groped at the air and shifted to form what resembled a sinister grin.
Its creator hovered over me, flush with pride and anticipation, and offered me a verbal nudge, “well, are you going to try it?”
“Of course, I’m going to try it…what exactly is it?”
“What is it,” she was incredulous, “don’t you even recognize an omelet when you see one?”
“Obviously, I can see that it’s an omelet,” I lied. “It just doesn’t have the typical appearance of an omelet.”
“That’s the fault of your stove.”
“It’s the stove’s fault?”
“Your stove isn’t level.”
“My stove isn’t level?” I poked timidly at the contents of the plate with my fork, “And that’s why this is purple?”
“I don’t know why it turned purple, ” she snapped defensively.
“It just seems like a really strange color for…”
“Never mind the color. Are you going to try it or not?”
I searched the plate for the least offensive portion. I stabbed my fork into what appeared to be a mushroom; it was almost certainly some form of fungus. Tendrils of steam curled from the fork and disappeared into the atmosphere, accompanied by a sickly pungent smell that hung in the air like a brick in wet cement.
As I drew the fork to my mouth, beads of sweat began to well on my forehead.
She gathered over me like a thunderhead. The weight of her stare bore down on me; I could no longer delay the inevitable. I steadied my nerves, I said a quick, silent prayer, and jabbed the morsel into my mouth.
It had roughly the consistency of synthetic rubber. The flavor was an oddly unpleasant mixture of fetid egg and moldy wood. Just as I thought it couldn’t be more repulsive, I bit into something that seemed to squirt a semi-viscous liquid. It was like a mouthful of used bandages but much less pleasant.
I chewed as quickly as possible and swallowed hard in a desperate attempt to remove the offending portion as far from my taste receptors as possible. I had to suppress the protective gag reflex that separates humans from rats.
Then I swallowed again–it was clinging to the sides of my throat.
I shifted slightly in my seat and swallowed a third time. It finally lost its grip. To this day, I can’t be certain, but If I’m not mistaken, it attempted to climb back out.
I quickly grabbed a glass of water and emptied its contents into my stomach, taking with it the stubborn piece of the beast.
I looked up at its creator, smiled weakly, and forced the words out, “it’s delicious.” A single tear slid silently down my cheek. She stood over me, arms crossed, with a deep look of suspicion on her face. “Why don’t have some more, then?”
“I’m not really hungry now,” I assured her as I slowly pushed the plate away. “I’ll have the rest later.”
“I know what that means: you’ll stick it in the refrigerator where it will sit untouched for weeks until it turns bad, and you have to throw it out.”
“I explained to you about the casserole, it wound up behind something; I forgot it was there.”
“Behind something? The entire contents of your refrigerator consist of a can of coffee, a bottle of ketchup, and a mysterious yellow stain that seems to move around on its own.”
“The yellow stain moves around?”
“Forget the stain,” she snapped.
“When I come back later, I expect to find the entire thing eaten.”
I was never certain whether she was talking to me or to the omelet. Per her orders, the entire thing was eaten: I fed it to the neighbor’s dog. The dog later vomited on my front steps and bit me; it seemed like an equitable trade.