Order (August 30-Day Writing Challenge)

In Fiction on August 19, 2012 at 11:29 PM

(16th in this challenge)

I needed a story idea for this drabble so at breakfast I asked my mom, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen?”

We were in a local diner named Something Something Pigs. There were portraits of pigs and life-like figurines on shelves decorating the place. Our server’s name tag was a pig with an expression on its face as if to say it couldn’t care less that almost everything on the menu had pork in it.

Couldn’t care less.

Eat that pork.

“There was this person at the gas station who couldn’t park,” she said. “He tried five different times. I thought he was going to hit someone.”

“And then what?” I asked.

Our waitress asked, “More water?” There was that pig again.

“Then what what?” mom asked.

“That’s the end of your story?”

Flup flup flup of water glasses filling. I caught the pig’s face: Couldn’t care—

“It was weird,” mom said.

“Sixty-three years on this planet, and that’s the weirdest—?”

“I thought you were asking about today.”

“Any day of your whole life.”

“Actually this pulled-pork omelet is probably the weirdest thing I’ve…well…tasted. Does that count?”

“No, Mom.”


We’d shopped for new clothes for two hours. Somehow, with this sole purpose, we’d only bought three baby spider plants and an electric blue mixing bowl. I’d actually hoped that Mom would wander over to the women’s department and find something new. But she followed me around displays and racks instead, spider plants with an excellent view from the mixing bowl in her arms.

“Since I paid for breakfast,” she said, “you’re treating me to lunch.”

“So really now: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen?”

“Your birth. Can you hold these? I want to see how this looks on you.”

“It was a C-section. You were sedated for like—didn’t you not wake up until the next day?”

“Not really your thing, is it? It has this funny line here.”

“Weirdest thing? You haven’t thought about it?”

“I really haven’t. And I don’t want Tex-Mex or Mexican. It’s not for me anymore.”


“I’ll think about it.”


“What are you boiling,” mom asked as I was assembling the new baking rack she’d bought for the six other varieties of exotic pants that she’d also bought. The tag dared me to collect all 400 plants in the collection so I thought I’d see if I liked the idea, she’d said.

“Lentils,” I said.

“Two to-go boxes for you in the fridge and you’re cooking lentils? That’s the—”

“No. I will not accept that. I will not. You don’t have anything, even something small?”

“Listen,” she said, hand on my shoulder. “Anything weird that’s happened, you already know about.”

“No ghosts or aliens or…?”

“Nothing weird. Order something else off the menu. And also put that back in the box. Ugly ugly.”

“There’s really nothing else that I wanted.”


“Nothing else on the menu that I wanted.”

“Oh. Good.”

Images found here.


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