March 21, 2020. First weekend without brunch. Not a car in sight along the road where you normally line up by 7:15 in the morning. Slowly but surely, one by one, we all realize that yes, it is best to stay put to avoid spreading the corona bug where it does not belong. Thank goodness it’s sunny.
What would be a fitting topic for this blog in the current context? Ah, yes. A Fricassée of Words gone viral! Let’s see how many of the food expressions we’ve explored so far we can fit in a single story. This is pure improv. We’ll call it, “Chewing the Fat.” Enjoy.
Chewing the Fat
The people of Big Cheese Town could be happy as a clam. Winter had not been too harsh, and though the air was unseasonably cold on that first weekend of spring life seemed as easy as pie under the bright afternoon sun. However, truth be told, they were in a pickle.
The conversation around the dinner table was the same in every home. “We’re eating humble pie now, I tell you. I feel like we put all our eggs in one basket. How can we be so unprepared? Who’s going to bring home the bacon if we can’t even walk out the door?”
“There’s no use in going bananas,” says someone having the same conversation in the next home. “We’ve been lucky enough to eat a square meal every day. By some standards, we were born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Not everyone is so fortunate. I bet there are hard-working people out there who are the cream of the crop but now they feel abandoned and destitute overnight, all because of a globe-trotting bug.”
“Something smells fishy,” begins someone next door from his seat in front of the computer. All of them say they have our best interest at heart, but they’re just talking turkey.” He reached in the bowl of chips. New year’s resolutions be damned.
Others seemed to take it with a grain of salt. The situation had escalated so fast it was difficult to believe it was real. They were torn between panic and disbelief. A sort of defiant giddiness kicked in. But that, too, is just another way worry shows up.
There was so much to mull over right now; not all of it bad. They all knew that. All of them also understood that a good, honest mood swing and expression of despair was but a momentary, perhaps even necessary lapse. One must face reality from all its angles. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, after all.
It is precisely at this moment, while each person tried to make sense of a planetary crisis unlike any ever experienced in their lifetime, that they were startled by what sounded like a sonic boom. They woke up at once, pulling their heads out of the sensory devices that had housed them for the last twelve hours.
William spilled the beans, as he had with two prior groups. “Welcome back!” he said to the test subjects in his laboratory. “Relax. You were immersed in a virtual reality experiment. Remember?” Most settled down almost immediately, though they were clearly moved by the experience.
Compiling all the behavioral data would take months, thought William, but it would go a long way toward preparing for a real global health crisis. As he contemplated the work ahead, he heard a voice at his side yell, “SAY CHEESE!”
William sat up on the couch where he had meant to close his eyes for just a moment. His roommate was looking at him through the lens of her phone.
Read More Fricassee of Words Articles.