Your Source of Protein?

by on January 6, 2024 :: 0 comments

photo "Devour a Dump" by Tyler Malone

The man came in almost unnoticed. He was dressed as the other waiters so I didn’t notice him. Yet in no time he was hovering over my plate. “Gnats, sir,” he whispered in my ear. Before I could stop him, he proceeded to seed my red snapper Vera Cruz with more than a light dusting of the little buggers.

Black dot-like flying creatures. The waiter, for that is what he wished me to believe he was, opened a tallish cylinder. He proceeded to pour from the cylinder forty to fifty of the flying, hopping winged black devils all over my beautiful red snapper. Yes, that’s Snapper Vera Cruz, the Mexican fish culinary creation featuring green olives, peppers, tomato, and onion, in a spicy sauce. And now the tiny black devils were invading my food.

They landed on the fish. Hopped and flew among the olives. Were drowned in the tomato sauce and oil. One lusty young gnat, perched on a particularly luscious and jutting green jalapeno slice, licked his chops. Dang it, that gnat was laughing at me! I’d had enough.

“Mister!” I said to the man impersonating the waiter (for that is what he was, some sort of chateau-brand charlatan, I figured). I demanded of him “what’s the meaning of this?”

“Fresh is best,” he responded, “besides, we don’t want to annoy them.”

“Annoy who?” I stuttered, spitting angry. “Confound it, I am the paying customer!”

“The gnats,” the pseudo waiter replied. Incredulous, I did a double take. “An irritated gnat releases a substance most gourmands don’t like,” waiter boy said. “Creates an acidic taste in the gnat-flesh. So, we sprinkle them with love.”

“That a fact?” I, one eyebrow up, riposted.

“It is.”

Right there right then. “Just where do you get off, insect boy, putting bugs in peoples’ food? Why I ought to…” I said. I was bunching my fists, preparing to strike the barbarian, when he quick-like flitted off to another table. At the other table he pulled the same stunt. Sprinkling live gnats all over the guy and gal sitting there’s Fettuccine Alfredo.

Yet, those folks started chowing down. Happily, they accepted the little black kamikazes. As if the insects were chunks and flecks of fresh ground black pepper, or Parmesan cheese! They appreciated the added taste. Bugs. The fellow at the other table, he looked like a truck driver. Tattoos, seed cap. With his little woman, out for dinner, out to eat – but that’s no excuse. They ate, lustily, like lumberjacks, or hung-over winos. Like the insects were bits of expensive black truffle fungus, rooted up by specially trained dogs and pigs, sprinkled on their food, they ate. Ravenous, it appeared. But it was bugs they were chewing and swallowing!

“Light dusting, my ass,” I thought as the waiter went to yet another table.

It was when for dessert, however, they finally broke my water. The waiters brought out the bared backs of live toads, for licking. To culminate and conclude the meal, and the night. Sending us off in mystery and twerking brain wonder. That, for me, was the last straw. With Mildred’s swirling tongue on her sixth bared toad back I demanded she leave off and come with me home.

editors note:

Life is a banquet, but most poor suckers are starving to death! ~ Tyler Malone

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