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April 15, 2024


By Pierrino Mascarino

Tall Zeek, in his ragged overcoat, was trying not to just grab the sardine can away from seated Peter Sebastian, who had frayed pant knee holes, his dirty knees peeking out, "Thank God I'm here to save ye, don't panic, just, steady, first put thet can a sardines down."

"What?" said Peter Sebastian not even looking up.

Zeek bended over, whispering patiently, "You gotta know those sardines is dangerous high-protein?"

"They is?" said Peter Sebastian prying loose one of the compressed little fishes beyond curled open lid of the can with a rusty tined pocket fork he always carried for emergencies.

"I mean high protein."

"High?" Echoed Peter Sebastian, fishing a part-crumbled cracker out of his lower coat pocket, then forking out one of the oiled, bilious-yellow, canned fish.

"That's it," continued Zeke, "very augmentations, eating thet many all at once. An thet mustard inna can?" Pointing down emphatically.

"It is?" Peter Sebastian.

"Got consumptive mutated mustardic acid," Zeek said following the precipitously tipping sardine can, that was spilling oil, holding one hand underneath it, "bind ye up preposterously without papaya powder," he said, licking the spilled fish oil off his fingers, pooling spit thickening his diction.

"Does?" Said Peter Sebastian tenderly placing another oily, large eyed sardine on a piece of crumbled cracker.

"Keep ye from spontaneously defecating regular."

"Will?" Sticking this next cracker and sardine up past his anticipating lips.

"For double dog sure," said Zeke, "paralyzes lower regions a the bivalveic pyloric colon. Kicks hell out of peristalsis."

"Helluvathing," said Peter Sebastian slowly ruminating the sardine laden cracker now inside his mouth, extracting maximum taste.

"You can take thet fact to the bank," Zeek said, shaking his head, minutely following, Peter Sebastian's cheek's moving food bulge, smelling the delicious fishy odor.

"What ga I do plor it?" said Peter Sebastian, closing his eyes, simultaneously exposing all interior tongue surfaces to the sardine's flavor, only swallowing little bits at a time to keep the flavor going in his mouth.

"Papaya powder -- lucky I got some."

"Pappy had that," finally swallowing the last of his mouthful.

"I say Papaya powder."

"No shit?" repeatedly licking his lips.

"That's it. Sardines without papaya' ll just rot ponderously precarious in your stomach," alarm creeping into Zeek's tone.

"Damn," said Peter Sebastian, sardineing another cracker, almost dropping part of his fork load in eagerness, causing Zeek to momentarily jerk a catching hand downwards, saying, "careful there! and then you got, " Zeek's fingers twitching.

"Goo do?" The eater's tongue cargoed by another inserted food load.

"Lowers--Lord Almighty," Zeek was choking on saliva, raising himself on his toes, "lowers yer pneubralic resistance ta zero. Run you slap into disease. Like a fungus rotting off yer toenails."

Peter Sebastian looked up, "I've had that!"

"There you go, buddy, now!" Said Zeek, rubbing his hands together in confirmation, "a ounce of prevention, you've had first sign of over eaten perambulation," Zeke now standing a tiptoe looking over the beautiful rim of the golden sardine can lid, "national health problem of diatomaceous proportions. Not gettin no good digestion and they..." his rapt gaze lost in the sardinic vision, the sweet scales, "see," he gargled, "food botulism histomine toxins is creeping in your body."

"My body?" The fork's tine tonked again against the can, as Peter Sebastian was sardineing up another.

"Merciful Jehovah," Zeke said weeping, "I'm talking about yer insides fer Lord's sake!"

"Of sardines?" Picking up two more obese?

"Naw, damn it, talking about botulism, buddy."

"Damn right," said Peter Sebastian loading dripping fish onto his near-to-last cracker.

"Hell yes. So for the love of mercy are ye figurin' on eating all them Sardines?"

"Believe I will," Closing his eyes in masticatorial ecstasy again.

"Look, pay attention now, I got papaya powder. Trade it to ya fer some sardines."


"Well iffen you choose to plunge yourself into imminent disease. Losing yer toenails."

"Nobody cares a bum's got toenails -- ain't goin' to the beach none," reluctantly swallowing, only small parts down his throat.

"You never know."

"Ain't in no beauty contests that's for dern sure," said Peter Sebastian.

"Man never knows," suppressing a rising sob.

"Well, if they ast me, I'll go slow onna sardines, save my toenails."

"Be too late."

"Too late?"

"Terrible botulisms be pouncing on you that you just cain't just turn'em around onna dime ye know. Now there, that there's the worst, y'gittin' down now ta the most dangerous part of the can -- bottom part's the most toxicificated."

"It is?" Peter Sebastian looking down and seeing that the sad bare bottom was being uncovered, the golden empty patches glaring up at him.

"Damn sure is, that's where all the sardinopoisons settle out."


"That dangerous big feller right there for a instance: he's botulizing dark, bad sign, transmogrificationed horrible."

"Is?" Peter Sebastian forking up the last large toothsome fish onto the last cracker surface. The savory oil from the can spreading, darkening the cracker surface.

"Damn sure is."

"Guess, I's t'offer you this here biggest sardine you'd turn it down cause it's so derned poison right?"

"Well ... " here Zeek paused, "not necessarily, see difference is -- alright, this here's the real medical scientific, I took European medical treatments, so that it don't botulize me no more. I've been immuned with this papaya powder, hell of a thing and takes forever to get to but once yer there yer ready to face whatever damn thing luck throws yer way, far as eatin' goes."

"That right?" Slowly inserting into his mouth onto his scummy white tongue the last fish and cracker, relishing the cracker's piquant saltiness, letting the sapid oil run off, deep into his mouth.

"Sure ... oh, now you done it -- swallerin that whole sardine down -- I feel sorry for ye, doubt you'll git through the night."

"Well, I always was a reckless fool, guess I gotta take my chances. Wisht I had some more crackers though to sop up this delicious oil in here."

Article © Pierrino Mascarino. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-11-30
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