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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

Dinner With Henry 63: A Hard Day's Day

By Bruce Memblatt

Andre twirled his spatula like he hadn't a care in the world. The joyful news of Clarissa's recovery spread quickly throughout the warehouse. Clarissa was well and moving about, as good as new. She was also extraordinarily hungry because she hadn't eaten in days, which required the crew to work non-stop.

Then he poked the spatula around a frying pan and tossed a chocolate chip pancake into the air. It stuck to the ceiling. He looked up and he said, "I feel just like that pancake -- like I'm about to drop!"

"What pancake?" Shakespeare said. He was standing close to Andre, mixing pancake batter in a bowl. On a normal day, Shakespeare would have been busy in the back of the kitchen making parfaits and wisecracks, but this was no normal day.

"Oh, what is the difference, there are pancakes everywhere," Andre sighed and shrugged and looked at the ceiling again, in discontent. As Andre gazed at the ceiling the pancake dropped onto his head.

Diego who also happened to be gazing at the ceiling while she lazily pushed Winifred's stroller back and forth breathed, "I thought it was going to fall on your head and it did."

Andre rolled his eyes, "That is very observant, Diego."

"She's a regular Kreskin," Shakespeare snapped.

Then Andre wiped the pancake remains from his scalp and cried, "This is all too much! This is all too much! My blisters have blisters! I can not cook another crumb! What time is it?"

"It is ten a.m. General Patton." Diego snapped.

And Shakespeare said, "Hey, I am the one who snaps."

Andre raised his hands in the air in exhaustion and said, "Who cares? So now you both snap!"

They turned their heads when they heard footsteps entering the kitchen.

Andre, still by the stove, said, "Ah, so you walked in like a normal person this time, Simpson."

Simpson cleared his throat, clicked his heels, and said, "Whatever are you talking about, Andre? Well, anyway I've just come back from the loft and she's still hungry so let's keep hopping."

"What do you mean, 'let's,' as if you were doing something too?"

"Andre, I am always working behind the scenes."

Diego stared at Simpson intently like she just found out Simpson was a KGB agent and she said, "I knew it, you're working with Her."

Shakespeare just stood and turned toward Diego; if he had eyes he surely would have been staring at her, and he simply said, "No!"

Then Diego snapped, "Yes!" And she pulled on the handle of the stroller and began to push it towards the front door and she breathed, as she waved her hand, "I'll be back soon."


Simpson tapped his heels nervously and he said, "Which is?"

Shakespeare raised his hand, pancake batter dripping from the spoon he was holding, and he said, "Can I field this one? The issue at hand is, as usual, what is troubling Andre."

Andre picked up his spoon, sneered at Shakespeare and said, "Oh you are so funny, Shakespeare." Then he twisted his spoon and flung pancake batter at Shakespeare.

Shakespeare, not to be outdone, took his spoon and flung some batter back at Andre. The batter landed directly on Andre's nose.

And Andre said, "Not bad for a blind midget, but can you do this?" Then Andre walked over to Shakespeare carrying a bowl of pancake batter and poured it over Shakespeare's head.

And Andre began to cry, while the batter still dripped from the bowl onto Shakespeare's skull, "See what you make me do? See what you make me do!"

Suddenly, the falling liquid reversed and like boomerang-batter it covered Andre's face.

While Andre was wiping the batter from his brow, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sincere waving her hands and grinning, her crooked teeth glistening like sparkplugs.

"Ah hah -- blind midget, indeed! You had help, you leetle worm."

"I can't help it if I'm a resourceful blind midget."

"Resourceful, I don't think so; no, you are a sneaky blind midget!" Andre said, his eyes, ears and nose twitched, and he continued, "It's about time we got things out in the open."

Upon hearing Andre's proclamation, Simpson quickly glared at him. "That's not a good idea, Andre."

Shakespeare's curiosity was piqued, "Why not, Simpson? What are you afraid of?"

Simpson leaned down. He looked sincerely at Shakespeare and he said, "I'm afraid of getting my feelings hurt."

Shakespeare cringed, and he quickly said," I agree. No things out in the open. From now on everything stays inside!" Then he wiped imaginary sweat from his brow.

"On no, but you are wrong, Shakespeare, only by laying our cards on the table can we as individuals truly grow, and in kind, can our relationships grow as well," Andre said, as he waved his hands in the air, clearly entranced by his own words.

"Oh brother." Shakespeare sighed.

"Now what do you mean by that?" Andre said indignantly, glaring at Shakespeare. "You are forever saying, 'oh brother,' but what do you really mean?"

"I really mean, 'oy vey,'" Shakespeare grinned.

"That's right, Shakespeare, keep putting up the walls, the barriers."

That's when Simpson walked over to Andre and said, "Enough is enough. Why don't you grow up?"

And Shakespeare giggled, "Well, Andre, you said you wanted things out in the open!"

Andre looked at the ceiling, at the spot where the pancake had stuck earlier, and he said, "You know something, I was wrong, we already have enough stuff out in the open here. Too much and we'd fall from the weight of it just like that pancake."

Suddenly Diego returned and she breathed, "I just came back from the loft. Clarissa is fine, but she said she's tired of pancakes."

Andre, Shakespeare, and Simpson looked at the stove and sighed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-02-27
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