Monday, November 18, 2013

Wackford Squeers and the Woodchuck: A Love Story

[Shelly, this one is all because of you. You and your sweat-less yet bad-ass mac & cheese.]

Once upon a time, a tall, gangly dude named Mister Wackford Squeers discovered himself striding down a narrow street with drab beige walls towering overhead. He was on the hunt - yet he didn't know what he was hunting for. He felt hungry, but it might have been the boredom. The suffocating, drab beige boredom surrounded him, even now, as he rambled down the road. The world was dampened and muted by the invisible, choking, apathetic cloud.

The sudden sight of a crimson awning startled him out of his reverie. His long legs carried him to the window to read the small sign hanging there: "SnootiAsse Fraunch Boulangerie". Chuckling softly, he pushed the heavy door open and walked into the building, curious.

His nose was pleasantly assaulted by the decadent scent of butter and cheeses. The hunger he felt before blossomed into noisy gastric growls as his mouth began watering. His feet seemingly moved of their own accord to a corner table, set with a prissy white tablecloth and single white rose. There was nobody else in the vicinity. All he could hear was the slamming of pots and pans somewhere miles away in the kitchen.

He began to loudly clear his throat to gain someone's attention, as it became clear that nobody had heard him come in. That clearance quickly turned into a choking attack as he turned and was confronted face-to-face by a toothy, grouchy fuzzball. What made Wackford choke even more was the fact that this fuzzball was sporting a tall chef's hat. "This is just every kind of wrong," he thought to himself while attempting to gulp oxygen into his lungs.

"MAY I BE OF ASSISTANCE, MONSIEUR!" boomed Chef Woodchuck in a surprisingly deep, throaty voice. Mr. Squeers was amused to note that these vocalizations were perfectly uninterrupted by the dagger-like teeth currently bared at him. The woodchuck slammed a menu down in front of Wackford.

Once the paroxysms had diminished, Mr. Squeers perused the brief menu and pointed at fancy words which translated into "Potatoes with AmazeBalls Gravy" and "Bad-ASS Macaroni & Cheese". Without further communication, Chef Woodchuck disappeared into the kitchen in a blaze of brown fur. Wackford was left with his confusion and the white rose which appeared to be nodding at him in agreement.

The aromas from the kitchen flooded even more strongly into the immense dining area. Wackford drummed his fingers impatiently on the white tablecloth, awaiting the culinary treasures which were sure to delight the senses. Just when he thought he couldn't take another second of waiting, two plates were shoved in front of him. Wackford jumped again, unaccustomed to the silent movements of the woodchuck. He gazed down at his bounty, slowly becoming aware of the woodchuck's intense glare. The beady eyes grew even more drawn as the woodchuck was assessed.

Wackford took a small bite of the mac & cheese. His hair stood on end from the immense pleasure of this experience. He looked at the woodchuck with awe and reverence. "Truly bad-ass, Chef." A brief nod from the woodchuck, and Wackford dug his silverware into the potatoes. The flavor of mushrooms almost blinded him as he savored the second dish. "Completely amazeballs, sir," Mr. Squeers murmured, as he continued to enjoy his meal.

The woodchuck preened.  As if the grumpy switch had been turned off, the woodchuck beamed toothfully at his new customer. He bustled off into the kitchen with his fur puffed out. Wackford left a large sum of money on the table and exited the building into the drab beige, noting the location for future reference.

As he was preparing to turn a corner, he looked back for the awning. It wasn't there. All Wackford saw was a stretch of drab beige that seemingly lasted forever. With the residual taste of mushroom gravy and cheese on his tongue, he returned to reality.


[Side note: Wackford Squeers is a character from Charles Dickens' Nicolas Nickleby.]

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