Friday, June 05, 2009

Eat Me, Drink Me

A dinner party. Alice was looking forward to the dinner party. Well, that's what she told herself. Mad Hatter had invited two people to share a meal, and even though he didn't tell Alice until a few hours before the guests were to arrive, and even though it was very hot and too humid down the rabbit hole, she was game and didn't really mind using the oven. But then Mad Hatter told her that it had to be simple because one of the guests – the male one – had strict medical orders to eat with consideration for his newly unblocked arteries.

Wow, Alice thought, this dinner party needs to be renamed to...well, just dinner; the word “party” wouldn't have a place at this table. But she was game. So she baked rather than fried, and made sure there were plenty of roasted vegetables, salad, fruit, and polenta. She added spices rather than salt, and did everything she could to titillate the taste buds with all that taste buds needed for titillation, for umami.

The guests arrived and brought lots of wine and cheese, and pâté. Well, maybe a party was on!

They refused to eat or drink any of it.

Or not.

They also didn’t eat any of the food that Alice prepared, except for the salad. And they only drank water. The male guest told her that he was not allowed to eat: meat, cheese, bread, sugar, salt, blah, blah, or drink: wine, soda, coffee, tea, blah, blah.

Mad Hatter ate all the pâté and the cheese so he wasn’t hungry when the actual meal was served and only ate some fruit.

The guests didn’t eat, but they did talk. They discussed a friend who had married a much older man; they felt she was a prisoner in her new life as wife to a professor who was only interested in hunting for mushrooms. That was all he did during his leisure. That was all he talked about at their dinner parties at those moments when he sat at a table with them in the evening and edible things were on the table.

: Why did Martha marry him? I mean, after all, it’s not as if there’s any sex going on!
MALE GUEST: Yes. Yes. No sex, just hunting for mushrooms and --
FEMALE GUEST: AND did you ever see the mushrooms he brings as gifts? The ones he's picked? Aside from making me worried that we'll be poisoned, they look like. . .like . . . CACA!

Alice, who was eating decided she wasn't hungry after all.

ALICE: Well, maybe she's in love.
FEMALE GUEST: Love? No! How can you love someone who can’t blow up the balloon?
ALICE: What?
MALE GUEST: Also, he’s not attractive. Rather rectangular and looks as ugly as a homemade fence.
MAD HATTER: What are you people talking about?

So on a very hot and humid evening, Alice was sitting at her little dinner party that didn't really involve dinner, or a party. But she learned plenty about Martha and her unattractive, rectangular Mushroom Man who, while not good with balloons, could put a pig to shame as he elbows his way to the front of the line and digs, digs, digs deep in the woods.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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