Ben pictured the perfect modern Dickens novel as trolling the grim precincts of the fish fry and bingo hall, noting the abject labor conditions of the volunteers. He could see that, contra Einstein, Catholic guilt was a more powerful force than the compounding of money, evidenced most recently by the fact that volunteer Kim was hiding her proud hair under black netting, and, what's more, frying fish despite being allergic to fish. Her arms later broke out in Old Testament boils.UPDATE: It would be saintly if readers might offer a Hail Mary for Kim, a real-life bingo co-worker who inspired the above and whose grandmother is sick and entered a nursing home yesterday. They are an extremely close family for whom this is an extremely trying time.
He'd entered the fry as a civilian this week, braving massive crowds for which parking was available only to the creative or impressively patient. Eight years ago they were serving 300 dinners a Lenten Friday and now over 1,000. "How unfortunate," he thought, "that St. Al’s makes really good fish and draws such huge crowds requiring a huge volunteer base with the penultimate result that Kim has to cover up her hair. How tragic that Catholics just can't tithe.”
Last week Ben had entered the Stygian chaos himself, spraying out vast vats and his face in the process, while behind him stood a stoic, moon-faced man in his early 40s. Ben imagined, or hoped, he was a frustrated chef and this was his outlet.
A blonde kitchen gadfly had just got back from a trip from Key West. Sincerely appreciative of the help, she attempted to befriend him as enthusiastically as that hooker on Times Square back in '86.... (to be continued)
March 26, 2009
Fiction for a Thursday
...because it's been far too long since our last fictional installment: