5 Stories in 100 Words: Snacks
Between pregnancy and the allure of summer, I have been drifting in and out of the groove of work. One day is 3000 words in two hours. The next day is day dreams leading to reality pool visits (find yourself a friend with a pool - love you, Jill & Ryan!). Still the next day, the pregnancy checklist consumes all daylight hours.
With these fluctuating days, I am thankful for this prompt. One hundred words on a topic gives me an opportunity to ease into writing, and hopefully it does the same for others who share here. This round our theme is snacks. Pregnancy influenced this one. From the trade tactics within an elementary school cafeteria to freezing for French pastries, our guest authors offer playful bites to digest as you too float through your summer work haze.
Quelcy Kogel, food stylist and founder of With the Grains
The contents of our brown paper bags were currency, and in the gym-turned-cafeteria, we became tactical and ruthless day traders. My bottom line was a twin pack of yellow, sponge cakes with thin, peanut butter layers, enrobed in chocolate “flavored” shells. I traded with the zeal of a Wall Street wolf, but my taste buds betrayed my greed. I had reaped one [hundred] cake(s) too many and woefully discovered my saturation point. More than two decades later, the mere thought of these cakes still makes me nauseous.
As I walk down Walnut Street with Lucy, there’s just one thing on her mind… snacks! My six-year-old Labrador has been my shopping buddy since she was a puppy and she knows where all the snacks are along the street. Matt at Henne Jewelers often has a bacon flavored treat for her. The Eyetique shop has a bowl of Milkbones on the counter. Lululemon smartly keeps a lid on their treat jar that’s tucked right inside the propped open doors. But the ultimate snack destination is PNC Bank. The tellers there often give Lucy 2 or 3 big treats!
Only one person ever bought them at our gas station. The sticker said, “Ox Tails.” The label at least did the favor of adding the quotation marks. Whatever resided in between those stale pieces of bread, hidden inside a sandwich bag, basking inside the warmth of a heating lamp from morning to night… it wasn’t the tail of an ox. More like old flesh. Shredded rat. Maybe pieces of Cheryl’s thumb (she lost the top half slicing lunchmeat one night). It was an old grey color like shrived dolphin skin.
Still, I rang myself up for one everyday at lunch.
I realized in the instant before I reached my door that I didn’t have my key on me. I hadn’t grabbed it before I left the house. I’d been too focussed on my goal: getting an almond croissant from the French bakery down the street. Well, I’d acquired the treat, but now I was locked out. On the coldest day of the year. With nothing but a croissant. My bare fingers shivered as they clutched the pasty. I looked down at the croissant, glistening next to the snow. After a beat, I started laughing. And I laughed, and laughed, because what else was I going to do?
His & Hers
His and her towels are cute. His and her mugs are useful. His and her Cheetos are cause for contention. Two bags for $5 is irresistible; but there is a line drawn in the sand. I rip open my bag and devour. My willpower is powerless against the cornmeal snack. Ben watches and plots with a Grinch-style smirk. Only after the last lick of cheese from my index finger does he open his bag, daggling the crunch in front of me. Joke is on him. His willpower is powerless against my baby bump. Love is a shared bag of Cheetos.