Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Pronging of Helen Wagenstein

Here is a short story I wrote. Disclaimer: This is for humor only and not to be taken seriously

It was 2:15 in the afternoon, and Barry "Balls Out" Wagenstein was frustrated.

"Where are the GODDAMN onions, Helen?!" He roared, the smoke from his Fleshmaster 3000 custom grill billowing thick and fast.

"They are right next to you, moron!" Hissed Helen, holding a tray of deviled eggs.

The guests at the Wagenstein's annual barbecue stuffed themselves with various grades of charred meat, washed down by beer and second rate soda knock-offs. The barbecue and all it's inhabitants, if airlifted and planted in any other backyard in North America, would easily be indistinguishable from most local barbecues, and any reasonable person would go for hours before realizing something was amiss. Yes, there were dogs playing, yes, there were medicated children splashing in the Sears model Atlantis above-ground pool ($1,900 after discount), and yes, there were plenty of Spiderman arm-floaters.

Barry looked down and saw the onion slices. He grabbed them and slapped them one-by-one on his "Turbo-Burgers", making sure no eye-contact was made which would have acknowledged Helen's victory.

14 meters to the northeast corner, a trio of housewives gathered, their hair and sunglasses matching their shoes perfectly. Their conversation was so mundane and recycled it is impossible to record and relate with any sort of meaning or greater subtext, and any attempt to do so would result in immediate dismissal and possible nausea.

Five feet out from the pool to the southwest, Arnold stood with his wife. They were new, and had spent the last 25 minutes talking to the Schultzes about the home-owners association. This ended, however, when Susan Schultze (A name which her parents cringed upon when hearing of the wedding 7 years ago), gave her husband "The code", meaning it was time to politely move on. Susan and her husband had the code worked out years ago, and they delighted in the "suburban hipness" having a code brought them. Years later, when Susan's husband was dying, he told her he let the code slip at work, and all that time the other couples knew exactly what Susan was doing when she did it.

"That's why I never won Best-Fruit-Salad at the company block party" she speculated as her husband's body relaxed and went limp.

Barry flipped row number two, making sure the black scrapings didn't separate from the meat. In his mind, this was the key, and he'd be DAMNED if he let the separation happen. Helen walked by, of course, at this exact moment of speculation. Unknown to her, this would turn out to be the defining moment of her life.

"Why do you do that? Everytime. Why?" Squatted Helen, folding her arms.

"Just let it go, Helen." said Barry in his best 'scary-calm' voice.

"It is so gross. I don't understand. Why do you keep those scrapings on the meat?"

Barry fidgeted with his prong poker. His face began to swell. Helen was undaunted.

"Tell me right now!" yelled Helen "You think you are some sort of Chef or something. It's ridiculous. You and that stupid grill!"

Barry wiped the sweat off his forehead.

"I'm warning you Helen, you have no idea. Don't be a fool."

Helen's face warmed as she relished in the attack. This felt so good. It was like crying at a romance movie, only more fulfilling.

"You are ruining everyones meal. They all hate it, they just don't say. I'll say it though. You....Barry Wagenstein....are a TERRIBLE GRILLER!"

At that moment Barry howled in a frenzied cry so deep and primeval the entire barbecue stood motionless. His yell was vibrant, powerful, emotional, and people couldn't help but notice a bizarre connection with it, as if some long-lost genetic code had suddenly been awakened.
Barry lunged out with his prong, poking Helen hard in the right side of her gut. In an instant, a massive swell of air bellowed out of the puncture, vibrating and farting like a giant Balloon blown up and released. Her body shriveled and collapsed, jetting upward from the force of the air and twirling higher and higher like a rogue leaf. Within moments, she disappeared into the sky, never to be seen again.

Barry looked out at the crowd, their stunned silence unable to move or grasp what had actually taken place. Someones cellphone rang, which they promptly flung into the pool.

"So," said Barry calmly "Who would like some Turbo-burgers".

A line formed by the grill, and the silent pact was made. No one would ever speak of this, and it would be completely erased from the annals of human history.

- end


Bemused said...

Loved it!

Can't help wonder what events have inspired it :).

LisaBinDaCity said...

A man and his barbecue are not to be messed with ;-)