Sunday, February 7, 2010


A Short Story

Kevin unwrapped his burrito, poking at the interior with his spork.

“I knew it,” he said, spearing a particularly large kernel of corn.

“It’s called a veggie burrito,” I said. ‘What did you expect?”

Kevin flicked the kernel onto the floor, where it landed near the leg of my chair.

“I expected vegetables,” he said, re-rolling the tortilla. “You know, mushrooms, kale, bean sprouts. Good healthy stuff.”

“What planet, exactly, are you from?” I asked. “You’re lucky there’s anything more than rice and beans in that thing. You’re lucky there’s a cheese-like substance in there to hold it all together. Count your blessings, my friend.”

He took a tentative bite of his burrito, then muttered, “Corn is the devil’s vegetable.”

“It’s a grain, not a vegetable,” I said.

“That’s exactly my point!” He wadded the burrito into a ball and flung it across the room. It smacked into the wall, leaving a brown smudge on the fading yellow paint.

“Nice,” I said.

Kevin shrugged. “Plenty more where that came from.” He reached over and grabbed one of my nachos.

We sat in silence for a few moments, polishing off my nacho platter.

“We ought to clean that up,” I said, staring at the remains of Kevin’s burrito.

“Go ahead,” he said. He stood and crossed toward the exit. “You coming?”

“You’re really not going to clean it up?”

“It had corn in it. Corn!”

“Excuse me.”

I turned to see two men in black. One held out his wallet, flashing a badge.

“We’re from the Corn Refiners Association. We’re going to have to ask you to come with us.”

Kevin glared at the men. “Are you kidding me?”

“No, sir, you’ve violated the by-laws of the Corn Refiners Association.”

“What are you talking about?”

The men in black grabbed Kevin’s arm and dragged him outside to a giant corn cob shaped paddy wagon.

“This is ridiculous,” Kevin shouted, struggling to free himself.

“I’m sorry, sir, the by-laws are very clear.”

They shoved him inside and slammed the giant cob behind him.

One of the men approached me.

“Sorry for the trouble,” he said, handing me a thimble-sized container of high fructose corn syrup.

I watched as they drove Kevin away. Later, I stopped at one of those roadside stands and bought a bushel of corn. Mmm. I love corn. All hail corn!


Donald Conrad said...

Well, that was an interesting and semi-surreal answer to "what-if". Welcome to #fridayflash.

Laura Eno said...

I promise to never throw my corn at anything - I love corn! Are THEY listening?

Funny story, Neil! Welcome to #fridayflash!

mariblaser said...

I'm truly scared of this semi-artificial corn syrup thing. Not healthy at all!

Very amusing story. Kudos you! :)

Michael Solender said...

you are a strange man

Karen from Mentor said...

I really really want to see a:

"giant corn cob shaped paddy wagon."

hee hee hee

Welcome to #fridayflash!

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Ha! That is great fun! I love corn, but hate corn syrup and such weird things - so I could relate to the viewpoints.

Someone ought to tell that guy that he was eating lots of corn in his nacho chips.

Welcome to FridayFlash

Sulci Collective said...

See this is what happens when educational standards are allowed to decline and people don't read the classics like "Grapes Of Wrath" and they forget their history. Had he have read it, then he would have respected the Corn and not treated it like the burden carried by a dung beetle. And then he wouldn't have got into trouble.

I like "Burritos" and burritos too. I do however agree with your protagonist about the demerits of the indigestible that is corn.

marc nash

mazzz in Leeds said...

Ah, the children of the corn have grown up and put together bye--laws!
I am shuddering atthe thought of the corn syrup - AKA hip and thigh fat in liquid form...
Welcome to the fridayflash madhouse!

J. M. Strother said...

That was a hoot. Thanks, I needed a laugh this morning. Welcome to #fridayflash.

Marisa Birns said...

I bought corn yesterday. The frozen kind. It's meant to be dried in the oven and added to a green jar with other things. It's for attracting money.

My friend has begged me to join her in doing this. "Crazy," I thought.

Hoping that it will keep the men in black away, though.

Enjoyed your #fridayflash. Welcome!

Cathy Olliffe said...

That guy deserves to go down! Who doesn't like corn! Me, it's my favourite time of year... better than Christmas and Easter combined. Fresh corn on the cob is nectar of the gods, people, nectar of the gods. And hey, Neilm your story ain't half bad either!!!!

Cecilia Dominic said...

LOL! All hail the corn! I was thinking that at least the guy didn't abuse the high fructose corn syrup when they handed the narrator a vial of it.

Welcome to the Friday Flash world!


Susan Cross said...

My husband always says, "Don't criticize a farmer while you're chewing." Good story. Great debut!!