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!”
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!