Next week I will have a book review to give. My last post was a bit of a downer, but it's time to move on. So, I have another story for you. Please use responsibly. I just gave myself a shot of coffee because I was doing the Feed My Reads thing on Facebook last night at Midnight Michigan time. I'm a bit sleepy from all that. If the following work of flash fiction makes no sense, at least no money was exchanged. Again...no matter what happens in the story, it doesn't mean you should copy the actions of any of the characters.
"Now, the only way this will work is if we all talk one at a time. Mr. Pineapple, how about you start off the discussion." The pair of glasses that he borrowed from Mr. Potato gave Mr. Pineapple an air of wisdom about him. He sat there in the chair next to me never dodging his gaze from me. Mr. Pineapple was always the respectable one.
"Gladly." I never figured he would have a British accent being originally from a farm on the main island of Hawaii. When I first heard him at the supermarket, I just knew this guy had knowledge up the wazoo. He continued, "As I was trying to tell you over the barking noise of that peasant woman droning on and on about her chest pain, you simply must avoid being irrelevant. Once you step into irrelevancy nobody remembers you and you die a lonely old man."
Suddenly, that rude S.O.B. of a tomato all perched on the table butted in. "Are you serious?" He had an obnoxious scream to his voice. "You're never gonna be important. You'll always be a loser."
I stomped my foot on the floor in protest. "That's why I have to do this. You're always criticizing me, Mr. Tomato."
"News flash, you just brought me home from the store two days ago, moron!"
"And ever since then, you've been telling me my plans won't work. That I'll just be a guy nobody will ever take notice of. Why can't you be more like him?" I pointed to Mr. Pineapple.
At this point Ms. Lemonhead chimed in with her tiny voice and I-don't-want-to-be-a-bother demeanor. "Um, excuse me." She was on top of the table directly across from me.
"What?" Mr. Tomato was often rude, but at least he could get Ms. Lemonhead to add some volume to her speech. "We can't friggin' hear you, you old sour puss."
"Hey," I scolded him. "Now, that kind of name calling is out of line." Turning to Ms. Lemonhead, I wanted to politely explain Mr. Tomato's request that she speak up more. "Ms. Lemonhead, you're such a lovely lady and you just smell wonderful, but you can certainly leave a bad taste in someone's mouth if you don't speak up. Don't be afraid."
Ms. Lemonhead did increase the volume level, but not by much. Although, by her standards, this was screaming her head off. "I just wanted to say that you two have some of the same thinking. I know, Larry, that you have these same thoughts of inadequacy. If you go through what you're planning, the world just might not notice. However, the adventurous part of you might be right and that you'll gain instant celebrity status."
"Now, Ms. Lemonhead, I admire you trying to get some peace here. Mr. Tomato has a reputation for being negative. You should've heard him. I had to sit across from him in the same produce aisle. You at least were a few aisles away. Obnoxious little fruit... or dare I say vegetable." Mr. Pineapple always knew how to rile up that Mr. Tomato. He certainly deserved it. How Mr. Tomato convinced me to bring him home, I never would know.
"Vegetable? Vegetable?" Mr. Tomato was insulted. I smiled at his distress. "Look at you with your pretentious glasses that use to belong to a vegetable. You think you're so smart with your prickly spine and high brow stem. Why, I outta come over there and slap that ridiculous thing off your face."
"Oo. I'm so scared. You know you're just as inanimate as I am. But, getting back to our original discussion, Larry, this is your moment. A chance for you to really make a dent in the world. You're mayor now, but you're meant to be a star...that's the role for you." Mr. Pineapple had a point. He was so encouraging, unlike that Mr. Tomato.
At that point, my wife entered the kitchen with her blond hair upswept, "Honey, aren't you coming out? Your campaign manager is...what's going on?"
"I'm having a focus meeting here. What does it look like?" I thought that was rather obvious, but my wife just stared silently, her mouth frozen or something. That was odd because she normally never shut the hell up.
She looked at my tux crumpled in a heap beside me. "Why aren't you dressed? The press is all out there. We got the podium and mike all set up. You're just in a bathrobe and slippers."
"Mr. Pineapple, tell her." I was just too tired to explain it all...and all nervous. I still didn't know if I could go through with it.
"You see Mrs. Warner, your husband the mayor is planning a brilliant move into the entertainment business. From politician to celebrity. Perhaps an invite to a certain dance competition could be in the works." Mr. Pineapple stated this all too elegantly.
Only, my wife seemed to just ignore him. "I don't know what the hell is going on. But, Larry, you better move along..."
"I told you she wouldn't go for it!" shouted Mr. Tomato. "But, no! You just had to listen to that Hawaiian special with the fake British accent!"
That just really ticked me off. My face felt beat red, almost as red as Mr. Tomato, and I wagged my finger at him. "You just keep stirring everything up! You're nothing but a..."
"Are you talking to that tomato? What is wrong with you?" Mrs. Warner said this, but I just was too upset with Mr. Tomato to notice.
For his part Mr. Tomato continued to yell out his constant barrage of nastiness. "You're nothing! You're a loser! They'll just forget all about you!"
"Now, now." Ms. Lemonhead trembled at the tension in the room. "Let's all be respectful..."
"Ah, go suck yourself, Lemon-lady!" That was the last straw. I wouldn't stand for that little red devil mocking a lady like that. My momma raised me better.
I picked up the son-of-a-bitch and threw him towards the door between the kitchen and living room. My wife ducked, but Hal Johnson, my campaign manager came in at that time and Mr. Tomato broke apart all over his face. Mr. Tomato shrieked in utter agony and then...deadly silence. Hal started wiping my friend off his face and cried out, "What the hell is going on?"
However, I was too shocked and ashamed at my actions. I clutched my cheeks and tears burst out of my eyes, "What have I done? Oh...my friend. Why, Mr. Tomato, why? I'm so sorry I killed you. My anger...got the best of me." I slumped to my knees and deeply wept. Now, I was a murderer.
I could hear my wife and Hal conversing. "I think he's flipped his lid," my wife mentioned.
Ms. Lemonhead also joined my sorrow. I got up and hugged her closely. "He was...not that bad. A little rotten maybe, but aren't we all." She said nothing but cried.
Hal muttered, "I better try and get rid of the press."
Luckily, Mr. Pineapple brought it all back to reality for me. "Larry. Go, now. Before the press scatters. They are the vessels of your jump to fame."
"You're right," I told him. Gently setting Ms. Lemonhead down on the table, I pushed passed Hal and my wife and made a bee line for the patio doors. This was my shining moment. My wife and Hal screamed after me to not go out there or I'd be finished. I simply yelled back, "I can't believe that you're wearing my friend and you say that! This is my moment."
All the reporters were sitting in chairs waiting to ask me questions. Cameras were all affixed on me. However, they wouldn't be getting any responses from me, instead...they would be dazzled. I snatched the microphone off the podium and I sang the first bars of "Tomorrow." My wife tried to grab me from behind, but I simply pulled open my robe and dropped it on the ground, breaking free from her hands. Now, they would see me. They would never forget me. I knew that I would be a star. And I danced, I sang out, I wiggled my hind-end at them, and I let it all hang out in the front. My little guy proudly bounced around. Some hid their eyes while others were absolutely mesmerized--they couldn't take their big round eyes off of me. They all feverishly typed away on their smartphones, obviously sharing the news of this mayor's great talent.
I couldn't believe my own police department hated my whole performance. They tackled me to the ground and locked me up like a common criminal. Worse, they covered the work of art that I was with ugly county issued orange. However, the laugh was on them. My picture had been in every newspaper coast to coast and I became the top subject of all the news programming. I did it! I had reached stardom.
As for Mr. Pineapple and Ms. Lemonhead, they never bothered to visit me--now that I was a big celebrity and all. I wrote to them, though, understanding how my new career path would separate us into different social classes and noted their intimidation for the rich and famous such as me. The city recognized how wonderful of an entertainer I was now and so, they dismissed me as mayor or recalled me or something like that. Anyway, they promoted the vice-mayor which would work out quite nicely. She'd never have the guts to pull off what I did that night in my own backyard.
As for Mrs. Warner, you know what they say. Celebrity marriages never last.
Well, that's the end of the story. Have a great weekend everyone. Be good to yourselves!