Monday, July 28, 2008

Cleave Eats His Soup Without a Spoon

Cleave ate his soup without the aid of a spoon. As a result very few people could tolerate eating a cup of soup with him. This, however, did little to stop Cleave from consuming a great deal of soup.

He ate at a restaurant on the outskirts of a not very large town in which he lived. It was generally agreed upon by the citizens of this small town that the restaurant was to be avoided whenever possible, not only because of Cleave’s presence but because of the termagant wait staff it boasted as well. They were fearsome women, large and ungainly, prone to violence and, worst of all, to transforming one’s order into an entirely new and oftentimes nearly inedible something. It was amongst these fearsome creatures, though, that Cleave felt most comfortable.

He would walk in and in his way smile and then order a cup of soup. Split pea he would say one day, or cream of corn. He always ordered something different, and in their turn the women always brought him something different than what he had ordered. Slurping the contents of the bowl or cup or glass that they had served to him, what few patrons there were would look over in disgust. Excuse me ma’am, one of them might venture to say to one of the women working, but do you think you could please ask that man to be a little less noisy? The woman, unperturbed, would stare at the questioner, then turn to a coworker. Hand me that glass, she’ll command of her fellow harpy. She will then take the glass and hurl it at the head of the patron that had asked her the question, usually managing to harm either him or a member of his party. Silence would then descend upon the restaurant, broken only by the thick slurping sounds of Cleave and his soup.

While Cleave rarely ate in the company of others, he was also rarely assaulted by the women who ran the restaurant. In this sense, then, he was a quite exceptional character.

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