“I’m gonna do it, Fleur, I’m tired of being something everyone despises. I was meant for something bigger, I just know it,” Cal had made up his mind. Waving goodbye to her friend, Fleur heaved a big sigh and watched as Cal sauntered off. “This will not end well,” she thought.
“This is going to be great,” Cal thought cheerily to himself. All his life, Cal had felt that he was a victim of some kind of cosmic screw-up. He didn’t belong in this body, it had never suited him. He didn’t fit in with the rest of them, at least not on the inside. On the outside, he looked like everyone else, but that was all about to change. No longer content to continue on as a nobody, Cal had devised a plan that would launch him into the big leagues… where he should’ve been all along.
He snorted as he thought of those high and mighty jerks he’d soon be among, “They’re no better than I am, why shouldn’t I be a part of their group?” Cal said to himself. Thinking about his stuck-up cousins fired Cal up even more, “We’re from the same family for goodness sakes. Just cause they got the more colorful genes doesn’t mean they are God’s gift to humanity,” he scoffed. “I’ll show them, I’ll show everyone. Just wait till the guys see me, they’ll flip they’re dip!” Cal was starting to get excited as he neared the spot he had found earlier.
Nothing had changed in the last hour or so, everything was exactly as he had left it when he went to tell Fleur of his plan. Stretching a little, Cal gathered his courage, and before he could talk himself out of it, dove in. Thrashing around a little, Cal made sure his entire body was covered in the stuff before he reemerged… he could feel the change already. Standing perfectly still for a few minutes to make sure he was completely dry, Cal started thinking of the next stage of his plan. Getting in with the group would be easy; they were all so self-consumed it was likely that no one would even notice Cal was there. And if they did, it would probably be too late for them to do anything about it. Since they were all going to the big event together, Cal would just slip in with them and that would be that. It was perfect.
Walking with a new sense of pride, Cal approached his flashy cousins and walked right into the thick of where they were mingling. His camouflage was perfect; no one even batted an eye as he took a seat towards the back of the group. Soon someone arrived and escorted everyone, including Cal, to the event that had been the talk of the town for months. Looking behind him, Cal caught Fleur’s eye from where she and all his other friends were left behind. “Losers,” Cal thought, and giving Fleur a little wink, he turned in anticipation as he moved towards his destination.
“You think there are going to be many people there?” he heard someone ask. “Oh, yeah, I heard there’s gonna be over 260 people or something like that. It’s going to be epic,” another anonymous voice answered. Cal couldn’t believe his ears, 260 people? At one place? And they were all waiting for them.
Finally arriving at their destination, the group moved around a bit before settling in. A few left early, which was pretty normal and then his group started to thin out steadily as the event ramped up. “This is great,” Cal thought, “It’ll be me next.” Feeling empowered by his new status, Cal looked around haughtily at the others still waiting to be taken home. Then, it happened. He felt a hand grab him and he knew this was it, this was his moment. Needing to get one more smug comment in before his big performance, Cal looked back at the cousins he was leaving behind and said, “This ain’t no Veggie Tale, boys,” and with that, Cal E. Flower turned his eyes back to see where this journey was going to take him.
Placing a few pieces of Gouda and a handful of grapes on her plate, Whitney approached the veggie tray. Selecting a few baby carrots, some cucumber slices and finally one or two broccoli florets, she took the plate back to the table and placed it in front of Zach, her 4 year-old son. “Ok big boy, let’s try some veggies, yummo!” Whitney dunked a piece of broccoli in some ranch and put it in front of Zach’s mouth.
“NO!” Zach yelled as his chubby little hand knocked the broccoli out of his mother’s hand. “Cupcake!” Zach demanded.
“GOD, NOOOOO!” Cal screamed as he fell to the restaurant floor.
His ghost-white frame lay discarded on the floor. The green food coloring had mixed with the ranch dressing and was now pooled under his crushed body. There he would remain until later that evening when the cleaning crew would come through and sweep him into the bin to be tossed out with the other garbage.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: So today was the big event I’ve been working to coordinate the last two months. It was a graduation celebration for the newest class of Physical Therapy students and it was my job to make sure they were properly honored, pampered, and fed. Feeding 250+ people is no small feat, I assure you (I say ‘feat’ but I’m thinking ‘feet’ cause man, are my dogs a barkin! High heels hate me, the end). As I swapped out sandwich plates, cheese and cracker spreads, dumped more lemonade and sweet tea into dispensers I then made my way to the veggie platter to see if we needed to refill anything. Most of the veggies had been picked over, with one exception. Cauliflower. No one, and I mean no one seemed to want anything to do with the stuff, and I get it… I mean the stuff looks like some veggie vampire sucked all the mojo out leaving a pasty, tasteless blob. We probably had about 2 pounds of the stuff left over. Oh well, I’m not eating it… gross.
TWO: While breaking down all the tables, chairs, etc. from today’s event I decided I needed to sit my butt down for a quick second before my feet decided they had had enough and quit for good. While I was taking a fiver, I scanned the floor for trash that needed picking up and saw a few dropped carrots and one piece of lonely broccoli in front of the elevator bank. I don’t know why, but the broccoli spoke to me. I even got a little sad as I speculated on how he had come so close to being enjoyed by someone only to be dropped and now trampled into the ground. I wasn’t going to cry or anything, it just made me wonder what had happened, that’s all… geez.
THREE: The name Whitney is my ‘shout out’ to one of my student volunteers who helped me tremendously today and even shared her Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Molly cupcake with me (if you’ve ever had one, you know that’s a big deal). So thanks, Whitney, you’re the best!
Love & Squirrels.