An Excerpt From "Gold Medallions"

An Excerpt From "Gold Medallions"

A Story by Waconda Springs
"

This excerpt is from the autobiography of Cris Saunters, head of food for the Olympics during five administrations.

"
"I can cook for everybody, ok?"
Is that a question?  It's ok...."
"Ok, no?  Ok."
"Ok"
"100 lasagna?"
"No, Ok."
"Ok."
"No, we have food here.  We're....the food is provided.  You can cook for your own team, but really, you don't have to cook for everybody here.  I appreciate the gesture, though.  Enjoy the Village!"
"Ahhhhhhhh, not for my team."
"Yes, you can cook for your team."
"Enjoy the Village!"

After the race, in the Chalet, I saw members of the Italian team eating fries from the concession.  "Where'd you get those?" I asked, but they only rubbed their bellies and gestured wistfully to three empty chafing dishes.  "Ah," I said.

On my way back to the Village, I spoke with Ajmain Hussein, who was Chef de Mission for the Turks.  He'd won a gold medal 28 years earlier in luge.  He was eating a large plate of spaghetti.  "Ajmain," I said, "Where'd you get that spaghetti bolognese?"

"From the Italian team.  They made spaghetti lunch for all of us.  Spaghetti bolognese."

"They did?  What did they eat?"  I was starting to become concerned about whether or not the Italian delegation had eaten post-race.  Our conversation three days earlier had been far from crystal clear.

"Fruit and candy from the machine."

None of the vending machines at the hill had fruit, I knew that, but was Ajmain telling me that all the Italians had eaten was candy from a coin-operated vender?  Hadn't I seen them rubbing their bellies?  I said good-bye to Ajmain and wished the Turks good luck in luge (they'd go on to capture bronze).  I had to find out what the Italians had eaten after the competition.

Arriving back to the hill, I wash shocked to find that the Italian ski delegation had piled their equipment outside the main entrance of the resort with a crude "4 Sale" sign made out of wood stuck in the snow next to it.

"Fuji," I said, grabbing Hiraku Fujimoto, an old friend who writes great columns for the Tokyo Evening Standard, "Where are the Italians?  How come all of their stuff is here?  Alberto Miscontini is due to compete in the 50km Freestyle Cross Country Mens in..." I removed my snow gloves and looked at my watch, "35 minutes!"

Fuji took off his spectacles and told me that I'd been fired.  That because of my negligence regarding the post-race meal, the Italians had gone without food, and had subsequently been forced to sell their equipment and leave the games immediately.  While I didn't understand any of that, I did acknowledge to Fuji that the last contact I'd had with chef Tony Cozzola had left me with more questions than answers.  I officially learned of my firing about seven minutes later, in the office of IOC chairman Jacques Rogge.  Fuji was the first to break the story, and even took me out for a nice meal, which helped soften the blow.

I've run into chef Tony Cozzola a few times since then, at various gatherings celebrating numerous occasions.  To this day, Tony swears that he didn't make spaghetti for anyone - that he made pizza.  I tell him, "Tony, I SAW spaghetti noodles in the empty dishes!  I saw them!"  We've become great friends and him and his wife have stayed at our house many times.




© 2015 Waconda Springs



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The image of vending-machine diets and sports-equipment sales is so bizarre that I am both bewildered and amused ;)
I agree with William Richards: a few dialog markers would help in the initial conversation.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Waconda Springs

1 Year Ago

Yeah, possibly. It's supposed to read a little confusing, though. There are a few larger problems .. read more
What a puzzling mystery! At least, despite the layoff, good friendship flourished!

Posted 2 Years Ago


Have you ever read "Trout Fishing in America" ? You have a Richard Brautigan thing going on. That's a very cool thing.

Posted 2 Years Ago


This was fantastic. Your ability to focus on different characters perfectly in this piece is very impressivr.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Waconda Springs

2 Years Ago

Thanks, Olivia. I've never really tried anything like it before, and was hoping it wasn't a t**d.
The first stanza... It's like riddle or something. Like you have to figure out what the conversation really is because most of it is just the word "ok." This is clever..... interesting way to start out. Kinda made my head spin a little to read

Posted 2 Years Ago


Waconda Springs

1 Year Ago

Exactly. Thanks for the read, Syd.
Great title name. I like the different characters who are brought in to the writing, who also effectively move the story along. My only suggestion: perhaps a few dialogue tags in the initial dialogue? (Please feel free to disagree!) I like how that initial conversation at the beginning ultimately and logically led to the surprising firing at the end. Thank you.

Posted 2 Years Ago


And let the games begin, quick, we need him here in Toronto. I think I saw some Chilean paddles for sale!

Posted 2 Years Ago


Very excellent writing. It was interesting to read! I enjoyed it and wanted more. I would love to have a book to read like that, really. It is marvelous! Grande'........Kyam


Posted 2 Years Ago


Waconda Springs

2 Years Ago

Thanks, Kyam. It was an experiment.

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Added on July 17, 2015
Last Updated on July 17, 2015

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Waconda Springs
Waconda Springs

Edmonton, Canada



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