The Proposal

The Proposal

A Story by A R Lowe

A Students' Tale



The Proposal



  “I've proposed something, to myself.”

  “What's that, Bob?” said Bob's friend Ben.

  “I'm going to live on a pound a day until the end of term.”

  “Can that be done?” said Ben, looking into the bottom of his pint glass.

  “Easily. I once read about a student who lived off porridge for a whole year. He lined a drawer with greaseproof paper and filled it with porridge. He saved a ton of money.”

  “A bit drastic,” said Ben.

  “Yes. The first recorded case of scurvy for I don't know how long. He should have eaten an orange now and again. I won't fall into that trap.”

  “Scurvy's a bore.”

  “He lost a few teeth,” said Bob, getting to his feet. “My round; might be the last one I'll be getting in for a while.”

   The next day Bob emptied a drawer of underclothes and, in partial homage to the porridge eater, filled it with bags of rice, pasta, beans and lentils. He stocked his cupboard with garlic, onions, potatoes and carrots and placed his one luxury " a large bottle of olive oil " on the mantelpiece, the better to observe its slow descent. He would abstain from refrigeration, and heating, this term, and had already fitted an energy efficient bulb in his room. When the four house-mates came to split the electricity bill he would haggle from a position of carefully calculated micro-consumption. He would cook on a camping gas stove.


  “How goes the pound a day lifestyle, Bob?” asked Ben when they met outside the faculty of medicine some weeks later.

  “Fine, just fine. Cutting out the booze and f**s, and meat, has done me good. My marks have gone up too.”

  “You're glowing with health,” said Ben. “You're just missing the halo.”

  “It'll come. I've cut out sex as well. Girls are expensive, even when they pay their way.”

  “No sex is a bore,” said Ben, knowing it. “Back to normal next term, then? See a bit more of you down the bar?”

  “Yes, well, I don't know. I'm enjoying the lifestyle more than I thought I would.”

  “Indecision's a bore.”

  “I'll decide in the holidays.”

   Ben saw just as little of Bob the following term and that summer they both graduated and went their separate ways.


Eighteen years later Ben bumped into Bob on Harley Street.

  “Bob! How are you doing? Don't tell me you're working here already! I've just paid a visit to old Prof Booth. I'm trying to flatter my way into his team.”

  “Hello, Ben. No, nothing like that. I've just been to see my therapist.”


  “Yes, after that term I became obsessed by economising " sparwut the Germans call it. It's been the bane of my life ever since. I lived in a cave in the Atlas Mountains for ten years. My brother tracked me down and brought me back.”

  “Do you fancy a pint?”

  “Yes, but you must insist that I pay. It's part of my therapy.”



© 2013 A R Lowe

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


It's a rather strange story. I'm not quite sure what to say to it. It's like he's trying to hard just to cut out everything, and what does he get? therapy? Is THAT what he's been trying for all along? I don't think so. So it seems sort of like he's lost his way, and is just shooting out randomly, like living in a cave, cutting out sex, ect. just random things to "make him enjoy life more". Surviving, I guess-but is it enjoyment?

Posted 10 Years Ago

Interesting. You can get obsessed with good things too.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on August 23, 2013
Last Updated on August 26, 2013
Tags: Flash Fiction, Short Story, Humour, Humor, Humorous


A R Lowe
A R Lowe

Lancashire, United Kingdom

About more..

Shale Shale

A Poem by A R Lowe

Television Television

A Story by A R Lowe