SCRUMPTIOUS

SCRUMPTIOUS

A Story by Marie
"

Sad story of a man and his appetite...

"

     “Scrumptious!” Bailey cried, as he dug into his wife’s pineapple upside down cake. “Scrumptious,” he said when he tasted her tender, juicy meatloaf. “Scrumptious,” he sighed about even her simple baked potatoes, which were a feast in themselves.

 

      Maggie, this  great cook, was not Bailey’s first wife. That had been Lambeth. Lambeth was a terrible cook. It was said of her that she could burn water. The dishes she took to pot luck suppers were tasted, for politeness sake, and immediately discarded. Her hard boiled eggs were rocks with tiny fragments of shell clinging to them. Her salads consisted of wilted lettuce with bits of cardboard tomato. If she peeled and sliced an avocado it became stringy and full of rotten spots. Cheese molded as she grated it.

 

    Bailey, a tall man, weighed less than 140 when he married Maggie. On her cooking he was soon up to 180, which he considered his ideal weight, then 190, then 200. “Honey,” he said, “I love your cooking, but I love it too much. I’ve got to lose some pounds. Could you manage to make things a little less scrumptious?”

 

     “You should have told me before,” Maggie said. “I can cook without oils or sugar; I’ll serve more salads and green vegetables. You’ll lose weight in no time.”

 

    But he didn’t. Maggie’s grilled chicken with succotash was delicious. Her salmon noodle bowl was superb. Her honey-oat clusters melted in his mouth. Everything was, in a word, scrumptious. Instead of having his usual three helpings, he had four or five.

 

     Bailey walked every morning, but that only gave him a voracious appetite for Maggie’s egg white omelet and lean bacon, from which every bit of fat had been drained.

 

     When he reached 300 lbs, Bailey went to see Dr. Carruthers. “Eat less,” the doctor told him. “Exercise more. It’s very simple.”

 

     “No it isn’t,” Bailey said. “You see, my wife is a great cook.”

 

     “Lambeth?”

 

     “No. She left me for Bill Hascomb. I remarried a little over a year ago.”

 

     “Well, that would explain it. Bill was just in to see me. Seems he’s suffering from malnutrition.”

 

     “Really? I remember him as a big guy. Probably 200 lbs.”

 

     “Not anymore.”

 

     “Oh.” Baily remembered the atrocious meals Lambeth had once served him and understood.

                 ****

     Dr. Carruthers gave Bailey a diet sheet, which he took home and showed to Maggie. “I don’t this will help much. No matter what you fix, it tastes wonderful. I can’t help eating  more than I should.

 

     Maggie knew there was only one thing to do. She deliberately became a bad cook. She learned how to overcook and undercook food. She learned how to serve dishes that were so salty they were inedible, or so bland they were tasteless. She squelched her natural talent and made herself forget all her culinary skills.

 

     It worked. Bailey did no more than pick at his food, and he rapidly began losing weight. But he wasn’t happy. Neither was she.

 

     Then Maggie noticed the postman who brought their mail each morning. He was a very thin man, almost emaciated. Looking at him she suddenly had an impulse to bake a superb ham, crusted with brown sugar and cloves. She wanted to make peanut butter kisses, three-cheese lasagna, her specialty of blueberry cobbler thick with cream.

 

     Maggie fell into the habit of chatting with the postman every day and found out he wasn’t married. He found out she wasn’t happy…

                 ****

     After losing two wives to other men, Bailey didn’t remarry. He buys frozen dinners and heats them in the microwave. As he digs into reconstituted Salisbury steak or chews corn pudding, with crystals of ice, he remembers the days of fried chicken and mashed potatoes…succulent pork-stuffed cabbage rolls…apple dumplings. A tear rolls down his cheek as he thinks of the delicious multi-layers of coconut crunch delight. Scrumptious, he mouths sadly, bitterly.

 

     And he knows he’ll never say the word again.

© 2015 Marie


My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Reviews

sad and yet quite funny. you've put poor Bailey in quite a dilemma. how can one stop eating when the food is scrumptious?
a great idea of a story, Marie.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

I guess poor Bailey finally lost weight when he had to rely on frozen dinners. Although I don't supp.. read more
That was a very good story which entertained me all the way through. I just didn't know what was going to happen next, and very well written as well. I have a lot to learn.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Really enjoyed this Marie. Both imaginative and well written; indeed a gourmet delight. T

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thanks; I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Your writing is really clear and kind of whimsical here. I really enjoyed this story and I can see how the "food" and "weight gain/loss" could be symbolic of other things. Poor guy though. Maybe he should stick to cooking and eating his own food.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thanks. There really is no symbolism here. The characters in the story just were never able to reac.. read more
Awww! He need to moderate his scrumptious food intake! But the moral of the story is, good marriages are not built on one single attribute of partnerships, and need nurturing on several levels to get the perfect recipe, just write! smiling at you, Tai

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

I appreciate your review.
Wow! The writing is lovely and the story is great! I love this kind of funny and sarcastic story.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thank you very much.
Marie, this was superb, dare I say "delicious?". I was only curious about the title but when I started reading I could not stop. A real treat, really.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thank you.
you really weave a great short story...you are the Hemmingway of WC...with the brevity...great twists...

and "the postman always does ring twice"? especially when Maggie is cooking.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thanks Jacob. I never thought of myself as Hemmingway...or James M. Cain, for that matter...
And such are the travails and tribulations of married life! Poor Bailey just couldn't win, and we don't even know about his sex life. (A lady may compensate for bad cooking in, er... other ways) Quite entertaining and well-written, Marie. You have a missing word here--"I don’t this will help much."

Posted 6 Years Ago


Marie

6 Years Ago

Thank you for catching that, Sam. I wrote this in response to a prompt from another group. but I mig.. read more

First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

564 Views
11 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on July 3, 2015
Last Updated on July 3, 2015
Tags: food, cook, ham, postman

Author

Marie
Marie

San Antonio, TX



About
I have been writing for almost 60 years. Writers' Cafe is the best writing site I've found. If you send me read requests, expect me to be blunt. I don't like poor grammar, misspelled words or mistake.. more..

Writing
THE HANGING THE HANGING

A Story by Marie


TO G.H. TO G.H.

A Poem by Marie



Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..