05 October 2005

Toast Sandwiches

IN THE quiet of an empty shop Arthur and Harold sat munching their sandwiches and discussing the solitude of their lives.

"I'll tell you, Harold," said Arthur who was a larger though not prettier sparrow than his friend, "this is a most beautiful day."

Harold smiled through his chomping beak. "Yes. Yes," he said, swallowing.

"And these sandwich lunches are something tremendous," Arthur beamed.

"It's the toasted bread," Arthur explained as he was the little pretty one who understood things so well. "Previously we ate our meats and cheeses on squishy soft white bread, and our midafternoon get-togethers had been simply the sharing of nourishment. But toasted bread has made this something different!"

"All I know," said Arthur who understood in his own way, "is that now my Swiss on rye goes 'crunch, crunch' between my large ugly beak!" He giggled in glee. "It makes me so happy, my feathers sweat!"

The two birds burst out singing and laughing rather loudly, though it was of no great concern as the restaurant was nearly empty. In their merriment Harold proposed a toast sandwich, it being a slice of toast between two slices of toast. Arthur took to this immediately and almost burst with excitement. They called the waiter over, a frog who hopped over sheepishly.

"What can I do for you today, sirs?" he asked. "Isn't everything all right?"

"It's splendid," Arthur assured him. "It's just that my dear friend across the table from me who just happens to be my brother-in-law has just had a marvelous idea. Harold, you explain."

The smaller, prettier sparrow who was really a first cousin nonetheless smiled at the recognition. "Paul," he said to the waiter whose given name was Paul because all frogs were called either Paul or Paula but never Pauline, "we would be grateful if you could bring to us each a toast sandwich!"

The waiter stood confused. "Hey Paul!" he called to the cook who was also a frog. "Ever hear of a toast sandwich?"

"I can explain," Harold interrupted because he was very good at both. "We would like a slice of toast sandwiched between two other slices of toast." Arthur's wings were dripping with perspiration.

"Wait a minute," Paul the waiter-frog said. "What you're asking for is a toast sandwich?"

"Yes!" the wiggling sparrows exclaimed.

"A toast sandwich on toast, correct?"

The birds nodded wildly.

Paul the waiter-frog puffed his throat out in exasperation. "In other words," he said, "you'd like me to bring you six slices of toast on two plates piled three high. Yes?"

Arthur and Harold pointed their beaks down in embarrassment. "Yes, please," they answered meekly.

Grinning, the waiter hopped to the kitchen which was soon filled with a whooping laughter.

Arthur fidgeted angrily in his seat. "Hop," he muttered bitterly. "All they do is hop around all day calling each other Paul and eating flies. 'Ribbit. Ribbit.' Can a frog soar gracefully across the skies?"

Harold shushed him. "Here come the sandwiches," he said.


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Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Why begrudge me a little fun. And must you chew gum.
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal