A Humorous Short Story
A family had all come out to eat their dinner at seven pm, a rare event. The event was somewhat special, so the usual excuses of another activity were not to be tolerated. On the Tuesday night which represented a special holiday for the family, all six members were dragged out by each other.
The television was turned on. The static cling lasted for a few seconds before the darkness was replaced with the images of the channel they were on. Exactly the one they wanted, considering how the channel was almost never changed. Likewise, the family could all eat and watch a show which only a couple out of them liked, but none particularly disliked it. Dinner was ready. The mother took her plate and sat down at the couch next to the window. The old antique was labeled ‘dirty’, hence could be eaten on, by their standards.
Then came the father. He took his roast beef and sat down by the mother, both enjoying their meal. Then came the younger of their sons. He took some meat, and then proceeded to take the side-dish as well. He plopped two scoops of his mother’s delicious tanned and buttered mashed potatoes onto his plate, savoring the taste. Then he moved to the cream-style corn. Instead of the metal bowl that the mashed potatoes has been in, the corn was oozed into a plastic container with the lid underneath. He smiled, knowing that the leftovers would be used the next day and that he would have his side-dish as well. The thought of how easy it would be to have this kind of a meal every night came to him, but he decided to ignore it.
To him, the canned corn just had to be opened, put in the container, warmed up, and was ready to serve. It could come every night, but then he would take it for granted and end up hating it. He took it and went onto the peas; the same identical thought came to him with the equally sized container. He drained the water out of the scoop he had taken and went on to salt them. After a light coat, he proceeded to sit down on the red chair directly in front of the television. As always—on the way there—he received the same comment from his older brother.
“Why do you ruin your potatoes with the cream-style corn and peas on top of them?”
“Because it tastes good, of course.”
After he was out of the way, his older brother and younger sister began struggling over who would be next. They pushed each other in their friendly rivalry, each pointlessly trying to get there first. It was always that way—five minutes before, they had done it for the other red chair in front of the television as well.
His brother won eventually and the two settled in their seats—his sister in the red chair and his brother in the rocking chair behind the red seats.
His older sister patiently waited for them to finish before taking her meager portions and settling for her spot at the table. The table was at the dining room on the wall, but in their house, the dining room and living room were less than five feet away with no barrier. So her spot at the back of the table still gave her an excellent view of the television as well.
The six eat half of their meals before they decide to do anything besides watch the television. Conversation about the food comes up, intertwined with a conversation about clothing.
The older brother, at these two topics, again took a shot at his brother. “Seriously, his jacket should be burned! I mean, look at those stains!” he graciously points at the several stains on his younger brother’s black jacket, receiving no response for a while. “Just set a torch to it! With all of that grease accumulated over the year, it should catch on flame instantly.”
The younger brother had just finished a bite, but does not decide to respond. He had been through this before; his brother constantly teased him about the same things over and over again, so the best result, he found, was silence.
The conversation was carried over to other subjects, amongst them the older brother’s bed. Its deteriorating condition had been a problem several times; he had scars from several scratches received from springs piercing the bed and his sheets were shredded. When discussing what color his new sheets should be, he mentions, “They should be black. That way, the stains would just blend on in.”
His younger sibling finally decides to speak up, interrupting the conversation. “Brother?”
“Black doesn’t work.”
The older brother stared and his younger sibling for several seconds, focusing on the black jacket. Several seconds later, the younger brother repeated the statement. “Black doesn’t work.”