MONDAY: Stadium

BY LARRY BROWN

Copyright is held by the author.

THEY DON’T won’t allow it. I tell her that. She can buy one at the game. I tell her that too. All right, problem solved I tell her, I’ll do it, at the game I’ll buy you a sandwich. Diane, deep into another health kick — day two already! — slices the loaf of bread baked by monks or Mennonites, or maybe the Masons and their decoder rings. Stadium food, no, sorry, she’s not about to go anywhere near stadium food. I tell her she’s never been, not to a game, not to anything at the stadium, so the food there, what it’s like, she can’t, you know, know. Diane says she knows it’ll be sausage this or sausage that and the sausage family is one food family she doesn’t want anything to do with and besides, at the stadium any food that’s not sausage-related might as well be sausage-related since what they put in it, well, nobody knows, nobody wants to know, just like you know what —sausage. I tell her there’s a booth inside the stadium, it sells corn on the cob. Diane slices her skinless prairie-born-bred-and-beheaded chicken into thin strips. Diane says corn on the cob isn’t a sandwich. I tell her corn on the cob is an example. Diane says corn on the cob, forget corn on the cob. I tell her corn on the cob, corn on the cob is proof. Diane says corn on the cob, get off corn on the cob, Diane says corn on the cob? Diane says You’re not making any sense. I tell her here’s what’s not making sense, right there on the counter, that sandwich. I tell her, again, they don’t allow food, any food, to be brought into the stadium, nyet to outside food, we’re not going to a potluck supper. Diane spoons mayo onto the chicken. She uses a soup spoon. Diane says me repeating myself doesn’t make me right, me repeating myself makes me repetitive. I let go a noise, it’s what a guffaw, a wet one, must sound like. I don’t remember guffawing ever before. Diane replies with a noise of her own, a snort then a laugh with a scoff lurking inside. We sound like we share a cave. Diane says, the security at the stadium, they’ll turn a blind eye to her little snack, she’s fine, she won’t be pepper-sprayed. I tell her I’ve seen the security in action and that security, blind eyes there aren’t any. Diane answers by wrapping her chicken-on-holy-bread sandwich in aluminum foil. Diane zips the wrapped sandwich inside a ziplock bag, squeezes out every last spit of air. Diane opens the fridge and marches out the veggies. Dill pickles and their empire of sodium, I notice, she counts as a veggie. I tell her they’re serious, the security people have to be, it’s all this terrorism shit, the suicide bombers and everything like that happening all the time everywhere, and the world, it’s not the same world nowadays. Diane wraps a double layer of aluminum foil around the veggies like she’s shielding them from radiation. Diane says it’s her mistake then. Diane says she’s going to have to read the newspaper more carefully. Diane says she missed all the stories about Canada’s corn on the cob stands being targeted by suicide bombers. What’s next, soft pretzels? My God. Diane smirks. Maybe I smile. For sure I think a lot of things. Mayo and dills, I think, for instance. Diane asks if I’m ready. Are you? she says. Are you ready? she says. And I say Are you?

3 comments

  1. Charles Pinch

    Larry,
    A savvy blend of prose and dialogue. Smart, contemporary in tone and feel. You get a sense of the characters just from the sound and intonation of their words. It’s a lovely depiction of a few moment’s interaction in an ordinary day that everyone can relate to. Quality writing.

  2. Charlene Jones

    Larry, what a neat, precise exploration of many themes…food and our current obsession with what “healthy” means, stadium as a container for the collective, relationships and how we see-saw between argument and humour, rising and falling, when we are deeply engaged in a conversation. Well done. Very enjoyable reading!

  3. Karen Warner

    Really enjoyed this. I can easily relate to the characters (may even be like one of them!) and had a bit of a deja vu moment while reading it. Perfect way to start the day except now I have a craving for sausages & dill pickles!

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