Friday, July 07, 2006

I Yam What I Yam

In the cafeteria at work this afternoon, I passed a display case in which stood a wholesome selection of Southern delicacies (the Food Theme this week, for some unfathomable reason).

In a warming tray stood a gelatinous light-brown mass, its exposed parts busily developing a darker-brown sugary crust. I wouldn't have given it a second look, but for the sign that stood next to it:

Candid Yams.

The typo gave me a slight giggle, and, with mild indignation at the sad state of proofreading among immigrant cafeteria workers these days, I cast my lunchtime thoughts elsewhere. But as I hobbled away from the case, a small voice stopped me in my tracks.

"Looks like you've put on a little weight, there, Cap'n!"

I shook my head, blinked once or twice, and turned around.

"You gonna go with that beard? Please don't tell me you're gonna go with that beard. You look like Grizzly Adams, fer crissakes."

Flabbergasted, I made my way back to the display case. I bent down to where the voice seemed to be coming from.

"Dude, that shirt! Nineteen-fifty-six baby-puke yellow? What are you, Cosmo Kramer? Can't you afford anything better? Oops, that's right -- you haven't climbed quite as high on the Corporate Ladder as you'd originally envisioned, so you're probably pinching pennies in the wardrobe area. That's all right, there are plenty of other losers whose shoulders you can cry on. There goes one now."

I glanced to my side. A dear friend passed by, carrying a tray of food.

"Tell you a little secret, there, chum: No matter what she says to the contrary, the Little Woman's probably getting a mite sick of going Tourist Class, if you know what I mean. Guys like you lose gals like that. And another thing --"

I pulled myself up to my full height, stiffened my spine, and tried to assume my haughtiest demeanor.

"I'll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself, sir."

"Oh, yeah? Eat me!"

Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say, but you wouldn't know it by me. I don't mind it lukewarm either. Lukewarm and sweet.


XTCfan said...

You know, don't you, that you played right into ol' Yammy's hands? He wanted you to eat him. It's his reason for being, after all. He thought you couldn't handle the truth, so that's why he gave you a good dose of it. And beta carotene. Yams are full of it.

Bill said...

You should have another fancy ball and invite the side dishes at your cafeteria. The Candid Yams were probably hurt that they didn't get to go last time.

nash said...

I am reminded of a sign in a college cafeteria: "Please Only One Dessert." I was always tempted to respond, "Monogamy is overrated."

Categorical Aperitif

julia said...

In which I giggle.

This reminds me of my favorite brief summary warning, "May cause frank psychotic episodes"

My impression of a frank psychotic episode:

I hate you dress, and my dog wants me to kill you.

Neddie said...

"May cause frank psychotic episodes"

Poor Frank!

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you know they were fresh!

I recall that Harlan Ellison's anthology Deathbird Stories started with a warning not to read too many of them at one sitting. (And yeah, he wasn't kidding!)

I've also read a "Phil psychotic episode"... namely Philip K. Dick's novel Valis. That one should have had a warning....

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you know they were fresh!

and saucy.

XTCfan said...

Since no one else has pointed it out, I feel it's my duty:

The Candid Yams is an excellent band name.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

My tapioca-strong memory seems to be trying to recall a stripper/porn star character named Candide Yam in some fiction or other I read. Could it possibly have been in something of Thomas Pynchon's? Bonus plusgood for the Voltaire tie-in. I am going to go to google in a minute, but perhaps Neddie or one of his astute and omnivorous Raelettes can help me out.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber