Monday, December 31, 2012

The Breast Milk Savings Plan

"Mark! Hey buddy!"

"Michael, hi, good to see you." The two old friends embraced.

"Been way too long, thanks for stopping by."

"Sure, thanks for having me."

"Come on in."

Mark stepped into the foyer of Michael's Bryn Mawr mansion, a multi-million dollar home in the Philadelphia suburbs. He tried to remember the last time he'd seen Michael, but couldn't.

"Gosh, Mike, this house is incredible."

"Thanks bro! Yeah, we like it, been here five years now."

"When's the last time we hung out?"

"Hmm, don't know, probably that first year after college?"

"Sounds about right. Time really flies."

"Well, I can understand why you never wanna leave the city, even though we're only a short drive away."

As Michael spoke, his wife walked in from an adjacent room. Immediately, inadvertently, Mark noticed that her chest was much, much bigger than he remembered, though she didn't seem to have gained weight elsewhere. He assumed she'd had an enlargement.

"Mark, hi honey! It's been, like, forever?!" she opened her arms and approached for a hug, which Mark accepted, her big bosom nearly sending him backward.

"Wow, Julie, you look great."

"Thanks! How have you been?"

"Good, still in the city. Same job, same house. Sheila sends her regards."

"Oh, thank goodness for that, so many of us move out to the Main Line nowadays, but the city's so much fun! I don't blame you guys for staying. Having all of this space," she did a little twirl in place, right arm raised with palm open, as if making a presentation, "isn't all it's cracked up to be."

"I'm sure it's nice."

"Sweety," Michael said, "don't you need to go feed Mikey and Christine?"

"Yes, you're right, I'll be down later, you two have fun." With a demure wave, Julie disappeared up the stairs.

Michael sighed and led his guest into a cozy room. "How about a beer?"

"Please."

He reached behind a large wooden bar, motioning for Mark to sit on a brown leather couch. The paisley wall papered walls were covered with family photos.

"How old are your kids now?" Mark asked.

"Good question! I forget sometimes." Michael laughed loudly at his little joke. "Just kidding, Michael Jr. is seven, Christine is five."

Mark looked at his watch: nine thirty. "They eat dinner pretty late, no?"

"Oh, yes, by general standards, that's true. But our kids are always starving around this time."

"Hmm, why's that?"

"Well, Mark," Michael hesitated, then continued, "take a look around this house."

Confused, Mark did as he was asked, conspicuously letting his eyes wander around the room and through its two doorways. Designer furniture, tasteful artwork everywhere.

"How much do you think this place and all of this stuff cost?"

"I don't know, Mike, a lot, I guess?"

"Yes, Mark, yes. A lot. So as our two children grew from being babies to toddlers and on from there, we figured out a way to afford this lifestyle and still be sure they're as healthy as possible."

Mark, now even more confused, the passion with which Michael spoke making him uncomfortable, waited for his old friend to finish.

"Let me tell you Mark, the taxes alone on this place are over $25,000 a year!"

"Wow, hefty."

"Yes, Mark, yes. Hefty indeed. For these reasons and more, Julie still breast feeds our children."

"Still … breast feeds them?"

"Yes, Mark, yes. Did you happen to notice how large her breasts are?"

"I did, I mean, no, but yes, kinda."

"Well, that's because this 9:30 meal is one of the largest of the day for both children, so she was practically overflowing! By the time she comes back downstairs, she'll be two bra sizes smaller."

"Oh, that's a big difference."

"Mark, have you ever tasted breast milk?"

"Not since around age one, but yes, I have."

"Well, let me tell you, it's delicious! And nothing is more nutritious. Cow's milk is so expensive nowadays! We don't buy it in this house anymore, buddy. There's no need." Michael winked as he spoke this last sentence, sending Mark into a dizzy state of disbelief.

Just then, Julie sauntered into the room. Mark noticed she'd changed clothes and though he couldn't be sure, her breasts did look smaller.

"Oh good, Mark, glad you're still here. Michael, there's a new episode of Girls on tonight, right?"

"Yes, sweety, sure is. Maybe Mark wants to watch with us?"

"You guys have HBO!" Mark exclaimed. 

Michael and Julie looked at each other and laughed. "Of course we have HBO! It's so worth it."

At this, Mark polished off his beer and placed the empty bottle on the bar. "Mike, it was great to see you. Julie, great to see you too, but I've got to get home."

"Oh, Mark, are you sure you have to go so soon?" Julie asked. "How about some homemade ice cream?"

17 comments:

  1. All the short sentences and paragraphs, and the kind of snugly aware-and-not-saying phrasing give it a very authentically cheesy feel. Definitely enjoyed this, Richard, though man that ice cream offer was gross!

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    1. Thanks, John! And I agree with you about the ice cream sounding gross.

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  2. I hear the Cows Union Local 272 are mounting a picket! This was good fun!

    marc nash

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    1. Ha ha, good one, Marc! Thanks for reading and for your comment.

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  3. There was a real furore in the UK because a cafe started selling breast milk ice cream. Reality and art do mirror each other!

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    1. Wow, really? That's hysterical, I'd never heard of breast milk ice cream really being made, let alone sold retail. Thanks for your comment, Icy!

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  4. Ha! This is hilarious Richard, great work.

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  5. Heheh! I'll bet he's glad he didn't ask for a milky coffee instead of beer now. :)

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    1. Ha ha, no doubt you're right, Steve, he probably would've spit out his coffee.

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  6. Eeewww!! (Breast milk always is somehow cringe inducing). The California cows might pay Mark a visit to protest.

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    1. Sorry to gross you out, Brinda! :) Or perhaps the cows wouldn't mind? I don't know.

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  7. LOL I'm laughing now, apparently breast milk tastes sweet, but I really don't remember. I guess if I did I'd say thanks for the mamories - sorry about that! ^_^

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    1. That's hilarious, Helen, 'thanks for the mamories,' I love it! Thanks for your comment.

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  8. This story had a kind of horror feel to it too, especially as we don't get to see upstairs. You just know when a story is set in the suburbs that something like this is going on. Great title, but it does give the game away rather.

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    1. Hi Justin, thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I love your point about not seeing upstairs, and I laughed at your mention of the 'burbs. About the title and how it 'does give the game away,' a talented flash fiction writer/professor once told me that there are 2 schools of flash fiction: 1 that prefers stories that build up to a surprise ending, and 1 that prefers readers to know what's going to happen as they read. I think I alternate from school to school with my stories, and in this case, I wanted readers to know where it was going while they read. I just thought it would be too weird as a surprise.

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