July 13, 2010

Gnarish's Flatulent Feast

The weekend went relatively well, and things are settling back to what passes for normal at our house. The out of town Aunt will be here for several more days, and I might have further adventures with her, but in the mean-time, I'm back to writing. --Anne Prompt: In the desert…there was a smallish…monster…who suffered from flatulence…and loved baking snickerdoodles. Gnarish farted and took the pan of perfect snickerdoodles out of the oven and set it on the counter. He slid the fresh pan of unbaked cookies into the oven, and carefully closed the oven door. Still wearing his oven gloves, Gnarish moved the full pan of cookies over to the table. He’d found it a lot easier to remove the soft cookies in one piece if he let them cool on the pan for an entire baking cycle before he tried to move them to the rack to cool completely. Gnarish farted and gently lifted each crackly brown snickerdoodle from the cooling rack and set it carefully into his cookie jar. Today he was using the cookie jar shaped like a little, fat, bald-headed monk. You lifted the monk’s head and shoulders off to get into the cookies. Once the cooling rack was free, Gnarish carefully transferred the cookies from the previous baking sheet onto the wire rack, then took the baking sheet across the room to the counter. He meticulously brushed all of the crumbs off the cookie sheet, then took the cold dough from the refrigerator. He scooped out precise amounts of dough, and rolled them between his hands into perfect spheres. One at a time, he placed each sphere into the waiting bowl that held the cinnamon and sugar mix, and rolled each sphere in the spices until it was well coated with the mixture. The bowl of dough went back into the refrigerator. Gnarish farted and set each of the spheres on the cookie sheet, at exactly the right distance from its mates. He picked up the drinking glass and dipped the bottom of the glass into the cinnamon sugar, then flattened one cookie just slightly. He flattened each cookie, being careful to dip the glass into the cinnamon mixture each time, so there would be no chance of the cookie sticking to the glass and getting its perfect shape ruined. By the time Gnarish was finished putting the cookies on the pan, the timer was ringing, and it was time to move all of the cookies again. Oven pan to the counter. Raw cookies to the oven. Rack cookies to the jar. Relieve himself of flatulent pressure. Cooled pan cookies to the rack. New raw cookies on the cleaned pan. Around and around, again and again, until the cold bowl of dough was exhausted, and everything had been baked and cooled. The monk cookie jar was filled to the brim with perfectly round, perfectly browned, perfectly crackled snickerdoodles. Gnarish farted and hovered his nose over the finished cookies in the jar. He fished several of them out and stuffed them into his mouth, crushing the perfect cookies into buttery, sugary crumbs with his fangs. The clock in the hall struck noon, and Gnarish turned off the oven and hurried upstairs. He carefully combed his yellow fur, and got dressed. He farted again when he leaned over to tie up the laces on his sneakers. Really, this flatulence was definitely out of hand. It was almost continuous, and the smell often caught in his fur, making him socially unacceptable in most company, which was why Gnarish was now on his way to see the doctor. Gnarish returned to the kitchen, got out a small cardboard box and a piece of tissue paper, and proceeded to box up half a dozen cookies as a gift for his doctor, and another half dozen for the bus driver. He made sure he had his wallet and bus fare, then left his home and walked through the blazing summer heat to the bus stop. Gnarish waited patiently at the stop, sitting on the mesh steel bench in the shade of the metal awning. The native desert plants that landscaped the bus stop were in bloom today, after the rain day before yesterday. The red, orange, and yellow flowers were bright against the tan dirt and dusty green leaves of the plants. The bus rumbled to a stop in front of him, and Gnarish slid his past through the reader slot, then gifted the driver with his box of cookies. The driver set the cookies aside to eat a little later when he got his lunch break. Gnarish moved to the back of the bus and found a seat. It wasn’t very long before the bus arrived at the stop nearest his doctor’s office, and he pulled the cord, then disembarked from the lumbering conveyance. The little monster walked the three blocks to the doctor’s office, and entered quietly, not wishing to disturb any of the other patients who were in the waiting room. He left a fragrant trail of methane behind him, reflecting that in his current condition, it would not be hard at all for tracking dogs to follow his trail. Fortunately, the time was long gone when humans hunted monsters, and both species now cohabited the planet in peace. The receptionist coughed moments after Gnarish entered, and waved him to a seat at the far end of the room. Gnarish sighed and sat where she had indicated. He understood it was because she had a hard time breathing his output, but it still was a sad thing for him when people took an anti-social stance to his odiferous gasses. The nurse called for him, and Gnarish moved from the waiting room, down the hall toward the examination room, stopping along the way to be weighed and have his height measured. It interested him that the scale showed no change before and after the fart that escaped while he was being weighed, although it did jiggle while the gas was in the process of passing. He entered the exam room and heaved himself carefully up onto the doctor’s table, sitting on the end with his toes swinging freely. The nurse bustled around the room, taking Gnarish’s temperature and blood pressure and pulse, meticulously adding the current information to his chart, then left with a cheery wave as she informed him the doctor would be in soon to see him. After what seemed like just about forever, but was probably in reality only a matter of five or ten minutes, the doctor entered the examination room carrying Gnarish’s chart. He set the chart on the little desk, and looked it over. Gnarish suspected this was just for show, as he could have looked it over out in the hall where the air was less perfumed by monster methane. The doctor closed the chart and turned to Gnarish. “We’ve gotten back the results of all the tests we’ve done, and I believe I have good news for you.” “You mean there’s a way you can stop me from farting so much?” Gnarish was so excited at the thought, that he let off such a long, loud, and extremely stinky fart that the cloud of gas was almost visible, and the smell crossed even his eyes. The doctor’s eyes were streaming, but the professional man didn’t flinch. “The lab has confirmed you have a mild food allergy, and the flatulence is a result of your body disagreeing with that particular food.” “So all I have to do is stop eating the food, and my problem will go away?” “Exactly.” “Do you know what food it is?” The doctor nodded. “Oh, wonderful joy!” Gnarish clasped his hands together in ecstasy, and winced as several more puffs of gas rippled through his yellow fur. “What do I need to quit eating?” “Snickerdoodles.”