Hot Coffee

He said, “Coffee.” Then he looked aside. “It’s getting hot out there.”

“Yes.” She smiled. “I’m surprised that you want hot coffee on a day like this.”

“I like the smell of hot coffee.” He grinned. “It helps me focus.”

Nodding, she slid a mug of steaming coffee across the counter. “I know what you mean.”

Astfloonomy

Astfloonomy (floofinition) – 1. A practice held by animals of gazing at the night sky; 2. Branch of science devoted to finding the shapes of animals in the stars.

In use: “A professor emeritus of astfloonomy, he pointed and said, “If you connect those stars, you can see a small mouse.” He looked down at the cat. “See it?” The cat did not reply, which was a reply.”

Eat the Rich

“Eating the rich has no nutritional value.”

I read that on the package, in the nutritional panel, before I buy the cookies. Nothing about fiber, sugars, or fat. “No vitamins are in this product,” the manufacturer claims. Serving size is stated, “Whatever you can pack in.” My kind of cookies.

I’d gone to the store for something snaky and discovered the “Eat the Rich” cookies. I put them after musing about whether these will satisfy my needs, but take no chances and add a hefty brownie from the bakery. After arriving home, I open the cookie package with tenderness, preserving the package so I can close it later to preserve the cookies’ freshness. I also like that cookie Mount Rushmore of rich people on the front. Trump, Gates, the Koch Brothers, and Jamie Dimon are easily recognized. So is the Queen of England.

I pull a few cookies from the bag. Naturally, I want to eat Trump first. Well, I don’t know if that’s natural, but it is my impulse. The bag’s back lists all the rich cookies that they make but caution that not all the rich may be inside. They warn, too, some cookies might be broken.

All the cookies are busts of rich people. I find a Donald J. Trump. Orange, the resemblance is pretty good, for a cookie. I sniff it for impressions and get nothing. I figure, the cookie being orange, it might taste like pumpkins or orange, maybe lemon or some other citrus flavor. No; it tastes like cold and greasy McDonald’s Big Mac and French fries. Despite that, I eat the whole thing. I feel a little sick when I finish it. It leaves a bad aftertaste.

Half a cup of hot coffee dilutes the aftertaste. I check out other rich cookies and discover the cookies have the people’s names on the back. Bill Gates. David Koch. Queen Elizabeth. Mark Cuban. Alice Walton. Howard Schultz. Musk. Bezos. Zuckerberg. Sergey Brin.

David Koch’s cookie is white as a plastic Starbucks lid. No smell to it. I take a bite. Hard and crunchy, it has no taste. Frosted pink, with a pink hat. Queen Elizabeth is more appealing. Nibbling on her hat, I’m rewarded by a sweet raspberry lemonade taste. She’s so yummy, I eat her all.

I find a Larry Ellison but I don’t want to eat it and move on to another shortbread offering, Mark Zuckerberg. He’s white-faced with brown hair, with a frosted white shirt and the shoulders of a blue suits showing. I munch on the suit. A flavor I can’t identify overwhelms me. Another bite also mystifies me, reminding me of raw broccoli covered with milk chocolate. I want another bite. Sourness coats my tongue. Dill pickles. Despite that, I want one more bite. A black licorice flavor rises.

Half the cookie is gone. I figure I’ll finish it and stop. Zuckerberg’s head tastes like cotton candy one one side and bad tuna fish on the other. Two bites remain. First one is lemony but the second one tastes like forty cats shat in my mouth.

I drink the rest of my coffee to drown the flavors. After a minute, I start looking through the cookies for another Zuckerberg. That first, mystifying flavor haunts me. I don’t have any more Zuckerberg cookies. I head to the store to buy another bag, but it’s like they say: Zuckerberg might not be in the next bag. Although the bags cost ten dollars each, I buy three bags to improve my chances of getting a Zuckerberg.

Driving home, I wonder about that. He reminds me of Facebook. I don’t know what I’ll get but I feel like I must keep looking.

***

This is entirely fake news. I don’t know if “Eat the Rich” cookies exist outside of my imagination. They were just a whim springing out of a glance at a bag of frosted animal cookies.

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