General Script posted December 9, 2012 Chapters:  ...5 6 -7- 8... 


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Meet at the Mall

A chapter in the book Short

Food Court

by Bill Schott

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

The elevator door opened and Lee stepped into the mall food court. Les had already jogged up the escalator on the opposite side of the plaza and was grinning from the short line at Veggie Villa. Lee had decided to get a slice of pizza at the Pizza by the Pound franchise. Once the food was in hand, they both maneuvered through the crowd and sat at a table that Les had already de-littered and wiped down with napkins. They positioned their chairs across from one another without speaking. Les's vegetables sat smugly and soundlessly on the table, while Lee's pizza sizzled like a burning fuse.

"You're fat!"

"What do you mean; I'm fat?"

"You are fat."

"I am fat? I am what - fat incarnate? I represent all that is the essence of fat?"

"Pretty much."

"So I am merely 180 pounds of fat with feet and a brain. Is that what you're saying?"

"No, not at all. I never suggested that you had a brain."

"Just fat and feet then?"

"Fat and fatty feet. If you could see them you'd agree."

"I do not understand why you feel it necessary to gauge people by the amount of fat they have on their body."

"That's because you're fat and have no brain. I know that because you are sittin' across from me, a tub of lard that had to take months to gather into one lump, especially when you had to do it without the expenditure of energy of any type, and are obviously about to try and defend your obesity with some lame rationalization."

"I have nothing to defend."

"No, you have a ton to defend, just no defense."

"Why are you doing this?"

"I'm trying to help you."

"I don't need your help."

"Denial!"

"Denial? I'm not in denial of anything!"

"Denial of denial!"

"You've got a lot of nerve calling me fat!"

"Nerves of steel. Abs of steel. Buns of steel."

"How would you like a skull of steel?"

"Are you threatening me because I called you fat?"

"No, I can think of a million reasons to kick your ass. Your immense tact and sensibility are worth at least a couple days in intensive care."

"I sense your hostility."

"It would be so rewarding to crumble your body of - heh- steel, like tin foil."

"I think you're lashing out at me with anger, because you know that I'm right."

"You've never been right, in the head."

"You know that you have got to be fifty pounds overweight at the very least."

"Fifty p-"

"One eighty? That's the direction you need to go. You have to be hitting 200 if you're an ounce."

"What is this all ab-"

"You know you have absolutely no excuse in the world for it being this bad."

"Why are you saying this to me? Why are you -"

"Trying to hurt your feelings? I'm trying to shake you up tubby."

"Tubby?"

"I'm trying to alert you to a genuine problem that you have. A problem that people have not addressed to you, because they don't give a rat's ass about you."

"That's not -"

"They see you making excuses about not going to the beach."

"I love the b""

"They know why you won't attend a pool party."

"I don't play poo -"

"They don't care why you won't play basketball anymore. They know you're just afraid to go shaking all that blubber."

"I like a pool - thing."

"They all just figure you're too fat. Just like you do. You figure you're too fat."

"I'm not fat!"

"What if Christ would have been fat? You think all those crucifixes would have a big old gelatinous Jesus hanging off a cross? Talk about mass."

"You can go to hell for shit like that."

"Big ol' Easter ham."

"Can it!"

"Timber!"

"Go to hell!"

"Think anybody'd hung around waiting for a big fat Mahatma Gandhi to show some signs of starvation? They'd still be waiting."

"You're rambling now."

"Think people'd pay to see James Bond, double-wide-oh-seven, battle bad guys in a Lane Bryant sweatshirt and stretch pants?"

"I'm not fat!"

"What are you then? Thin?"

"You know thin isn't an indication of worth. Most thin people are thin because -"

"Because they're starving to death in some butt-hole country.

"No, I mean this country."

"They watch their weight. I watch my weight. You make it impossible not to watch yours."

"They're thin because they inherited it, along with their sloth, stupidity, and need to feel superior."

"Is that me? Lazy, dumb, arrogant?"

"Don't forget asinine, delusional, and verbose."

"Look, I didn't mean to be harsh."

"What have you got that would place you in a position to speak down to me?"

"I'm not -"

"You're a drunk! You haven't got a pot to piss in. You can't hold a job, you've got to sponge off everybody, and really think that, somehow, you are better than me."

"I'm not a drunk."

"Denial."

"I'm not in denial."

"Denial like a crocodile."

"I've got money."

"Where?"

"I spend it. I get it and I spend it."

"You mooch it, then you squander it, then you stand in judgment of me."

"No. I earn money, or I secure a short time loan."

"Is blackmail a reportable earning now?"

"It isn't blackmail. Pretty priest plays, pretty priest pays."

"Say that again."

"I don't think I can."

"And secure? Do you know what that means? I know you know what 'short time' means."

"That's how long something stays on your plate."

The vegetables sat in mute anticipation. The pizza had stopped sizzling. A sudden silence between them was shared by the immediate crowd.

"YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME!"

Like a limited explosion, the surrounding patrons felt the heat of the sudden outburst. Within seconds the onlookers had recovered and were back into their own worlds. Les and Lee remained silent for a few more seconds until Lee reiterated the last statement in a calmer tone.

"You can't judge me."

Les was silent for another few seconds before speaking."

"Ah - Immm - nah - junk - ink - oo"

"What? What are you saying? What are -"

"Huh uh uh ah "

"Holy shit! Oh my god! Leslie! Are you all right?!"

"What do you mean, 'Am I all right?' Did I sound all right?"

"What?"

"What if I were having a stroke or a heart attack or something? You gonna quiz me or help me?"

"You're all right?"

"Yeh, I'm fine, but you gotta learn how to do more than panic and ask stupid questions when someone's got a serious problem."

"Do you have any idea? Do you even realize what a bitch you are?"

"Look, if you were having a stroke, I could help you. Seeing what you eat, and the shape you're in, it's likely that you're headed down that route."

"You can't be for real. How could we possibly be related?"

"Look Sis, Mom says we're identical. You and I know better."

"You are my evil twin."

"Hey, I double the pleasure and double the fun. You just - double."

"That's it, I'm going home. The pizza isn't any good anyway."

"Took you five bites to figure that one, huh?"

"Good-bye."

Lee rose with her purse in hand and stepped off in the direction of the elevator.

"Wait Lee Ann. Don't leave yet."

"What Leslie?" she said over her shoulder, still moving away."

"Lend me ten dollars."

"Go look in the poor box," was her last remark, head never turning, as she continued to the elevator.

Leslie looked down at the remaining two celery sticks, crossed on her plate. 'Pretty priest plays, pretty priest pays' ran once more through her mind.

"I guess I will go check the poor box," she whispered to the empty space before her.


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