Flash Fiction: Me vs Food
Kicking My Late Night Munchies Habit
I was about to kick my late night munchies into oblivion.
Question. As a woman, what’s worse than someone asking if you’re pregnant when you’re not pregnant?
Answer. A father telling his son that he can have a ride on a circus elephant and then him pointing straight at you instead of the real circus elephant.
The conundrum. Karate chopping men in the nuts is still illegal.
So, do you…
A, Do it anyway and pray that there’s a socially unacceptable feminist group somewhere that will support you in court?
B, Do it anyway and then go into hiding whereby you join an underground scary clown gang who spend their nights lurking in dark shadows scaring grown-ups?
C, Do it anyway because you know, deep down, that in the UK they’re handing out free sex changes in prison which you could use to go from “clown” to “ordinary individual” before you get back out so that nobody would recognize you? (You’d just have to pray that the Daily Mail didn’t get hold of it.)
Now then, that’s not an easy decision to make, is it?
Personally, I had already chosen “b” before I decided to pounce on that exceptionally stupid father with a death wish in the front row. Mainly because I had previously mastered how to move quickly in a dim light after reading some ebook entitled “How To Look Ten Years Younger” some while back, so that decision was a pretty easy one to make.
I didn’t, however, realize that I was thinking out loud with my microphone still attached to me when I had considered it.
Before I had even so much as a chance to roll up the sleeves of my clown outfit, the rest of the circus folk in the circus ring had pounced on me and thrown me outside.
Dejected, fat and alone, I wailed up at the night sky from where I stood, “That’s worse than someone asking you if you’re pregnant. How could he—”
“Aww, when’s it due?”
I looked down to my left, Pugit the circus pug was shuffling past.
“Up yours, Pugit.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not babysit—”
“As if, Pugit. I wouldn’t trust you with my iron deficiency, let alone a child. I’m not even… oh, whatever.”
I stomped back to my sleeping quarters and sat, hunched over on the edge of my straw bed, with an undecided face that kept flittering between ‘I’m so angry that farting could be dangerous’ and ‘maybe a chocolate bar would help’.
I considered all of the causes that could be contributing to my recent weight gain. The most glaringly obvious suspect had to be my clown outfit. I mean, it’s not as if they make slimming clown outfi—
Two hours later and Google was certain that that slimming clown outfits didn’t exist. Another hour later and Amazon and Ebay were sure that China hadn’t invented them either — I was at a loss.
Then, just as I was about to give up and go eat a cookie, I spotted something gently peeking out from underneath my pillow: a Toblerone, five Easter eggs, a packet of bourbon biscuits and a bottle of Tesco’s Finest Prosecco. That would save me a walk to the kitchen.
Thirty minutes later and I felt fabulous!
So great in fact that I decided to do that eco-friendly thing where you carefully fold all of the empty wrappers before binning them in order to save space on the rubbish tip.
Then, suddenly, through my hazy prosecco eyesight, I spotted something on one of the labels: the sugar content, the fat content and then the calories.
My prosecco nearly returned to my glass, no doubt because it had just realized exactly how many calories it was hanging out in my stomach with, as the gravity of what I had just eaten hit me.
I did the math, pretty badly to be fair because I was so drunk, and worked out that if there were seventy calories in each bourbon biscuit, and I’d just eaten one-hundred and twenty of them, that I would basically have to power-walk, with seven Victoria Secret models on my shoulder, to China and back, and then, and only then, would I have burned off the equivalent calories. And then, and only then, did I remember about the bloody Toblerone and five Easter eggs I’d also just eaten on top of it.
I had to change, immediately, as of that second, without a shadow of a doubt, nothing could stop me, this was totally happening. Kicking my late night munchies habit was absolutely happening.
I stood up, alright, staggered to my feet, and punched the air. “From this moment forward,” I shouted, “I will never touch another chocolate bar aga—”
And then I remembered something, my stomach had a winning food mantra all of it’s own; “if it’s there then you eat it, grumble, grumble, if it’s there then you eat it, grumble, grumble.”
This was a dire problem for me. I lived in a circus, meaning temptation was everywhere and my tummy always won. I was going to need to think fast.
The next morning I stumbled into the circus cafeteria. My head was banging and my stomach a little dicey but, amid my hazy hangover, I knew that a good breakfast would sort me out.
However, the problem with a prosecco hangover is that it leaves your brain lagging about fifteen seconds behind your bodily functions, meaning that I had a body/brain sync issue which was about to cause me some serious issues.
Under normal circumstances, I would have just bolted at the first warning sign of a carrot flying overhead, but my body just carried on for breakfast regardless.
The first thing I noticed was my BFF, Popcorn the elephant, and the rest of the circus folk throwing food at the cafeteria staff from a distance.
My brain didn’t take note, instead my body walked itself over to the vegetable breakfast buffet and began helping itself.
The next thing I knew, one of the cafeteria staff handed me a glass of tap water and my bodily reflexes instantly threw it back in her face.
I stood there, bewildered, staring at the empty glass in disbelief as things started falling into place.
I turned around, casting my gaze over Popcorn and the rest of the circus folk and shouted over to them. “Why the hell are you hurling carrots at the staff for? Everything is orang—”
I looked down at the breakfast buffet and recoiled in horror. “What the hell is this,” I shouted, “fifty shades of carrot?”
I held the empty glass of water in my hand and growled at the staff member that I’d just thrown it over. “Where the hell is my breakfast smoothie? Are you trying to kill me?”
“It’s… it’s all gone,” the staff member said. “We woke up this morning and all of the food is gone.”
Guilt swept over my face as I turned back around to face Popcorn and the rest of the circus folk. “Did… did anyone see what I got up to last night?”
A sea of grated carrot flew over the cafeteria and covered me head to toe.
Dr Norbert, the big boss, walked over to me. “Daily Florence. Daily flipping, the cause of all my troubles, Florence. What the hell have you done?”
I scraped grated carrot from my eyes. “Well, I think, maybe I got drunk and decided to go on a diet last night and, I think, I might have got rid of all the nice food so that I wouldn’t eat it because my stomach has a pretty solid food mantra that’s better than anything else I ever came up with.”
“So, all you left us with is carrots?”
“I know my stomach.”
“Daily, we’re twenty miles from the nearest shop.”
“Which seemed pretty perfect at 3 am this morning but now I think abo—”
“And why are you going on a diet?”
“Because last night this father on the front row said to his kid that he could go on a ride on a circus elephant and pointed straight at me.”
“Daily, Popcorn the elephant was stood behind you when he said that. And then you went off like a crazy woman over the microphone at the poor guy.”
“So, where is all the food?”
“I buried it.”
“Right, you need to fix this. So you can take one of the circus wagons with the horses into the nearest town and fetch more supp—”
The Strongman ran into the cafeteria and shouted. “All of the horses have gone. Someone has let them loose.”
“Yes, Dr Norbert.”
“Don’t tell me that you let all the horses loose so that your stomach couldn’t use them to go to the shop.”
“That’s not what happened.”
“So, what happened?”
“I let them loose because in Britain they’ve unwittingly been eating horses for a long time and I was worried that my stomach might normalize it.”
“Yes, Dr Norbert.”
“Start walking… now.”
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Daily Florence is a writer and cartoonist from the British Isles.