Marked Man (Or, "A Cockroach Story")

Today Mark Blair paid me a visit. Mark Blair is one of my coworkers, and he is very high-spirited. Mark is well-known for his affection for creepy seafood and once went to a perfectly casual lunch and nonchalantly ordered a seven-seafood soup that included squid, baby octopus, etc. (Better yet, he enjoyed it.) He's a great cook, but whenever a crockpot showcasing one of his culinary masterpieces shows up in the lunchroom, you have to carefully ask about the ingredients list before trying any. He's the one who checked out a city-owned bike and

Rode it




While honking the horn.

(He also took several others with him on an excursion using city bikes, once, but that's a story for another time.)

Mark dresses up as Josh, our city mascot, whenever the opportunity presents itself. One time Mark gave me a recipe for seafood-free Stromboli (it actually looked very good) and then called me later on that afternoon because he was at the store and he'd forgotten what ingredients he needed to make the Stromboli that night for dinner. Mark and his wife are very generous people, and our family really likes spending time with them. (Not to mention that Mark sometimes feeds me, bringing in a half a burrito after lunch, or a coupon for a free drink at Starbucks, if I do something that's particularly helpful to him).

Today, like I began, Mark Blair paid me a visit. Sat on the edge of my desk, opened a wrapper, and pulled out a large (3.5") cockroach-looking thing, and gave it to me.

"For you," he said, cheerfully, then pulled another one out of the pack, and bit into it himself.

"What….is it, Mark?"

He was too busy eating to tell me. I couldn't tell, by his facial expression, whether it was good or bad. He got up off my desk and made his way over to the nearest trashcan, which I didn't think was a particularly encouraging sign. He handed me the wrapper, and I read something about a cockroach-candy (the impression I got was that no real cockroaches were killed in the making of the product, just that they had tried their best to replicate one in candy form.)

"Is it good?" I tried, wondering why the grand honor of sharing his cockroaches had been given to me, still holding the uneaten "candy" in my hands.

"No," he said, casually, "See the eyeballs?"

I did, very much so, see the eyeballs. "I'm going to feed it to my brother tonight," I said, thinking quickly, "I'm going to dare him to eat the whole thing."

Apparently Mark thought that was an even more exciting prospect than watching me eat mine. "Really!"

"Yes, really!" (Why else did God invent little brothers?)

"Good," he said, "Tell me if he makes it." He finished his single bite and threw the rest of it in the trash.

Do I have any wagers as to whether or not Jay will finish the candy in its entirety? And—does anyone think they know what it will taste like?

(Not that I'll ever, ever know the answer to that question firsthand.)


Nathan LeMaster said...

You are nice to Jay! :)

Nicole Hearn said...

God invented big sisters for a reason too, you know. ;)

Jay said...

Uh, I'll wager it tasted like an unmentionable natural substance... after all... I should know.