Pavlovian Breathless Anticipation
“Call me Ahmed.” That’s what the young man said when he joined his family on the deck at the Breadboard after 6 months of torturous awesome food abstinence while he was away in Eugene. He was like a conscriptee returning from the Russian front. 6 months of no country gravy, no Breadboard omelets, no Breadboard Huevos Rancheros, no Kristal’s Killer Chicken Sandwich… tribulation… torture… A beautiful sunny day on the deck and the little sister said, “who’s Ahmed?” To which the prideful young man said, “not being a lit major like me, I wouldn’t expect you to recognize the most famous opening line in literary history. “ To which, she replied, “if you’re referring to Moby Dick, that would be “Call me Ishmael” and contrary to popular belief, it’s not the opening line of the novel, so I’m not impressed.” Then the scholarly duck said, “I heard you let my bird die while I was in Eugene because you didn’t give it enough water” -and they had just seen each other for the first time in 6 months and were already going at it, but the mom intervened and said it was time to order because the amazing yumminess of Breadboard bacon always brings peace and everyone agreed and the server started describing the special frittata for that day, then the girl whispered to the mom, “birds drink water?” And the mom sighed, “Maman died today” and the scholarly duck said, good one ’etranger! And the lil’ sis said, “ touché” Camus! High fives all around as the smell of better not bitter Goodbean fresh roasted coffee and grilling bacon filled the morning air and everyone settled into a state of pavlovian breathless anticipation as each ordered their favorite dish.