Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat
Jack Sprat could eat no fat. He had high cholesterol, and his blood pressure also wasn’t doing him any favors. He was trying not to eat too much bacon. He was trying to eat more salads. He ate quinoa last week.
Jack’s wife, Helen Sprat, could eat no lean. She was on a low carb diet. She could stand to lose 10 pounds. Maybe more, depending on how much she wanted to fit into society’s narrow standards. She was trying to eat more high protein meals. She, too, was attempting to eat more salads. It wasn’t easy when everyone else around her was eating Pad Thai. She loved Pad Thai. She used to eat Pad Thai almost every week, back when she lived in the delivery radius of 4 different Thai restaurants and was 25 pounds lighter.
“What do you want to eat for dinner tonight?” Jack asked Helen.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
Jack rolled his eyes. “How about tacos?” he asked.
“Too many carbs in the tortillas,” Helen answered. “What about burgers, without buns?”
“Too much saturated fat,” Jack retorted.
“Chinese?” asked Helen.
“Sodium,” said Jack. “Indian?” he asked.
“I had Indian for lunch yesterday,” Helen said. “We could cook something,” she suggested.
“I’m way too tired,” Jack responded.
“Well, you know when I say ‘we’ could cook something, it really means I will cook something,” said Helen.
“Are you really going to start with me now?” Jack said, “Do you want me to list all the things I do around this house besides cook?”
“I do not,” Helen said. “I just want to eat dinner.”
“So do I!” said Jack.
“Let’s just have a salad,” Helen suggested.
“We’d have to go to the supermarket,” Jack said. “We don’t have any salad ingredients in the house right now.”
Helen responded, “Are you implying that I should have picked up salad ingredients on the way home?”
“No, I’m not!” shouted Jack.
“Please stop shouting at me,” Helen told him. “I think you’re hangry.”
“I’m not shouting!” yelled Jack.
They both sat in silence.
“I’m sorry,” said Jack, a moment later. “Wait – I have an idea. What about middle eastern? You can get chicken shawarma. I can have hummus. We can get tabbouleh. Win-win!”
“Yes! Perfect!” Helen agreed.
And so betwixt them both, they lick’d the platter clean.
Janine Annett lives in New York, in a house full of piles of books, with her husband, son, and very old cat. Her humor writing has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Establishment, and other websites. Janine also writes picture books. Her website is www.janineannett.com.