name is Johnson Hughes Wiggins III, and I am considered to be
a connoisseur of fine foods. I have eaten the richest sauces and
the most succulent dishes in most of the worlds finest restaurants,
on every continent on earth except Antarctica. Because of my superior
tastes, I have become an enormous man with my girth only exceeded
by my IQ, which is quite extraordinary, I assure you.
a world class connoisseur, I have determined over the years that
I have very refined taste buds and now only the finest ingredients
gathered from ports and markets worldwide are able to appease
my appetite for rare and exquisite foods.
though, Im finding that it takes much more to arouse my
hearty appetite than even the best cooks in the world can supply.
Ordinary food is losing its appeal to me and I have begun to experiment
with other, perhaps different, ideas for sustenance.
feast! Yes, a feast is what is called for; a gathering of like
minded connoisseurs, for us to be able to enjoy fine dinning together
and where we will eat the food of the gods.
rang for my butler, James, and sent him on a quest to obtain the
most perfect animal protein available, not too young and not too
old, as this would become the centerpiece and ultimate focus of
my table. Money was not to be a consideration. I closed my eyes
as I settled back into my comfortable leather chair and fantasized
how this feast might be.
placed precisely throughout the room; burning brightly, incense
wafting in the air, and the aroma of delicious foodstuffs mingling
together. Ahhh, it would be spectacular indeed and my fellow connoisseurs
would fondly remember this feast for the duration of their lives.
must be sent immediately, but who to invite? I pulled myself to
an upright position and waddled over to my desk. Rolodex in hand,
I began going through its entries; I wanted to select on the cream
of the crop, the best of the best of like-minded individuals for
this gastronomical soirée.
names soon surfaced and I nodded my head in total satisfaction.
Yes, these were to be my honored guests and rang for my secretary
to have the invitations engraved and delivered by special courier,
task completed, I moved to my large French windows and threw them
open, allowing the warm spring air to enter my somewhat oppressive
room. My view of the countryside was spectacular but my eyes were
immediately drawn to my stables. James was leading my newest purchase
of animal protein; my piece de resistance for our magnificent
feast, towards the wide opened doors to the cool stalls inside.
A rope was tied around its neck and its legs were bound just loose
enough to be able to walk without tripping. It resisted to a small
degree, but continued towards its new domicile with no idea of
its awaiting fate.
felt it my duty to inspect the recent purchase myself, as I sought
no imperfect wares adorning my table lest it cause considerable
harrumphing amongst my guests. James, having just returned from
the stables, was only too kind to accompany and assist me with
the stables for the first time in many months, my sensitive nostrils
revolted at the many malodorous vapors emanating from the stalls
around me. I plucked my scented handkerchief from my breast pocket
and placed it against my nose as we walked farther into the stables
towards a heavy oaken door at the rear of the room.
stood aside as James unlocked and pulled the heavy door open and
then stepped back and allowed me to enter. The light filtering
through the small skylights showed crisscross patterns of dust
floating through the air, forcing me to keep my handkerchief pressed
tight to my face.
led me to the door of its stall and as I looked through the small,
dingy window, I detected movement against the back wall. There
it was, my future centerpiece, chained to the back wall with only
enough slack to allow it to roam but a few feet in any direction.
It sensed our presence and looked towards the window. The dim
light in the stall made its eyes appear as dark circles and its
other features were likewise difficult to see clearly. I could
tell though that its body was plump and succulent. Its rear was
well rounded with strong looking legs and its short reddish mane
was in disarray and hanging loosely around its neck.
motioned for James to open the door to its stall, as I wanted
to examine this exquisite creature much more closely. I walked
towards it and was met by its quick lunge and the gnashing of
its teeth, its claws slashing the air in front of my face. The
chain stopped its approach well before it could reach me, however,
and I was never in any real danger.
spoke to it in as soothing a voice as I could muster under the
circumstances. Gentle murmurings, meaning nothing, but comforting
just the same. Its wild-eyed appearance softened somewhat and
I was able to discern that it was indeed a fine looking specimen
of its species.
left the stables and slowly, painfully, my great weight finally
taking its toll on my knees, made my way back to the comfort of
my fine domicile. I eased my great bulk into my chair and rang
for James to bring me a cool, refreshing drink as I once again
drifted into fantasies of the feast to come.
* * *
day was fast approaching. My servants bustled about my residence,
cleaning, sweeping, and scrubbing. Under my ever-watchful eye,
mirrors were polished; the carpets were removed, taken outside,
beaten clean and replaced. The floors fairly gleamed with new
brilliance from the several fresh coats of wax that had been applied.
dining table had been especially refinished by the finest craftsmen
in the village and four new leafs were ordered, made and installed
to accommodate my honored guests. New scented candles were ordered
and delivered, the exact placement of which, I oversaw with great
satisfaction. The chandelier had been removed and polished until
each faceted crystal sent miniature rainbows of refracted light
swirling about the room.
most trusted of my groomsmen had been kept busy procuring foodstuffs
for and making sure that all of my future centerpieces needs
were attended to promptly and without regard to the expense. Its
stall was thoroughly cleaned daily; a deep layer of fresh straw
littered the floor and its bed constantly. I had insisted that
fresh water be brought several times a day to refill its bowl;
I wanted to have nothing happen to my investment, at least, not
spent one entire day in the kitchen with my cooks, going endlessly
over recipe after recipe, searching for just the right succulent
combination, the most aromatic of herbs and spices to complement
my main dish. I saw to it that the kitchen help understood completely
that only the very freshest fruit and vegetables, from the largest
and very best farms around the village, be procured. Nothing less
than perfect would be accepted or tolerated.
young scullery lads slaved beside the hot, open hearth, sweat
dripping off their flushed faces; scrubbing and polishing to a
near mirror finish, the large, brass serving tray that would contain
my completed centerpiece. Everywhere I looked, my servants were
rushing about purposefully, ensuring that my feast would be the
grandest, most gala event that my five honored guests had ever
seen or attended.
* * *
feast day had finally arrived and I found myself scurrying as
fast as a large, fat man can scurry, all around my residence;
giving final checks and approvals to every minute detail that
I must be positive is flawless. I had ordered James to assemble
the staff, dressed in their finest serving clothes, for me to
inspect prior to the arrival of my honored guests. I carefully
looked at each and every member of my staff, checking for cleanliness
of both body and clothes. Completely satisfied, I dismissed them
with an admonition to pay very close attention to detail tonight,
because their continued employment depended greatly upon it.
had James assist me with my bath, drawing the water and having
it heated to the exact temperature I desired. I used my finest
and most expensive soaps and body colognes to ensure that it would
not be I which might offend any of my guests this evening.
dressed carefully, with utmost attention to every detail. My suit
was hand made of pure silk from a small shop in Hong Kong. My
shirt and tie were also made of silk and my shoes were handmade
in Italy. James had seen to it that they had been spit shined
to such a high gloss that your reflection could be seen.
once again in my study, I awaited the arrival of my honored guests.
I heard the gravel crunch in the driveway and sent James to stand
by the front door. Presently a loud knock sounded and James opened
the door. I heard conversation and presently James walked to the
entrance of the room and announced the first of my guests.
Percival Wallingsworth II, sir.
its been too long, hasnt it? Its good to see
you, my friend. I said as I ambled over toward him with
my arm outstretched.
good to see you too. I want to thank you for your dinner invitation.
Ive been looking forward to tonight.
heard knocking at the front door again and soon James entered
the room followed by four other gentlemen.
Mr. Eduardo Machtus, Mr. Günter Rathgerber, Mr. Robert Quartermas
and Mr. William Teague, sir.
its so good to see each and every one of you tonight,
I said as I shook each man's offered hand. Would you care
for a small libation before I tell you of the evenings festivities?
nodded all around and I had James fix each of my guests their
preferred drink. When my guests had been served, I asked them
to please take their seats at the table. I walked to the head
of the table and sat down.
tonight you shall be rendered speechless, and you simply will
not believe what your eyes are seeing, I told them. We
are going to have a feast unlike anything you have ever seen before.
I selected you, my honored guests, above all my other contemporaries
because of your, shall we say, unusual tastes; tastes that I believe
mirror my own.
man looked me in the eye and nodded in agreement, with smiles
breaking out on the faces of all present. Eduardo and Günter
raised their glasses towards me and were soon followed by the
remaining three. I bowed slightly and continued.
have spared no expense tonight, as you shall soon see. Starting
from the first course of a delicious soup and then continuing
to the centerpiece of my feast. Gentlemen, I can assure you that
when it is presented, I will guarantee that it will make your
mouths water and your bellies full.
picked up a small silver bell from the table in front of me and
rang it three times. The door opened and six of my loveliest serving
wenches entered carrying my finest china and solid silver flatware.
They each took a position at the side of their assigned guest
and carefully set each dinner placement on the table in front
of them and then stepped back slightly.
round of drinks, gentlemen? I asked, You surely must
be dry as the proverbial desert after your recent travels.
if you would be so kind as to refill my guests glasses with
fresh libation and then inform the chefs that we anxiously await
our dinner to be served.
* * *
great fanfare and applause from my guests, the double doors burst
open and a line of serving wenches entered, each carrying a tureen
of hot, fresh portabella mushroom soup. More wenches entered and
placed loaves of the freshest baked breads and sweetbreads around
the table for my guests to avail themselves as needed.
came platters of steaming vegetables. Carrots, brightly colored
peppers, squash of every shape, color and kind, cabbage, and corn,
still on the cob, adorned my table. My guests were kept occupied
as they pointed out what they wished to have served to them.
moment that we had all been eagerly anticipating had finally arrived.
The moment that would set this feast apart from all others, for
all of time, had arrived. James entered the door and stood off
to the side as my four chefs entered the room, bearing on their
broad shoulders the large polished brass platter containing my
centerpiece, my piece de résistance.
watched my guests faces carefully as they utterly and irrevocably
comprehended the full extent of my epicurean brilliance.
chefs carefully placed the platter on the table in front of me
and stood back, smiling. My guests, along with the serving wenches,
looked on it utter amazement as James ceremonially stepped forward
and with a grand flourish handed my very ornate and extremely
sharp oriental carving implements to me.
upon the platter, surrounded by a bed of edible grasses and fruit,
trussed hand to foot, a baked apple held tightly in her mouth,
was the creature from the stable. Stripped naked of her rags and
thoroughly washed and cleaned, she had been transformed into a
ravishing beauty. Her eyes, wide open and frantically glancing
around the room, found no sympathy to her plight in the eyes of
all that beheld her.
stood up from my comfortable chair at the head of my magnificent
table and, grasping the razor sharp carving knife and the twin
tined carving fork, smiled broadly to my honored guests, the saliva
already dripping from my sharpened teeth.
are you now ready to consume this superb culinary masterpiece
that I have presented to you for your gastronomical delight?
I asked rhetorically. Are you ready to join me in eating
the food of the Gods?