Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Dethroning the King"

A sixth plate of Shengdu Spicy Lamb slides down my throat and invades my stomach like the Dutch East India Company marching in to impose a culture of aching diarrhea on my indigenous intestines and I give Linda my signal that means three more plates. I’m surrounded by dirty dishes and greasy bones, the collateral damage of my weekly trip to P.F. Chang’s. Six waitresses circle me like flies near a pile of nut-filled dog shit and they know what I want. My Hawaiian shirt, drowned in duck sauce, the victim of an MSG tsunami, is fighting to suppress my belly like a sweatshop sweatshirt strangling an obese panda cub. I’m fat and I don’t give a fuck; I rule over my harem of waitresses like Emperor Taizu with his concubines; I am the alpha and the omega. I am the King of P.F. Chang’s. Manager Doug Lewis is my servant, bringing me rounds of Wok-Charred Beef and Dali Chicken and if I don’t like something I let him know by throwing the plate through a window and shooting Roman candles at the curtains. I’ll pay for it all later. I know this menu better than I know my son and I demand the good shit. I cram a dozen Dynamite Shrimp into my mouth and wash them down with a bucket of Mr. Pibb, but something gets stuck. I can’t breathe. There’s a six-lane pile-up of shrimp, steak, lamb, chicken, bass, and pork in my throat, half the animal kingdom in a dogpile like Noah’s Ark hit an iceberg in my fucking esophagus. I motion for Scott or Jeff or anyone, but no one comes. I wheeze and spray meat juice into my sausage fingers and notice my side of the restaurant is empty; the entire staff is across the wall taking orders from Sampson the Wonder Pup, the Frisbee-catching dog from Channel 2 Action News. My windpipe seals shut and as blood floods my face I turn red, helpless and alone. I clutch my throat and crumble to the floor slowly dying as Manager Doug Lewis fills a pitcher with lemonade for Sampson. I was the King. Now I am just a fat ballsack in kabuki makeup left to die alone in the palace I once ruled.

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