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Duck for Dinner


by P.R. Mercado


My friend and I were once walking the aisles of a supermarket because we decided we were going to have roasted duck. We didn't know how to cook, but as the old Filipino reds used to say: If not now, when? If we don't learn how to cook now, as in NOW, then when will we learn?

We were looking for where they sold ducks. Did they have them live, or what?

I was pushing the cart. We decided to meet tonight because I had something to say. She was beginning to beg me to tell her, even if I told her the setting would be better if we were already having our duck. 

So, I said: “He kissed me.”

She said: “WHAT.”

“Kissed me,” I said. 

“Oh my god,” she said.

“What? I can't be kissed?” I said.

“But you're so hairy and fat, and he's so… not.”

“It's the charm,” I said. “Sometimes all you need is charm. Sometimes money. Charm in this case, I think.”

She said: “Well, what did you do?”

“I said: You're a good kisser but you used too much tongue. But that's alright because I like tongue.”

“I don't think that's appropriate,” she said. “Both to criticize a first kiss and to advertise you like tongue.”

“Well it was and I do,” I said. “Goat's tongue is delicious. We should have it as a side.”

“You were talking about goat's tongue?” she said. 

“Goat's tongue, human tongue. They're all good. It's just tongue. It's in your mouth all the time. You can't help but develop a taste for it.”

“You can't taste your own tongue,” she said. “You use your tongue to taste.”

We reached a wall so we turned a corner. 

They were playing a very good song over the PA. I wanted to stay there a while. I guess that's what stores want you to do, stay so you'd spend more money. Supermarkets are comfortable that way. If they sold beds I'd sleep there no problem, hang out, ask friends to come over, all that.

I said: “The thing with that guy is I don't really care for him but at least there's a lot of him. It's like unlimited iced tea at those crappy restaurants. It's probably just water and sugar but you get as much as you want and you're getting some sugar.”

She said: “You are literally one of the most intelligent people I have ever met in my life.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“But you have the habits of a rodent.”

We finally arrived at the section where they sell dead animals so you can put them on a fire with a variety of herbs and eat them. 

I said: “Sir, do you have some duck?”

“We don't sell duck,” he said. “We don't sell duck and it's 11:30PM.”

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