A Glutton By Any Other Name

9F1E3B59-329C-4376-AF99-50491D305F4CThe Uber driver showed up in a Nissan Cube, which was weird enough, I thought. But when I asked him to take me to the Plaza Hotel, I can only say that his reaction was one of anger. “Is there a problem?” I asked him.

He scratched his head and then picked up his copy of the local newspaper and pointed to an article about the hotel. “That place is a zoo today. There’s a big conference being held there of the world’s most renowned chefs, and the crowds are crazy. I can barely get within four blocks of the hotel without getting stuck in traffic for hours.”

“Get me as close as you can,” I said. “I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

“Are you some sort of gourmet?” the driver asked me.

I chuckled. “No, I’m more of a gourmand than a legitimate gourmet,” I said.

“What’s the difference between a gourmand and a gourmet?” he asked.

“A lot of people get those two words confused,” I said. “A gourmet is someone who knows a lot about fine food and drink and has refined tastes. He’s sort of an aficionado of high quality or exotic cuisines. A gourmand,” I continued, “refers to someone who is extremely fond of eating and drinking, often to excess. I call myself a gourmand because it sounds more positive than were I to call myself a glutton. But the simple truth is that I just really enjoy eating.”

“Well,” the driver said, “we all have the freedom to enjoy food, don’t we?”

“Yes, and that’s what I keep telling my doctor when he warns me to watch my weight every time I go in for my annual physical exam,” I said.


Written for today’s Three Things Challenge prompt from Di (Pensitivity101), where the three things are “anger,” “paper,” and “hotel.” Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (cube), Ragtag Daily Prompt (scratch), Word of the Day Challenge (barely), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (gourmand), Your Daily World Prompt (legitimate, and The Daily Spur (freedom). Image credit: Georg Emanuel Opiz Der Völler 1804 from Wikimedia Commons.

The New Manager’s First Day

43FE191A-36BB-40D3-9E0F-29F27FAF4A45Millie put down the piece of chalk, stood back, and admired the elegant script she used to list the special salads on the blackboard for the hotel’s organic café. “Uh oh,” she said to herself when she realized she had failed to include “Under New Management” on the blackboard. That is not something she wanted to omit, given that this was her first day on the job as the café’s manager.

The previous manager had been fired when it was discovered that, in order to save money, he had used non-organic foods in the café. For example, he would fill bottles labeled as organic cooking oil with cheaper, non-organic oil. He was a cheater and Millie was bound and determined to make a good impression on her first day.

A woman stepped into the café and sat down at a table. Millie went to greet her, pointed to the blackboard, and asked her what she would like. “I’ll have the chef salad with oil and vinegar on the side,” the woman said. “And a cup of tea,” she added.

“Coming right up,” Millie said with a smile.

A few minutes later, Millie delivered the tea and the salad with dressing on the side. “Is there anything else I can bring you?”

“Thanks,” the woman said. “I’m all set.”

As Millie headed back toward the kitchen she heard the woman scream. Millie turned around to see her gagging. “Are you trying to poison me?” the woman said. She then stood up and literally ran out of the café.

Confused, Millie went back into the kitchen to check the ingredients used in the chef salad. Everything looked fine. And then she discovered the note from the fired manager. It read, “Ran out of organic salad oil, but fortunately was able to find a can of motor oil in the garage. Good luck on your first day, bitch.”


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “black,” “hotel,” and “cheater.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (chalk), Your Daily Word Prompt (omit), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (oil), and Word of the Day Challenge (tea).

Return on Investment

B74D0A3D-933E-4CB4-9650-207B08D161CDAs David and Diane were checking into the fancy hotel, the bellhop approached them. “Sir,” he said to David, “I’ll take your baggage up to room 1614 for you.”

Diane looked up at David. “How did you afford such a ritzy hotel?” she asked. “It must cost a small fortune.”

“My greatest strength is finding great deals,” David said.

Diana snuggled up to David and said, “Well, I wouldn’t say that’s your greatest strength, babe. I hope you’ll demonstrate that for me later tonight.” She gave him a big hug and kiss and asked, “But seriously, how did you manage to get us into this place?”

“Okay, I guess I can tell you my secret,” David said. “I invested in one of those two-hour lunch things a few weeks ago. You have to sit through a lengthy sales pitch to buy into a time sharing vacation resort property.”

“Seriously?” a surprised Diana said. “Did you fall for that crap and buy into a time share?”

“Of course not,” David said. “But that two-hour investment of my time got me a free lunch and this bundle that includes two nights at this fancy hotel plus two breakfasts and two dinners at the hotel’s restaurant.”

“Sounds like you got a good return on your two-hour investment,” Diana said.

“Indeed,” David said. “Now take my arm and let’s head up to room 1614, where our baggage awaits us.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (baggage), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (ritzy), Word of the Day Challenge (strength), and Your Daily Word Prompt (bundle).

Friday Fictioneers — Alone

8982DA0D-6588-4582-867A-CEA9A15517B4Dressed and ready for some coffee, Mark took the elevator to the hotel’s meeting room level on the third floor. He found the coffee station and poured himself a cup.

No one was around, which Mark found strange, given that the first meeting was scheduled to start in ten minutes. He took the elevator to the first floor and saw that not a soul was there. No guests, no one at the checkout counter, no doormen.

He stepped outside and saw that the streets were empty of cars and people. Totally alone, Mark wondered where everyone had gone.

(98 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Photo credit: Yvette Prior.

#FOWC — Father and Son

C0F7A0FC-8902-4AE7-A6B1-2A775DE0F3F1“Why do I always feel like you’re trying to compete with me?” Danny asked his father.

“Son,” Danny’s father said. “Life is a zero-sum game. If you don’t win, you lose. It’s as simple as that. You can’t afford to make any accommodation for your competitor.”

“I’m your son, for crissake,” Danny said. “You should be encouraging me, supporting me, not competing with me, not denigrating me.”

“Son,” Danny’s father admonished, “You need to stop being so insipid. “There are times that you seem to move like a caterpillar. You need to put some zing in your step.”

Danny was silent for a moment, contemplating what his father had said. “Dad, you’re a successful, wealthy lawyer. I can’t compete with that. I don’t want the same things you want. Danny grabbed his coat and started to leave.

“Where are you going?” his father asked him.

“I got a job as a bartender at the new hotel downtown,” Danny said, slamming the door behind him.

“He’s such a loser,” his father muttered.


Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are caterpillar, silent, and hotel. Also for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “compete,” Your Daily Word Prompt, “accommodation,” the Word of the Day Challenge, “insipid, and for the Ragtag Daily Prompt, “zing.”