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A Bad Day For Cheesecake

by T.C. Johnston
(copyright 1990 or so)

I had fervently explained, in no uncertain terms, for several minutes nonstop and with hardly a breath taken between conjoining phrases that it was so. And the man to whom my lengthy and--I must admit--somewhat insipid rhetoric had been ardently directed refused to believe me, though I spoke in utmost sincerity; refused to believe me, stating that even if he did, which he didn't, he still felt an insatiable and almost desperate longing for cheesecake. He said he would eat his piece it he felt like it even if it were a bad day for it, which it was.

The man about whom I speak, and to whom I had been speaking, was my tutor, or at least that is the impression I had of him. He dressed and acted like a pompous old Englishman but was more than likely just a graduate of one of those posh prep schools in Tennessee. He, replete with a large, promiscuous moustache, grey flannel suit, plain white shirt and gaudy brown bow tie which he repeatedly straightened, though it need not be, proceeded to accuse me of having been dipping in his thesaurus.

I replied viciously that his thesaurus was of no import to me and my honor had been infringed upon by he. But I would forgive him this time because I knew that in the tantalizing wedge of whipped Philly cream cheese that sat so invitingly on his plate, lie danger. I knew so because on the way to this particular restaurant for this particular meeting on my motorcycle I had felt a most peculiar sensation in my left foot. Much like the way one's arm feels after having fallen asleep on it for a few hours and all the circulation is cut off and you can't move it at all. Then the blood rushes back into your arm on a bed of needles, and every single cell in your arm gets poked by one of those needles and you know it.

That is the way my foot felt at that moment, on my motorcycle, traveling to that particular meeting in that particular restaurant; and I became unusually frightened because I felt that this sensation might this time travel through my entire body and overcome me, which, at over 120 kilometers-per-hour (which seems much faster than 75 miles per hour, but really isn't) on the freeway, on a motorcycle, might lead to less than pleasant consequences.

I realized in several seconds, however, what a silly notion that was because if I were to actually be consumed by the cascade of needles feeling, then I would subsequently pop through into another dimension and the only worries I might then have would be that there wasn't a road or some flat surface beneath my point of arrival, and about the impending need for a lack of large and hard and possibly unsightly objects that might bring an otherwise unencumbered motorcyclist to a faster than desired halt; which I explained to my tutor in much more length and detail than I just explained it to you, and who only became increasingly more disturbed and distraught and accused me not only of dipping into his thesaurus, but also of smoking banana peels and locating his secret stash of Italian Scotch in his writing desk which, up to that point I hadn't known about but now I do.

And in the course of this extremely lengthy and possibly even slightly distasteful discourse directed toward my now terribly perturbed tutor, who, now that I think about it may have actually been my father, (a person whom I dislike very much for his domineering ways and stranglehold on life's turbulations-- exhibited in stoic impassiveness and impetuosity) in a trendy downtown restaurant, I began to see angels. I read in one of my father's books a common symptom displayed by the mentally ill is visions of angels and demons. But I let this bother me little, since there weren't any demons.

And as my story about my motorcycle ride unfolded the angels floated about his head, three of them, and at one point they resembled The Three Stooges--but not quite as scary--and I laughed for a long time very loudly while my tutor gaped at me in an expression that defied description. And I told him that after the cascade of needles subsided in my foot, and I did not pop through into another dimension to meet my death slamming into a solid object of foreign origin on my domestic motorcycle, that one word came to mind: cheesecake. And I knew then that it was a bad day for cheesecake.

This I explained loudly and with conviction to the tutor who looked like my father but with angels floating about his head, and I even mentioned the angels to him but he lied and said they weren't there which made me angry for I dislike being lied to.

And my tutor who looked like my father became even more visibly upset, causing him to look even more like my father (whom I dislike very much) and grabbed me by the collar of my new motorcycle jacket that had also failed to pop through into another dimension, though I believe I am more upset about this than my jacket is, and I began to fear--both for myself and the jacket, which may be new but which I feel very close to.

And in a flash I assimilated the facts and decided that my fear was real. Luckily there was a water decanter within easy reach and I reached for it easily and then brought it forcibly in contact with my foe's head, which caused him to relinquish his grip and fall to the floor, much to the delight of the angel/stooges, and the only part of my tutor that now moved was his blood as it escaped from the opening in the side of his head to the carpet.

The trendy and well dressed and uncommonly beautiful denizens of the restaurant left their equally trendy, well dressed, and uncommonly beautiful entrées at their "all of the above" tables rather quickly and I can only assume they suddenly noticed the angels and became frightened. I stood up and, in a venerable effort not to gloat, reminded my tutor that it was a bad day for cheesecake and he should have listened to me. Now look what happened. Then my friends Mike and Steve, with whom I play chess every Tuesday and Thursday, took me home and I was happy to know that my premonition was correct. But I fear I may not see my motorcycle again for a long time.