The Party Guest

“Hey, thanks for showing up to the party! Sorry it’s not very exciting—oh, hang on, it looks like the mayonnaise has run out. Why don’t you sit here and talk to Joe until I come back? He’s really interesting.”

“Sure.” He watched his friend leave, and then turned to Joe. “…So, your name is Joe? Is that short for Joseph?”

“Look yourself in the eyes and tell me if that isn’t the truth of the matter.”

“Umm, okay, I suppose you’ve…got a point there? Where do you work, then?”

“I single drop of water is little worry, but over a trillion drops fall in an average downpour—”

“Oh, let me guess, sewage? No wait, it’s really water treatment, isn’t it. Or perhaps you work on the lake? Drive the ferry?”

“—and I am the one they call when any of those drops breach the ceiling of their homes or businesses.”

“Oh, you do roofs? What,” He felt that by now Joe warranted a bit of poking-fun-at, “How is communication with your coworkers like?”

“In every situation there are positives and negatives. When the going gets tough, the tough set up camp and wait out the storm.”

“Hmm. So, where are you from?”

“There is a place far beyond the eye can see, a great distance beyond the sea—”

“Oh, you’re European or something?”

“—but if you go beyond such a place for long enough, eventually you will return right here, where you started. It’s a phenomenal side effect of—”

“Circular reasoning.”

“—the reality of travel around a point of great mass. Under the original conception of the metre, such a trip would theoretically be forty-million metres in distance. Any yet, I’m from a place only forty-thousand metres north of here.”

“Oh yeah, that city.” He found it interesting that Joe paused mid-sentence whenever interrupted, then continued afterwards as if nothing had happened. “Is there anything you wanted to ask me?”

“Of course, I have a less than infinite number of questions I could ask you, and even less that I would like the answers to. Perhaps what I long most to know, however, is something whose question you do not have the answer to. I will therefore assume that you would like an question to whose answer you have knowledge. Since we are riding on that—”

“Yes, I think it’s perfectly fair to assume that.” He couldn’t help himself.

“—assumption, I will ask you about the mayonnaise. Why do you think that devilled eggs are made with mayonnaise, which is in turn made also from eggs? Does this not strike you as odd? An overlapping of the same flavour?”

He wondered if Joe thought his brain was so mundane that this was the only sort of question that he could answer. “Nah, flavours can match up. That’s why people will cook a roast and then use the drippings for it as gravy. It all works in the food world.”

Joe seemed genuinely surprised.

Their friend returned and said, “How’s it going you two? Isn’t Joe interesting? What do you think of my friend, Joe?”

“Every once in a while, you come to a bend in the road. Other times, it’s a fork. Now suddenly, thanks to your friend, I have found myself in front of such a fork, and I’ve realized that I must now use it to investigate mayonnaise.”

Hoping this sort of over-the-top dialogue exercise is found to be interesting…and maybe also funny 😛

(This was a submission to my Creative Writing course as well.)

Daniel Triumph.