Friday Fictioneers: Give Us This Day Our Daily…

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Food, Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Travel and real life have put a cramp in my Friday Fictioneers style for several weeks and threaten to again.  My 100-word story is found below, but as I’m fortunate this week to be traveling to an OWL meeting in Branson, Missouri, while getting to meet fellow Fictioneers Rochelle, Kent, Madison and possibly Russ, as well as writers such as Jan Marler Morrill and Beth Carter, I won’t have time for much online activity.  So forgive me if I don’t get to your story until much later (I leave Thursday morning and arrive back home Sunday night, then have company Monday and part of Tuesday) or if I don’t get to it at all this week.  Because of that, I considered not doing a story again this week, but I decided to publish or perish.

I stared at the photo for some time, a variety of thoughts running through my head.  All seemed to me too obvious and as Fictioneers, we’re trained and encouraged to avoid the “obvious” (and does the obvious then become not obvious?)  In the midst of my contemplation, this story showed up, grabbed me around the throat, gave me some good shakes and refused to let me go until I wrote it, however feebly.  It’s something I’ve been experiencing lately and which I think threatens to take much pleasure from our lives.  Is it thus fiction or not?  Am I this week a Fictioneer or a Factioneer?  That’s for you to decide.  So without further blathering or ado, here’s my offering, based on the intriguing photo prompt by Kent.

Copyright Kent Bonham

Copyright Kent Bonham

Give Us This Day Our Daily…

Hungrily perusing the menu, his mind suddenly dredged up a variety of warring advice.

“Only eat whole grains!”
“Eliminate wheat products.”

“Don’t eat anything with a face.”
“Grass-fed and cage-free makes all the difference.”

“Meat raises your cholesterol.”
“My blood pressure dropped 50 points on the Atkins diet.”

“Darling, you simply must try this fabulous raw milk cheese!”
“U.S. government bans raw milk and raw milk cheese.”

“Salmonella outbreak linked to raw veggies.”
“A raw diet and juicing!”

“Have a glass of red wine daily.”
“Avoid drinking!”

Choice stymied and pleasure gone, he wearily left the restaurant, hunger completely routed.

Wondering how on earth I got here from there?  There’s a pathway (alley) with many shops on the side (things on all sides) and my character is headed somewhere (for a good meal) when things come at him from all sides.  That’s the gossamer yet strong connection I turned into this story, with my disheartened character making his way wearily along the way at the end of the story.  🙂

  1. Sandra says:

    I love your train of thought here, and sympathise with your poor MC. I’d just go for the burger with fries and hang it…. NOT! Nice take on the prompt Janet, have a good weekend.

    • Thanks, Sandra. I thought for a time that my train had derailed, but my thought processes finally did what they were supposed to do. 🙂 I’m looking forward to the weekend and even all the driving, as I have some good books-on-CD to enjoy. Have a good rest of the week and enjoy your weekend.


  2. misskzebra says:

    I sympathize with dietitians, who have to break through all the current fads and gossip mag “wisdom” to give people the actual information they need.

    • Part of the problem is that the actual information isn’t always clear. Different things work for different people and studies the actually eliminate everything but what you’re testing are extremely difficult to do and do well.


      • misskzebra says:

        Definately, I did a module in Nutrtion last year, and the truth is that there are no easy answers, solutions, superfoods or miracle diets. Most foods will contain hundreds of different compounds which will have different effects on the body, some good and some bad.

      • That’s why I find it so annoying when, particularly on Facebook, there’s a post about one food/seed/drink/whatever, that’s supposed to cure everything anyone has ever had and help you lose weight, too. If those things worked, doctors would be handing them out like candy. Nutrition is, as is so much else, a balance while still acknowledging that there are specifics for each person that need to be met or dealt with.

  3. claireful says:

    Perhaps when he’s walked up and down those steps a few times he can have whatever he wants.

  4. silentkim says:

    I can relate. This is no good for you and neither is that. Yet we are all battling something food related. We really need to go back to simpler times. Good story I felt like I was ease dropping on someone else’s conversation.

    • Thanks. If you let it, it takes all the joy out of food and eating. I think if we just ate less processed food (and less food for quite a few people) and exercised more, we’d all be much better off!


  5. elmowrites says:

    I’m glad you wrote even if you can’t read this week – your usual dedication continues to impress me and I for one will give you a free pass any time you haven’t the space in your schedule to read.
    I share your character’s frustrations but not the results. I tend to think the advice is mostly extremist and if you eat as balanced and quality a diet as you can, it’s all you can ask. We’re all going the same way in the end, whichever advice we follow!
    Have fun away this weekend!

    • I agree, Jen, that balance and quality are key in eating as in so much else. But I haven’t let that stop me from enjoying my food. 🙂 It just drives me a little crazy sometimes, especially when I see people rushing out to buy the latest (expensive) thing that will “cure” them. As for the weekend, I’m really looking forward to it. Would love to have a FF weekend sometime!


  6. Yes, so right about the choices. Fortunately easy choices for me, because I love animals so ridiculously, I have decided not to eat any of them, fish or fowl, and the rest of the diet advice is so much hocus pocus, so I just try to use common sense. I think the biggest problem with people is they forget to use that precious commodity.
    But it was a good thing you told us how you got here, because I was completely stymied!

  7. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    With the brick road in mind, I couldn’t help but hear the Scarecrow’s voice as your narrator. Unable to make up his mind. Well done.

  8. Trapped between choices… yes that’s how it is.. so fun to be ablie to meet fictioneers in reality.. Stockholm feels so remote.

  9. draliman says:

    So very true! I’ve given up listening to food advice. I know whatever I’m told to avoid today will suddenly be a superfood tomorrow 🙂
    I love the way you wrote this!

    • Thanks! It grew from the frustration of every day seeing new “truths” about nutrition or reading harping, negative advice or two “truths” that are diametrically opposed. Sometimes it’s enough to put me off my food…but not for too long. 🙂


      • draliman says:

        Yeah – ignore the “advice” and just eat up 🙂

      • Mind you, I think plenty of advice is spot-on, such as “Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.” or Pollan’s “Don’t eat anything your [or someone’s] grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” (or something like that). At least don’t eat it very often. And don’t overeat. Those ideas alone would get us a lot farther along the way to good health.

  10. vbholmes says:

    Can’t help thinking of some of the gorgeous photos you and Bill have taken of food and am glad you haven’t succumbed to the naysayers.

    • I did go vegan for over a year, for reason which I may blog about at some point, and still try to relegate meat to a very secondary role, as well as stay away from too much dairy. It wasn’t too difficult when I did it but oh, did I long for some good cheese! That was much harder to give up than meat. Glad you enjoy the photos, BTW. We enjoy testing and then taking the photos for your appreciation. 🙂

  11. wmqcolby says:

    Sounds like Rochelle’s little voices in her head only saying different things like, “It sucks to be me.” 😀 I enjoyed the “angst” of all this. Well done!

  12. Whether fact or fiction, I sympathize. It seems contradictory advice is everywhere – with supposed life or death stakes. Sometimes I feel like between hormones, GMO’s, and everything else, I should just stop eating altogether. But then my stomach growls… 😉

  13. Hi Janet,
    Hope you enjoy Branson and meeting the writers. Watch out for Russell, though. He eats beans before the meeting. I can so relate to your clever story. If you took all the health advice out there, you’d starve to death. Remember when milk was the perfect food? When white Wonder Bread built strong bodies? And on and on. Ron

    • Not sure if Russ will make it, Ron. He’s using the excuse of a grandson’s birthday. Good grief! It should be lots of fun and I’m sure you’ll see some pictures.


  14. Nice job, Janet. I love the direction it took you, and see how you go there. All the closed shops makes me think about lots of decisions and options. You’ve fleshed that out so creatively. Wonderful! Eight line down, did you mean to misspell simply? I was trying to figure out if it was something clever that I missed, or if it’s a typo. Have a blast in Branson; it’s suppose to be a really fun town. 🙂

    • You win the thank-you-for-seeing-and-mentioning-it award. I have NO idea when that happened as I know it was correct before. WP gremlins, no doubt. Anyway, my heartfelt gratitude and any virtual prize you desire. I know I should have just said it was something clever and didn’t you understand?? But, no.


  15. Sounds like you have a wonderful schedule for the next week.
    I hope you have a better time finding a decent meal than the poor fellow in your story! 😉

  16. Dear Janet,

    Why did this story feel so familiar? I’ve been guilty of following the waves of the latest food trends. I’ve been vegetarian, fat-free, etc etc. Current dietary limitations come from my doctor and dietitian. The changes have helped but often make me feel like a social outcast. You’ll get to feel my pain in person tomorrow. 😉 ISTBM (Refer back to Kent’s comment.)

    Oh…I liked your story. Well written as always and some good points made.



    • If your restrictions keep you from feeling pain, than IDSTBY. I know several people who have celiac disease and they if they don’t adhere to their guidelines, they suffer terribly. There are other conditions that call for dietary restrictions. But too many people bounce around, falling in with the latest trend. What bothers me most are the eat-this-and-it-will-fix-everything people. I won’t say I look forward to feeling your pain tomorrow, but I look forward to tomorrow.

      Glad you liked the story. 🙂


  17. I followed the thought path. It was interesting and it smacks of truth.
    I finally have decided to eat what I believe to be best until it is soundly proved wrong.

  18. I usually have trouble figuring out what I’m hungry for – never what will harm me or what was good for me! Nice take on the prompt!

  19. mike olley says:

    In the end it’s not what we eat but all the worrying that gets to us. I can’t wait for that next nutritional survey… Well done (or medium rare?)

  20. Bastet says:

    Poor guy, knew just how he feels so I stopped reading the newspapers 😉

  21. So true, Janet. I know just how your narrator feels. It’s almost enough to stop me eating, too. Almost…

  22. rgayer55 says:

    My dad had a saying about food (and beer). “It’s all good and gooder.” He and Mom raised most of their own food, butchered hogs, and fried everything in lard. He died at 95, her at 93. We knew sooner or later all that evil stuff they were putting in their mouths would kill them.

    • There are exceptions to every rule, Russ. 🙂 They had good, natural food, though, and I think that makes a big difference. And I can see they died young. 🙂 Having a beer right now myself, having made it to Rochelle’s.


  23. On the one hand, I’ve no idea how you got that story from the picture; on the other, it fits perfectly.

  24. Just found a pack of salt from the Himalayas, “200 million years old” it said on the package and “best before June 2014”, that was a close call to get it to me on-time. Greta take of yours.

  25. Eena says:

    UGH this is so true! One other thing. Everything in moderation.. including moderation.
    Loved your story. Even how you explained your thought process at the end. LOL

    • As I might paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there’s a time for moderation and a time for excess, a time to indulge and a time to refrain, and so forth. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story and thanks for stopping in.


  26. Damn. Poor character. Time to move out of town. Very real voices there. Beaut.

  27. atrm61 says:

    Ah,tough times we live in-always having to choose!I could so see the poor fellow getting weighed down by contradicting information-an overload 😛 Liked your explanatory note at the end and it made perfect sense to me-we definitely need to go back to simpler living and simple eating too:-)

  28. zookyworld says:

    Ugh — so much advice to roll around your head about food! Your story does a great job of some of that advice swooping down and snatching up the pleasure of eating from this character. Hopefully, the character will shove all that away the next time they’re at a restaurant and chow down a tasty meal — with a glass of good red wine.

  29. kz says:

    and that is why i do my own research.cant trust magazines and some food’s all business 🙂 great take on the photo.hope you guys have lots of fun 🙂

    • Thanks, kz. We had a great time. I’m hanging out with Rochelle tomorrow morning, then heading back to Illinois, picking up another friend who’s visiting us for a day or two. Busy times. Hope to get some more reading done tomorrow, but we’ll see.


  30. […] and Janet, I hope you’re having a wonderful visit and maybe even share a memorable culinary experience of […]

    • I’m having a great visit but not much on the culinary front right now. There will be a few of those posts soon, though. 🙂 I hope to get back to reading in a few days. Real life is just too much fun and too busy right now.


  31. annisik51 says:

    I’ve been a veggie for 20 years or so, but neither popular with veggies nor meat-eaters because I know all arguments are flawed. It baffles both sides that I don’t want to argue my ‘corner’ and it’s great fun for me to watch defences deflate when it dawns that they’re ’tilting at a windmill’! Tell your character to eat and be damned and have fun doing it! Ann

    • Hi, Ann. I have a few minutes to respond to comments but no more stories yet. I hope to get back to them soon. In the meantime, I will definitely pass on the message. 🙂 I tend heavily towards a plant-based menu but try for moderation and quality in my food.


  32. Janet, I can see how one might get to this point when eating out. It would definitely take the fun out of it. Nicely done.

    I hope you have a wonderful time this weekend with all your Fictioneer pals. Enjoy!

    • Amy, I’m glad you liked the story. I had a great time and even learned a few things about writing. Won’t be back to stories for a bit yet, but I’ll get there. Enjoy your Sunday.


  33. camgal says:

    Haha this was a really good one 🙂

  34. Dee says:

    I loved your train of thought … we are what we eat or so someone said. Loved your story an unusual take on an unusual photo.
    I hope you had a good weekend meeting up with fellow fictioneers, it must be lovely to meet up in person.
    Take care

    • Good morning, Dee. I had a great time–meeting Fictioneers and at the meeting. Managed to get home without running into any storms or tornadoes, for which I’m very thankful. I’m still trying to work through the FF stories for the week before tomorrow’s new one come out. I don’t think I’m going to make it. Thanks for reading and commenting on mine and enjoy your food today! 🙂


  35. Cris says:

    Very poignant. BTW, govt bans or irradiates (nukes) just about everything that’s good for you. 🙂