We Love You, Mayonnaise!
by Alona Martinez
Setting: An elementary school cafeteria, after hours.
Cast of Characters:
Mayone (addicted to mayonnaise)
Crimson (addicted to borscht)
Bokky (addicted to bok choy)
Crunchy (addicted to croutons)
Grator (addicted to nutmeg)
Other random group members
Moderator: Welcome. (Looking in the direction of Mayone, a new arrival) I see we have a new visitor today. Welcome! Please, could you stand up and tell the group your name and your addiction?
Mayone: (nervously) Hello, my name is Mayone, and I am a closet mayonnaise eater.
Group: (chanting) Hello Mayone we love you.
Moderator: Can you tell us your first experience with your addiction?
Mayone: I knew it was bad when I’d found myself in the neon glow of the refrigerator with a spoon, a half-empty jar, the big one, and a piece of forgotten toast on the counter. Needless to say, I had skipped the bread. I don’t even know how I got there.
Moderator: I know this is hard. But, you are in a safe space. Try and remember. When did it first begin?
Mayone: I can’t remember exactly. I know it was a long time ago. I could get all Freudian and trace it to my childhood, blame it on my father.
Crimson: (mumbles) Yeah, it always starts with them.
Mayone: But, if I have to point fingers, I’m gonna blame it on my country of origin, Venezuela, where it is prerequisite to add ½ a gallon of mayonnaise to everything. From salads to main courses, mayonnaise is treated like a guest of honor, or better yet, a family member, expected to make an appearance at the table with everyone else.
Grator: (sighs) Geez. Lucky. Not me. I had to hunt my whole nutmeg down and grate it in secret. No one seems to appreciate nutmeg. Cinnamon, yes! Cinnamon, we’re all over! They even sell sugar WITH cinnamon, you know that? But nutmeg? The sweetest, warmest, most delectably subtle spice in the world! Nutmeg! No! Nada! Zippo!
Moderator: Thank you, Grator, for those thoughts. Remember our talk last week about channeling our anger? Did you do the calming exercises I discussed?
Grator: Sautéing garlic did nothing for me, sorry.
Bokky: Wow! Did it for me! I felt renewed! Like I wanted to go to Chinatown and…
Moderator: (interrupts) Bokky, you were supposed to simmer rose petals, remember? Nothing with garlic for you! And stay away from Chinatown right now. It’s not a supportive place for your recovery. We need everyone to be safe.
Crunchy: You mentioned salads?
Mayone: Yeah, all the salads were swimming in mayonnaise: ensalada rusa, had potatoes, carrots and tangy mayonnaise, ensalada de pepino, which was just cukes and mayonnaise, and, my favorite: ensalada de remolacha: sliced cooked beets, slivers of onion, and a ton of mayonnaise!
Crimson: (scooching up in his seat) Remo-what?
Crunchy: (jittery) Oh I’m a big salad eater. Big, big salad eater! Any kind will do, really! Ceasar! Greens! Caprese! All good! All good for me! Just top it off with some crunchy croutons! And I’m not picky about which ones, really, I’m not: pumpernickel, garlic, whole wheat… You know they say whole wheat is good for you, doctors recommend it, fiber or something or other, so naturally there’s whole wheat croutons too! Never tried croutons on a mayonnaise salad, though. I’m sure they would be a delight! Go great with a tough crouton, say, rye…
Crunchy starts to stand up slowly, headed toward Mayone. Moderator: Okay, settle down now Crunchy. You know you’ve been doing so well lately, what has it been, a whole seven days without one crouton? Remember how far you’ve come. Stay strong! Salad doesn’t need to have croutons to make it good. You can do this. YOU can do this!
Moderator gives a glaring look to the whole group, as if reminding them of something.
Group: WE LOVE YOU CRUNCHY!
Crunchy stops, mid-way to Mayone.
Mayone: (rambling) Arepa Reina Pepiada: arepa stuffed with chicken, avocado, and, you guessed it, mayonnaise! Pepito Sandwich: skirt steak, egg, crunchy skinny French fries, hot sauce, all coated in mayonnaise! You see how it’s everywhere? How I just couldn’t help myself?
Crimson: (starting to stand) “Remolacha” is Spanish for beet? I just got it! Beet! Like my soup!
Crimson walks over towards Mayone, grabbing Crunchy.
Moderator: Please. Please. Sit down. This is highly inappropriate and not helpful. This is your safe zone. You’re safe here, please!
Crimson & Crunchy: Yeah! I can do mayonnaise! Not a problem!
Crimson & Crunchy: (to Mayone) We don’t need this joint! Let’s go!
Moderator gives another glaring look at the group.
Group: (Begins repeating over and over again) WE LOVE YOU WE LOVE YOU WE LOVE YOU!
Mayone: (to Moderator) This was a mistake. I’m sorry I wasted your time. I need to go. I need… (grabs hold of Crunchy and Crimson and they all run out the door and shout in unison) MAYONNAISE!!!
|Alona Martinez has been writing life stories since she was a distracted fourth grade student in Mrs. Edinger’s class. Multiplication tables couldn’t hold a candle to what was going on in her head. Since then she’s published articles in numerous papers and writes about food on her blog, www.culinarycompulsion.com. She is currently working on her first book.|