Sunday, May 22, 2011 | By: Brianna


Q:  You have an obscene amount of mustard.  What are you going to do with it?  (Thanks, Melbourne.)

A: Well, let's free-write about it, shall we?

It was a bright and sunny day, one of those days when all you feel like doing is go to the baseball diamond to play catch or run around in sprinklers or maybe just lay around and catch a few rays instead of baseballs.  There was a slight breeze coming from the place where breezes come from, and the leaves high above anyone's heads shifted, allowing the shadows on pavement to sway in a shadowy tango.  It seemed like everyone was outside, the air was full of children's laughter and the sound of gym shoes pounding against the pavement, all except one girl.

This girl had golden blonde hair and sported her signature black plastic rimmed glasses, and she was curled up on the couch inside her air conditioned house.  The television screen was black and a book lay in the girl's lap as she inclined her head towards it.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang.  The girl twitched as if her first instinct was to approach the door, but she heard footsteps toward the back of the house.  When the footsteps died away and disappeared into the basement, the girl let out a sigh and unfolded herself so she could open the door.  She wrenched open the door with a bit more force than was absolutely necessary and looked expectantly at the man on her doorstep.

"Hello, are you Brianna?" the man asked.  His hair was thinning around the top of his head and he wore a mustache.  One of those very carefully trimmed mustaches that made her nervous, she couldn't explain why.

Brianna furrowed her brows in thought.  "Yeah, that's me."

The man consulted his clipboard and signaled a second man who had been waiting in their truck.  "You've won an obscene amount of mustard, where would you like us to put it?"

Brianna's mouth opened as she took one look at the metal drum that was presumably filled with mustard that was being wheeled toward her house by the second man.  She wasn't exactly a fan of mustard all on its own, it was fine when mixed with ketchup, but if she had a choice she would opt for ketchup over mustard.  "Uh, the back is fine."

The second man wheeled the drum of mustard into the backyard, and soon the backyard was populated by thirty large drums full of mustard, though the mustached man assured her that there would be more as soon as she called him back.  Brianna gaped at the drums full of mustard as the two men drove off in their truck.  Not only was this mustard in the way of the garage where her mother would need to park, but the sheer magnitude of the mustard itself was just highly inconvenient.  Whipping her cell phone out of her pocket, Brianna dialed up the number for the operator and asked to be connected to Wrigley Field.

"Yes, hello, do you need mustard at all?"

"Yeah, we put mustard on the hot dogs."

"No, I mean do you need mustard right now?"

"Uh...we got a bunch over here.  What you asking for?"

"I've got some mustard that I thought you'd be interested in."

"We don't need no mustard here, but we'll call you when we run out."

The line went dead as the man at Wrigley Field hung up on the helpless Brianna.  With her cell phone in one and a magically appearing crow bar in the other, Brianna opened one of the drums of mustard and peered in at its traffic sign yellow hue.

Then, she had an idea.  Using her formidable strength and a dolly from the garage, Brianna rolled the open mustard drum across the grass to her neighbor's backyard.  One look at the large hole in the backyard was enough to determine what Brianna had in mind.  She tipped over the drum of mustard, aiming it at the cobblestone lined hole in her neighbor's backyard which created a large lake of the hot dog condiment.  Twenty-five drums later, and the hole was satisfactorily filled with mustard.  Brianna grinned mischievously and proceeded to finger paint with mustard all over her driveway, using the remaining mustard to fill up a kiddie pool and sell tickets to whomever wanted to wade in the mustard.  Since it was such a nice day, a number of the children running around the neighborhood were particularly interested in sticking their feet in something cold and yellow, so she made a good $3 profit by allowing them to stick their feet in the mustard.

"And tomorrow, I'll barbecue!" Brianna announced, only to be met by the cheers of all the neighborhood's children, for they knew that their foot contaminated mustard would be the only topping for any of the barbecued foods available...

"Mustard's no good without roast beef."
- Chico Marx


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