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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interrogation Dining Room

A table with two chairs sits in the middle of a sparse room; a single light above illuminates a small circle of light directly in the center of the table. A young man enters the room and sits in a chair. A tall figure enters and stands across the table from him; the figure is mostly hidden in the shadow outside the circle of light, and has an imposing, slightly menacing air about them.

With a smooth motion, the Tall One pushes a plastic bowl into the middle of the table. "Time for supper!" a female voice says, sounding upbeat.

The young man pushes the bowl away. "No."

"But it's pasta!" the woman replies encouragingly. "You like pasta!"

"No. It's yucky. I don't like it."

The woman leans into the circle of light, putting her hands on the table, and says in a low voice, "How do you know it's yucky if you haven't even tasted it yet?"

"I've happily eaten pasta every other time you've made it, therefore it's now yucky and I hate it. DUH!"
Evading the logic of his opponent, the young man retorts, "I don't want it. I want a sandwich."

"We've been through this already. I made you a sandwich yesterday, and you pulled this exact same stunt. So, no. No sandwich."

The young man crosses his arms and leans back in the chair, indicating the unsavory dish with a toss of his chin. "You can't make me eat this; I know my rights. I want dessert."

The woman laughs and steps back, circling the table. "Oh no, that's not how this works. First you eat your supper, then you get dessert."

"I want dessert!"


In a burst of anger, the young man slams his hands on the table. "You can't do this to me! I'm hungry! I have rights, you know!"

"And getting dessert whenever you want it is not one of them." 

My mental image of a dinnertime show-down with my kid. I'm Batman, of course. I'm always Batman.

The young man's eyes narrow and his jaw sets in resolve. "I'm not going to give in to your demands. I don't have to eat this." He pushes his chair back. "I'm finished here."

The woman raises an eyebrow, then shrugs. "Fine, have it your way." She removes the bowl from the table.

There's a brief pause, then the young man says quietly, "May I please be excused?" 

The woman nods, and flicks a switch on the wall. Lights come on, revealing the surrounding dining room. Gesturing to the open doorway, she says simply, "Go." 

The young man quickly leaves, a triumphant smile on his face at having successfully escaped a potentially harrowing ordeal.

With a smirk, the woman enters the kitchen, unperturbed, because she knows he will eat it eventually. She puts a plastic lid on the bowl, writes the word Breakfast on it, and places the dish in the refrigerator.

He always eats it in the end. 

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