Frank chewed so much tobacco his lower lip bulged even when it wasn't carrying it's usual payload. Sweat trickled all across his face from the hot Texas sun. His, covered in dust and cow dander, were shaking from the strain of his work. It had been a long day. His stomach growled with hunger. With long, bow-legged strides he mozied his way up across the pasture, through the gate in the fence, across the yard and into the house. He every step kicked up dust that lingered in the motionless air. In a matter of seconds, Frank managed to wrangle off his boots. His steps changed to a series of slides across the linoleum floor to the kitchen.
"Hey, Dad." Frank's eldest son, Charlie, was standing over the oven. Steam and smoke billowed around him up
into the fan above.
into the fan above.
"Smells good. What's for dinner?" Frank said softly.
Charlie whipped around, pan in hand. Steam rose up from the pan into Charlie's face, steaming over his glasses entirely. So caught up was Frank in laughter that he didn't see what was being slid off the pan by Charlie's spatula onto the plate in front of him. With a coo, he stopped laughing, fumbled around for his fork, then looked at his plate.
Frank's face twisted with disgust. "What in the heck is this?"
"Asparagus," Charlie quipped over his shoulder as he continued to cook.
"I know what it is."
Charlie turned around, "Good, then why ask."
Frank dropped his fork. "Look, Charlie, I know that you're all into your health and all eating that vegan crap, but I need some real food."
Charlie blinked. "Have you tried it? I cooked it like you would a piece of meat. It's quite hardy and tasty, and for the last time, I am not vegan. I just like asparagus. It's damn good."
"It's city food," said Frank sternly.
"Dad, what the heck is city food? It was grown down the road. I bought it in town. It's delicious. You should try it first."
"I don't want to eat city food. You may be all about your health but I like to eat like a man."
Charlie frowned and shook his head. "Fine, eat like a man all you want, but you'll have to cook it yourself."
"Suits me just fine." Frank rose and headed over to the fridge where he pulled out the package of bacon. "This," he said with a drop in his voice, "is how a man eats. Men, son, do not care about calories or being vegan or organic or any of that sissy crap. We eat what we want and don't care about that diety stuff."
Charlie shrugged, "I want to eat asparagus, and live past seventy."
"Watch it," Frank pointed as he spoke. "I am still your dad."
Charlie nodded. "Yes sir. Want a beer?"
"What we got?"
"Hmmmmmmmm Guinness, Shiner Bock, Real Ale, and Coors Light."
Without skipping a beat Frank replied, "Coors Light."
Charlie shook his head.
Frank noticed. "What?"
Charlie gave his head one more slow shake. "Nothing. You're right. Real men eat what they want and don't do that diety stuff. Cheers." With that, they raised their cans, Charlie with his Guinness, and Frank with his Coors light, and toasted.