PARKE COOPER

Three Edible Problems



“Mythic Truths: II”

INT. DARK, FROZEN CAVERN
[The viking king in full winter regalia – horned helmet, chainmail armor, leather, furs, drinking horn, etc. – smashes through a thick wall of ice. He holds aloft his flaming torch, looks around the new chamber he has discovered. In the center of the icy chamber, on a natural pedestal of ice, lies the skeleton of an unnaturally massive ox. The viking king climbs the pedestal, picks up the skull of the ox with some difficulty, and turning it over in his hands, accidentally breaks the left horn off of the ox skull. Honey immediately begins to flow from the severed horn. The viking king drops the skull, takes up the horn, tastes the honey.]

VIKING KING:
The horn of plenty…

CUT TO:
EXT. VIKING VILLAGE – OVERCAST AFTERNOON

[The viking king strides into his village. The local children and dogs are lapping up honey left in the king’s wake. The viking king points the opening of the cornucopia at the prince. Honey sprays in the prince’s face, laying the prince out in a pool of honey. The king, prince, and villagers all laugh.]

INT. VIKING KING’S LODGE – LATER THAT EVENING

[The cornucopia coughs out a banquet of baked hams, gourds, fresh fruit, cooked turkeys, barley, flagons of mead, root vegetables, whole baked fish, vennison, sausages, etc. Every villager is eating their fill of the feast, while the cornucopia silently chugs away, producing more and more food.]

INT. VIKING KING’S LODGE – TWO MONTHS LATER

[The village’s larder overflowed three weeks ago. There’s food of every sort laying on every surface – a mountain of McDonald’s hamburgers piled to the ceiling in one corner, a pig’s trough full of General Tso’s Chicken, 187 pounds of raw bacon piled up in the viking king’s throne. A peasant shovels Krispy Kreme donuts out of a window and into the yard. The cornucopia starts blasting mayonaise all over the walls of the lodge. The king, obviously at his wit’s end, tackles the cornucopia, rams his fist into the horn’s mouth in an attempt to stem the flow, gets drenched in mayo. He slides around on the floor wrestling to control the fire-hose like force of the mayo, only succeeds in getting it all over himself. He grabs a mounted deer head, stuffs it snout-first into the mouth of the cornucopia. The tide of mayonaise halts. Squeaking mayo out of his ear, he sits down on his throne of bacon. A viking thane pokes at the quivering cornucopia with a spear – the deer head shoots out of the horn like a cannonball, nails the thane right in the gut. The force of the shot blows the thane clear through the wall of the lodge, scattering timber and cobblestone everywhere.]

EXT. ABYSSAL FJORD – NIGHT

[The viking king hurls the cornucopia into the depths of the bottomless fjord with a howl of rage.]

EXT. VIKING VILLAGE – TWELVE YEARS LATER

[The viking village is smashed under a massive avalanche of various food wrought from the horn.]






“Guy Fieri’s Food Offenders, Season 2, Episode 11”

MONTAGE ACCOMPANIED BY NONDESCRIPT ROCKABILLY MUSIC:
[Guy Fieri’s open-top, flame-patterned hot rod drives toward the camera on a dusty highway, drives past camera, flaming on-screen logo gets riddled with bullet holes: GUY FIERI’S FOOD OFFENDERS! Various candid shots of Guy Fieri getting angry in restaurants, Guy Fieri throwing food at chefs, Guy Fieri smashing windows, Guy Fieri kicking waiters, Guy Fieri getting thrown out of restaurants, Guy Fieri’s wife slapping Guy Fieri, Guy Fieri driving his hot rod off a cliff, etc.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
WASSUP FOOD OFFENDERS! It’s your favorite food hater, Guy Fieri! This is the show where I dispense Vigilante Justice on the restaurants and chefs that I hate most! When a hickory-smoked pork BBQ doesn’t live up to my high standards, I show that business the business end of my ol’ hickory baseball bat, ahahah! Anyway, let’s roll the beautiful bean footage or whatever, fuck it!

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN THE USA – RED ROBIN DINER – NOON

[Security camera footage: Guy Fieri’s open-top, flame patterned hot rod pulls up to the Red Robin, parks erratically, taking up two spaces. Guy gets out, goes inside.

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
This must be a new record! These clowns pissed me off in the first five minutes! I’d hardly had a moment to order my food, much less a bite! Anyway, here’s the deets, presented without comment!

[Title, bottom of screen: TIME DILATION. The security footage fast-forwards 7 minutes, then resumes normal speed. Guy Fieri stumbles out of the restaurant clutching a wooden bread bowl, pursued by a Red Robin employee carrying a frying basket. Guy deflects a blow from the fry basket with the bread bowl, grabs the employee by the scruff of the neck, slams the employee’s head against the hood of the hot rod. Guy throws the bread bowl through the front window of the Red Robin, goes to the trunk of the car, produces a Guy Fieri-branded Louisville Slugger baseball bat, starts clubbing away at the unconscious Red Robin employee. A chef appears brandishing a meat cleaver, chases Guy Fieri in circles around the hot rod. Guy Fieri hops into the hot rod, starts the engine, floors it. Slow motion footage: Fieri barely ducks under the flying knife hurled by the chef.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
Wooo! Almost got a shave and a haircut with my meal, hahaha! Anyway, this next one is a personal favorite of mine! What a goddamn mess! Jesus! Just look at this shit! I can’t believe it!

INT. MCDONALD’S RESTAURANT – DAY

[Security camera footage: People standing in line to order at McDonald’s, others sitting at nearby tables. Without warning, Guy Fieri’s hot rod drives through the nearby wall of windows, runs over a family sitting at a table near the McPlayPlace, keeps plowing through the dining area with people leaping out of the way and over the hood until it smashes the register counter, hits the milkshake machine and finally comes to rest. Guy Fieri bonks his head on the steering wheel, blacks out, the milkshake machine topples. A hundred gallons of strawberry milkshake pour out of the machine, filling the cabin of the hot rod until Guy Fieri is trapped up to his neck in frosty pink quicksand.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
Wowie zowie! I still don’t know how my lawyers got me out of that one! (Slide whistle)






“Guy Fieri’s Food Offenders, Season 1, Episode 23”

MONTAGE ACCOMPANIED BY NONDESCRIPT ROCKABILLY MUSIC:
[Guy Fieri’s open-top, flame-patterned hot rod drives toward the camera on a dusty highway, drives past camera, flaming on-screen logo: GUY FIERI’S FOOD OFFENDERS! Various candid shots of Guy Fieri getting kicked by waiters, Guy Fieri parachuting out of a plane, Guy Fieri smashing a hot dog with a mallet, Guy Fieri blowing up a food truck, Guy Fieri stomping on a jumbo pretzel, Guy Fieri screaming into a drive-thru window, Guy Fieri getting mauled by a police dog, etc.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
Hey, fellow fed-up foodies! Have you ever been served a crap plate of food and been charged too much for it? All the time, right! These are the chronicles of my misadventures in eating across the USA! Sit back, grab a cold one, and GET READY TO GET ANGRY!

INT. MALL OF AMERICA – NEAR AUNTIE ANNE’S PRETZEL KIOSK – DAY

[Candid footage: People are standing around at Auntie Anne’s, ordering lemonade and cinnamon pretzels. One of the pretzel staff notices something out of frame, looks panicked, starts pointing and hollering unintelligible warnings. A huge, rideable floor waxing machine driven by Guy Fieri slowly lumbers into the frame. Guy is grinning, looking toward the camera, sticks his tongue out and shows the ‘devil horns’/metal hand sign, returns his attention to driving. He adjusts the vehicle’s trajectory to collide with the pretzel stand.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
I really hate the dough they use at these places! It sticks to the roof of my mouth and the lemonade tastes like it was made in a dog bowl! Yee-uuck!

[People notice the floor waxer, drag their children out of the path, scatter. Guy and the waxer slowly, inexorably ram the pretzel stand. The vehicle is so slow that at first it hardly moves the stand, but a moment later Guy goes full-throttle. The stand tips over, pretzels, lemonade and glass spray all over the tiled floor of the mall, Guy jumps clear of the wreck, a few people clap. He gestures to his crotch, dances a minor victory jig over his fallen nemesis, hams for the camera. Mall security storms in and chases Guy out of frame.]

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
Nothin’ like getting back at the man! Yeesssssss! Hahaha! Next up: VIEWER SUBMISSIONS! MAN! I love you guys! All you dedicated viewers keep sending us the BEST footage! Keep getting offended, my bros and dames! Nobody should settle for crap food! Today’s video comes to us from YouTube user “SteakHaver117”! Let’s take a look!

EXT. UNDISCLOSED LOCATION – GRAVEL YARD – DAWN

[Somewhat blurry, low-resolution, shaky video footage: A man in a general’s uniform and a chef’s hat kneels in the gravel, hands bound behind his back. He sobs. Another man in a general’s uniform binds a blindfold over his eyes, exits. The chef/general mumbles something incomprehensible. Kim Jong-il steps into the frame holding a steak between his index finger and thumb. Kim tosses the steak into the lap of the kneeling prisoner, raises a small golden handgun, executes him.

GUY’S VOICE OVER:
Woah. Uh. That escalated quickly. (Long silence) But there’s only one right way to do a steak, yeah?




Parke Cooper writes about the conflicting lines between entertainment and life. He is a second-year MFA candidate in Fiction at the University of Arizona, and was the recipient of the first-place 2012 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award in Fiction. When he’s not writing, he’s screaming, and when he’s not screaming, he’s teaching.

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