V. Hartman DiSanto

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Young Adult, and Miscellaneous Other Works

Country Fried Potatoes

“They were so good. I used to order them all the time,” Monica said, waving the menu.

“Just order these, the redskin ones.”

“I don’t think that they’re the same.”

I sighed and looked at my friend. “They’re potatoes.”

“But they were so good. Country fried potatoes, that’s what they were called.” Monica closed her eyes, undoubtedly imagining those country fried potatoes. “Crispy and buttery and so good.”

“But these, the fried red-skinned potatoes. They look the same.”

“Not really. They have red skins. And the country fried ones were cut in smaller cubes.”

“So ask the waiter if they can be cut smaller.”

“It just won’t be the same.”

“Can I help you?” The manager sidled up to the table, accompanied by our waiter.

Monica smiled up at him. “I was wondering about the potatoes. You used to have country fried potatoes?”

“These are similar,” he insisted.

“But are they the same?”

“Shall I bring you some to try?”

“Can you do that, please?”

The manager and waiter both wandered off, the waiter glancing back, probably wondering if he’d have a substantial tip from this.

Monica leaned forward and continued on her diatribe. “You should have tasted them, the country-fried ones. They were so good. I’m so hungry for those, but if they’re not the same, I’ll be disappointed.”

“How about these?” The manager had reappeared, holding a small bowl of the red-skinned potatoes.

She took the bowl eagerly, jabbing with her fork. “The pieces are bigger than I remember.” She popped a piece in her mouth.

“Are they the same?” the manager asked.

“They just don’t taste the same any more,” Monica replied, though she scooped up another potato on her fork and popped it into her mouth.

“Really?” The manager leaned forward, skin sliding from the side of his face and leaving a gaping hole. His mouth opened as if unhinged, closing on the back of Monica’s head and clamping shut. He chewed and then swallowed, watching me over the top of Monica’s staring face.

“They just don’t taste the same any more,” he proclaimed, “no matter how we prepare them.”

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