"Mom! Come quick! I just finished my model!" Michael screamed to his unseen mother.
Mrs. Bender approached Michael's room and entered. "That is a very nice blender, Michael. Now come and help me fix supper."
"What are we having?"
"Potatoes," she replied instinctively. Mrs. Bender and Michael walked to the kitchen where Unissa was already getting the silverware out of the drawer. Mrs. Bender assigned Michael to the plates and glasses since he was the oldest. Michael opened the cupboard and pulled out four plates. Unissa dispersed the silverware in a irregular manner. A car pulled up in front. Michael issued the plates in positions relative to the plates and went for the glasses. The front door opened and closed by Mr. Bender's hand. Michael doled out the glasses. Mr. Bender hugged Mrs. Bender. The buzzer on the stove rung. Mr. Bender carried the large pot of potatoes to the table. Every one sat down in their delegated chairs. The lot fell on Unissa to give the customary mealtime orison.
"Dear Jesus," she slowly instituted, "thank you for helping me figure out a real neat plan for tomorrow, thank you for dad and for mom and thank you for this food." Like a explosion she finished the last of her quotidian repast litany. Mr. Bender culled a piece of bread from the platter and handed it to Michael. Mrs. Bender mandated that all the plates be sent to her for potatoes. Everyone complied with the bidding. As the plates passes through the delivery mechanism they were each filled with a unduly blistered potato. The plate returned to the owners in time to meet with a slab of bread. The butter, also in a slab like form was circling through the family's positions leaving behind small bits for each. Mrs. Bender rose up to stop Baby Bob from eating his piping potato, and with a few quick flicks of her wrist pulverized the potato and relocated it further from Bob to cool in safety. She handed the bread to Baby Bob, he grasped it, then with an olympic style toss returned it to the plate.
Michael poked and prodded his potato with a honed fork and with a lone furious strike he atomized the protuberance laying in his ceramic serving disc. Unissa lightly tapped the potato on it's radiant side, then gave a slight jolt as she recognized the temperature level. Mr. Bender medically examined the idahoan trade commodity. He scraped his bit of the butter slab from the table and carefully balanced it on top, where it vaporized in a matter of seconds. Mrs. Bender, without any hesitation made an accurate longitudinal incision through the potato and filled it with sour cream.
The next few minutes were of little insight to anyone seated at the table as the potatoes cooled to a rational temperature for safe consumption. Mrs. Bender was the first to began. She sliced off a piece with a careful knife. Speared it with a fork and delicately set it in her mouth. Michael dove next. He gave the potato a few final poundings with his fork, then scooped out a sizeable clod rammed it into his clinched mouth. Mr. Bender followed suit and segmented his potato into several cubic blocks. His fork harpooned one and guided it into his waiting mouth. Unissa sat in silence watching her potato simmer slowly. After a few nips Mrs. Bender again attended to Baby Bob's needs. She checked the potato for excessive warmth, but found it suitable. Dissecting a sliver off the mush she pointed the fork full at Bob who immediately sealed his mouth to all incoming deliveries.
Unissa, finally satisfied with the climate of her potato cut and chipped away at it. Following in this round about fashion each finished off their potato in due time.
Dawn broke. Mrs. Bender slowly opened the door to Baby Bob's delicately pastel room with a tender nudge. She crept up on the antiquary crib. Slowly reaching in to draw out the sleeping child. Just as her hands grazed Baby Bob's epidermal layer he let out his daybreak scream. Mrs. Bender's motions quickened as she lifted the child out of the crib and held him tightly as she rocked him back to a calmer state. She hurriedly dressed Bob and then carried him to the kitchen. Michael and Unissa were already starting on their bowls of cereal and Mr. Bender had left five minutes ago. Mrs. Bender picked a jar of baby food from the cupboard, opened it, and began to feed Baby Bob. With his usual attitude toward eating he didn't finish until long after his siblings were off to school. Mrs. Bender cleaned off Bob and gathered her things.
Mrs. Bender carried Bob out to her car where she strapped him in. Mrs. Hartmush, who was out on her front lawn doing some menial and uninteresting task, screeched at Mrs. Bender in a beckoning tone, "How are you doing these days, Oidia?"
"Oh...Not bad, Mini."
"Have you been up to anything interesting lately?"
"No, just the customary nonsense." Mrs. Bender replied again as she tried to make a move toward her car.
"I've been to this great place to eat." Mrs. Hartmush expanded, "They have fast service and the food is not bad."
"We never go out to eat." Mrs. Bender defended.
"You otta try it some time..." she was cut off by Mrs. Bender.
"I really must be hurrying along now."
"Talk to ya after work. Ok?" Mrs. Hartmush spoke in a way that she expected would improve her chances of receiving a positive reply.
"Sure," Mrs. Bender said as she slid into her car and sped off to Ford by way of the Manchmal Preschool.
After a her four hours of work, Mrs. Bender dragged Bob and herself back home. Just as she finished depositing Baby Bob in his bed the doorbell gave three impatient rings. Mrs. Bender rushed to the door and opened it with a flurry of prerecorded movements. "Now about that place...Oh! May I come in?"
"Uh..." a reply started and then was clobbered by a high pitched and rather obtrusive voice.
"Thanks...This place I've been to is great, it's the best thing since donut shops! We go every evening. The kids love the food, I love not having to cook."
"That all sounds quite nice, but my family is used to eating here at home."
"I need to feed Bob" Mrs. Bender restyled.
"If you're ever downtown, it is next to the bank, you can't miss it."
"Talk to ya tomorrow?"
Mrs. Bender closed the door behind Mrs. Hartmush and went off to feed Baby Bob.
"I'm home mom!" the two fold voice spoke unharmoniously. Michael went in search of his mother while Unissa proceeded to her room to plan once again. Michael found his mother in the farthest corner of the kitchen next to the blender and beneath the dish cupboard thinking about what she would make for supper.
"How was your day?" she asked.
"Same as always."
"What are you up to now?"
"The model club is meeting in fifteen minutes at Jeraboam's house. I'm going to bring my blender!"
Michael left the kitchen in a hurry and in a pit stop pass grabbed his model and left for Jeraboam's. Unissa, finally satisfied with her schedule; she came down to show it off to her mother. "I've really got it this time, its perfect!"
"What have you planned this time?"
"Well, I am going to start off my day by waking up, kicking Michael..."
"Kicking Michael?" Mrs. Bender interrupted.
"Uh...well...yeah, that's what I plan to do."
"Next I'll brush my hair, brush my teeth, eat one bowl of cereal and leave for school!"
"Sounds ok; except for the kicking."
"Burma said that her mother said that it would be ok for me to go over to her house. So...can I?"
"I guess so."
Later that night. The meal was prepared. The conversation begun. "Mrs. Hartmush was telling me that there is a nice place to eat downtown, and we should try it sometime."
Mr. Bender thought aloud, "it sounds like an idea that we should contemplate."
A planned phrase from Unissa proceeded, "I've never been there, but some of my friends said that it is a neat place."
Michael glued his thoughts together and voiced his notion, "I don't care."
Baby Bob's words were garbled.
All together their consensus was optimistic. They decided to go the next evening.
The next evening. The Bender family heaped themselves into their Ford wagon. Mr. Bender started it and they headed toward the civic center. After about five minutes of cruising through the traffic the reached the bank. Within seconds everyone could see the heavenly sign bearing it's prosperity slogan. They all gasped with awe. Except Bob, who continued sucking on his pacifier. Mr. Bender made a sharp U turn followed by a equally acute right turn into the well groomed parking lot. A parking space near the entrance was open and he pulled the wagon in.
Still in a stunned state they slowly opened the doors and left their seats. The sign still loomed above them in it's effervescent neon hues. They approached the doors, Mrs. Bender entered first. She scrutinized everything from the pattern of the tile to the shade of orange of the cheese on a man's cheeseburger. Mr. Bender noticed the self serve table service in action. Michael dreamed of models of the amazing array of equipment that he saw behind the counter. Unissa noticed a friend of hers at a nearby table and waved. Baby Bob again had no noticeable reaction.
They quickly deciphered the system which they were about to enter. They all queued up in the line. The man in front of them quickly recognized by their conglomerated movements that they had never been here before. He offered them some help: "They make some real good burgers here and their pies ain't so bad neither."
"Really." Mrs. Bender declared.
"What are these 'LT's?" questioned Michael.
"Well, they're all split up like, and you put 'um together. Its suppos'd to keep 'um fresh." He turned, as it was his turn to order, to the lady at the register. "I'd like one Mac and a Coke"
"Would you like that for here or to go?" she rhythmically chimed.
"That will be one dollar and thirty eight cents, please." she said while she pressed furiously at the thousands of little keys on the machine.
"May I take your order?" she again chimed her words.
"I will have a 'Mac and a Coke'" Mr. Bender said confidently.
"I want a 'LT'" Michael quickly asserted.
"I guess a 'Mac and a Coke' would be ok with me." Mrs. Bender decided in an apprehensive voice.
"I want a happymeal with a cheeseburger." Unissa said with a pride that one only has had when something like that had been planned many hours ago and now when put in use turns out so successfully.
Baby Bob was not the least bit interested in this, and so he said nothing.
"IRMA" once again flattened a selection of the buttons and proudly announced, "Your total is twelve dollars and fifty nine cents." Mr. Bender and Mrs. Bender looked through their wallets and purses respectively and gathered the exact change that "IRMA" had requested. After handing them a few slips of paper. she uttered, "Thank you, your number will be called when your order is ready."
The whole family about faced in random directions and navigated their way to the table that looked cleanest and had the best view of the street of cars. Michael asked what 'the number' was and Mr. Bender replied that it appeared to be 649202 and that further instructions written on the slip said that only the last three digits would be called. Unissa again waved at her friend who was now on her way out. The loud speaker system sprang into action and announced that order number 201 was ready. The man who had stood in front of them in line rose up and walked to the section marked pickup where he was handed his order in a brown tray in return for his slip.
Moments later the system announced that 202 was ready and Michael jumped up and ran to the place where the tray was located. Mr. Bender slowly stood up and walked over to the same place as Michael and showed his slip. The server handed the tray to Mr. Bender, who carefully balanced it back to the Bender table.
Mrs. Bender commented, "It looks nice."
Mr. Bender added, "The prices are very good."
Unissa also asserted, "I wonder what comes in a happymeal."
Michael just grabbed his food and ripped open the containers. Baby Bob ignored everyone, which for him was easy seeing how he was sound asleep. Mr. Bender snatched his burger from his container and took a bite. He deeply contemplated it's spices and it's aroma. Michael threw his burger into his mouth and ripped off a quarter of it's volume. Mrs. Bender raised her burger to her lips and bit off a minuscule piece which she chewed on for longer than it took for Michael to work his bite down. Unissa pried open the bright box and upon discovering that there was a little purple toy inside she gave a look of surprise.
Each consumed their burger at widely varying rates with many alternations to a sip or a gulp of their Coke. They all agreed that this was a place that they would want to go to if they were ever in a hurry, but they still felt that their potatoes and bread were something that they found of benefit and of pleasure.