Chocolate as a second language

Carl spread butter on his bagel. “Where are they now?” he asked.

“Belgium,” Audrey said. She read the postcard aloud. ‘Matt and I couldn’t stand hanging around Paris wondering when we could fly out. Hopped on a train to la Belgique. Love to all, Jeannie.’ They couldn’t stand hanging around Paris,” Audrey huffed.

“Don’t worry, hon. They probably can’t stand hanging around Belgium, either.”

“Why not?”

“Government jush collapshed,” he said through a mouthful of breakfast.

“Again?”

Pam Wells/The Pullets

“Those crazy Belgians,” Evan said. He was skating through the kitchen, collecting a bag of foodstuffs he could eat later. “Linguistic meltdown. Like de French-talkin’ jive don’t mix wid de Dutch-talkin’ jive, you know wha’ I’m sayin’?”

Audrey and Carl stared at him. Evan broke for the door. “Gotta go.”

Audrey poured more coffee and turned the page of the paper. “Oh, oh, new study: depressed people eat more chocolate.” *

“How is this news?” Carl asked.

“I don’t know,” Audrey said. “Especially since they have no idea if eating chocolate causes depression or if depression causes eating more chocolate.”

“Huh. Maybe they used chocolate eggs.”

“Yeah. Maybe they used Belgian chocolate eggs.”

“Probably not, dear. This wasn’t a Belgian study, was it? Depressed Belgians eat more chocolate?”

“No. Carl?”

“Hmmm?”

“Do you think Jeannie and Matt will be upset that we’re naming Joe as Evan’s guardian in our wills and taking them out?”

Carl shrugged. “Might be a little depressed.”

Audrey folded up her paper. “They’re probably eating chocolate right now. In la Belgique. Where they went because Paris was so excruciatingly dull.” She got up abruptly and opened the pantry.

“What’re you looking for?”

“Never mind.”

©2010 Pam Wells

*Archives of Internal Medicine, “Mood Food: Chocolate and Depressive Symptoms in a Cross-sectional Analysis,” Vol 170 No. 8, April 26, 2010

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