Tag Archives: meat

Rare Steaks

I got this idea for last week’s Friday Fictioneers, but couldn’t fit it satisfactorily into 100 words, so I am posting it as a stand-alone with a different picture.

Rare Steaks

The driver backed the truck inexpertly up to the loading dock of the meat market. The manager was waiting when he got out. “I got a shipment for you,” the driver said.

The manager nodded. “You’re not the regular guy. Where’s Todd these days?”

“This is a special load. I thought I’d come by and see if you were interested in it.” The driver fumbled with the latch and opened up the back.

“Hey, it’s all fresh. Is this locally sourced?”

“Yep, it’s from the area.”

The manager picked up a package and inspected it. The meat was cut into irregular pieces. Whoever processed it must have been new on the job. “You know, we usually cut it up here. What is this, veal?”

“Uh, yeah. Veal.”

“Sure, I’ll take it. I can sell it at a discount. Lemme get some guys to unload it. Just hold on.” The manager called for a few employees to start unloading the truck, then sat down and picked up a newspaper. The driver stood by uncertainly.

“What do you think about that boy scout troop that disappeared a few days ago?” the manager asked conversationally. “Crazy, eh? You think they’ll find them soon?”

“I’m sure they’re fine. They’ll turn up,” the driver said.

The manager pointed to the picture of the missing troop in the paper. “You know, you kind of look like their troop leader.”

“My . . . twin brother. We’re all shook up about it.”

“Well, thoughts and prayers and all that.” The manager looked up and pointed. “Geez, what’s that?”

A strip of dark green cloth lay on the floor of the truck, uncovered as the men unloaded the truck. The driver stepped over and snatched it up. The manager caught a glimpse of merit badges sewed in rows on it as the driver pushed it into a plastic bag.

“My nephew’s,” the driver explained. “He was going to a scout meeting when I was loading the truck. Must have left it.”

“Well, he’s going to miss his sash,” the manager said. “You’d better wash that good before you give it back. It looks pretty fouled with blood and juice.”

“So, how can I get paid?” the driver asked tentatively.

“We’ll send it to you by next week,” the manager said, going back to his paper.

“Could I get it now, in cash?”

The manager looked up, frowning. “In cash? No, that’s not how we work.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, they’ve got the truck unloaded. I’ll just go now.”

“See ya.” The manager flipped a page. What a weirdo, he thought.

 

Breaking News! The local TV station’s chyron screamed the next day. Carnage at Santa’s Village!

“Police uncovered a grisly scene this morning at the local Santa’s Village which is closed for the season,” the reporter said. “The entire herd of reindeer that is housed on the grounds was found slaughtered. The culprits were soon found in the area, the missing scout troop 3245. Their leader has been arrested for child endangerment, theft, and illegally trying to sell the meat to a local market. He insists it was all for a fundraiser so the boys could attend the national jamboree.

“Scout officials confirm that the boys have been reprimanded, but will also receive their merit badge in poaching.”


Grandpa and the Piano of Secrets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

copyright John Nixon

I was sure the piano had eaten Grandpa. I only stepped away for a moment and he vanished.

As I approached, I could smell roasting flesh. Dear God, it had sucked him in and was cooking him!

“You monster!” I shouted, grappling frantically at the keys. A door in the knee panel fell open, revealing a ladder.

I found Grandpa in a cellar, hunched over a grill like a barbecuing troll. He spun around, then relaxed.

“I thought Grandma made you guys go vegan?” I said.

“Six years ago,” he said. “Right about the time I took up ‘piano lessons’.”

 


The Best Franken-steak in the World

The laboratory had never looked so posh. Dr. Andrews hurried around, setting the table with gleaming cutlery and crystal. Under his breath, he hummed—to the tune of “Macho Man”—“Nobel, Nobel Prize. I’m going to win a Nobel Prize.”

An hour later, he was seated at the table with scientists and politicians from around the country. Waiters hired for the night brought in the meals, each featuring a huge steak that almost filled the plate. The gasps of surprise changed to exclamations of pleasure as they began to eat.

“I don’t know what the presentation you have for us is, Dr. Andrews,” one of them said, “but it’s going to be hard-pressed not to be upstaged by these steaks.”

“I’m glad you said that,” Dr. Andrews said with a smile, “because the presentation is the steaks. You see, I grew them myself.”

“I didn’t know you kept cows.”

steaksynth

“I don’t. I grew this meat right here in the lab.” Dr. Andrews stood up and a screen lowered behind him. “I have discovered a technique for growing pure muscle tissue quickly in controlled conditions.”

There were murmurs of surprise and a few of disgust. He caught the term ‘frankenmeat’.

“Is it safe?” someone asked.

“It’s completely unaltered beef,” he said. “The genetic structure is exact. Plus, I can grow just the meat and not the fat or bones, so it is better quality, healthier, and less expensive.

“This product is superior in every way,” he continued quickly. “If we were to only eat this type of meat, there would be no need for unhygienic feed lots: did you know that the majority of all antibiotics in the United States are fed to cows? Animal rights activists would be happier, plus it would be better on the environment: cows produce a ton of methane and a lot of water and resources are used to grow corn to feed cows for beef. This meat is also much cheaper: imagine buying the steaks you just ate at the store for 50 cents a pound.”

One of the politicians spoke up. “It sounds almost perfect. The thing is, it was grown in a lab. Who exactly do you expect to eat this?”

meat lab

This is speculative fiction, but I’m curious: would you buy meat grown in a lab?


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