Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tortilla Soup

I think there is one gigantic vat of tortilla soup. The company orders a truckload and it's pumped out of the vat, hauled to the cafeteria and dispensed into the soup pots from which we daintly dip our daily dose of tortilla soup. The company has two cafeterias separated by 550 miles, but the soup is the same.

It has a calming effect, tortilla soup. Little bits of chicken trapped in its orange clutches. Green peppers or are they chilis? Chunks of tomato or are they red bell pepper? Oregano or is it bay? There is a mystery here.

"How was the tortilla soup today, Ed?"

"I dunno", says Ed, "I had the beef and barley today."

The cafeteria goes quiet. Two hundred people eating tortilla soup, minus one...Ed. Then the whispers break out.

Psst, psst, psst, Ed's eating beef and barley, pst, pst, pst, what's up with that?, pst, pst.

The next day. Ed's gone.

Uh, he took a transfer to Bumstump, Montana. Left last night. Sudden.

I think I'll have a second bowl of tortilla soup, if you don't mind.

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