A charming read for a cynical individual

I was sitting at home one quiet Sunday, twiddling my thumbs and minding my own business when my boyfriend asked me to write him a story. Being the person I am, I could not think of my own topic to write about when under that kind of immense pressure so of course, he gave me a word of inspiration.

This is what happened the day I wrote a story about waffles. If this sounds boring to you, don’t you worry. It is always a personal challenge of mine to make every story I write endearing, charming and just a little bit cynical. Enjoy! If it’s too long for you, just read paragraph three and walk away. That’s okay too.

Julio: The Experimenter

Julio was a vain, self-righteous and very hypocritical man who liked to think he was an experimenter of all things. Like the honest and non-hypocritical man he knew he was, Julio did not like to limit himself to one particular area of experimentation. Julio had a theory that those who dabbled in only one area of experimentation had the right to be named curious indeed, but experimental? Perhaps not; for one can only be deemed truly experimental if they are willing to open their minds to any and every possibility; not just a select few. It was far below Julio to lie to anyone about his occupation and therefore he worked very hard to be endlessly experimental in all areas of his life. Except for one, of course.

As a true experimenter, Julio had dabbled in a great many things over the years but there was one thing that always remained untouched. Every morning Julio would enjoy a plain waffle, sprinkled with exactly one teaspoon of icing sugar, washed down with a ristretto. Every day since he had moved out of his parents’ home, 23 years ago, Julio had treated himself to this same breakfast ritual to prepare him for the busy day of a true experimenter. Julio did not see the hypocrisy in this. How could he? His vanity would not allow it.

There are a great many ways that the world can mock the habitual. One of them is through the art of distraction. If you have a lot on your mind, how are you ever expected to notice those small happenings which could potentially put an end to your beautifully crafted morning ritual of 23 years? This was the very game that life decided to play on Julio, on a particularly windy Autumn morning. As Julio prepared his usual morning waffle, the scoop of icing sugar he applied was ever so slightly smaller than his usual scoop. Julio had just used the last of his stash but unlike he usually did, Julio did not notice. One could blame tiredness, or the mere oversight that comes with being human. But I would blame the humour of life. I would say that this oversight was caused by the fact that at the very moment Julio scooped that final scoop, just nearby a man happened to be chasing after his top hat as it danced about in the wild Autumnal winds. The unfortunate soul did not see the shop sign which had been placed out earlier that morning by an inspired shop keeper who had felt a strange urge to put her sign on the other side of her store. Had life not inspired her with this urge, the following events would not have occurred in such a violent manner. But as it were, the sorry soul who was chasing his top hat was on the wrong side of the shop front that morning, tripped over the sign and landed on the road, right beneath the wheels of a very full and very heavy cabbage van. It was a dramatic end, witnessed by a truly habitual experimenter who happened to be looking out the window as he finished preparing his breakfast.

Julio was entirely unfazed by what he witnessed through the window. It came to little effect to him until the very next morning, when he went to dig out his usual spoonful of icing sugar from a very empty bag. Julio was horrified. The ritual he had maintained for over 23 years was no more and there was nothing at all that he could do. Of course he could not simply buy more icing sugar for he had already made his waffle and the consumption of a cold waffle was less than ideal, even if doused in sugar. It was all Julio could do to sit down with his plain, naked waffle and embrace a new side of life, a side of life where he could never again be a true experimenter because his morning routine was crushed. But as he went to spoon the first spoonful of waffle into his mouth, Julio realised something. You may think that he was inspired by the unfortunate man from the day before, to embrace life and make the most of new things all the time because you never know when your opportunity could be at an end. But you must remember that Julio was a hypocrite and therefore had all characteristics that went along with hypocrisy, including a selfishness and a stubbornness that prevented him from learning those life lessons in a straightforward and unselfish manner.  Rather, in the moment that waffle touched Julio’s lips, he felt an overwhelming horror at the thought of having to consume his breakfast in such a bleak way. As a valuable, giving and important member of society, the experimenter deserved so much more than the nakedness of this breakfast waffle. As the fork fell with a clatter and waffle crumbs spread across his polished wood floors, Julio felt the familiar tickle of inspiration and he knew it was finally time to experiment in yet another area of life. What an experimenter he was.

That morning was a very messy one. With the contents of his pantry spread across the kitchen bench, Julio began his hunt for the truly luxurious breakfast which he had deprived himself of for 23 years. Waffles doused in maple syrup? Too standard. Waffles with spinach? Too vegan. Waffles with curry? A mistake. He had been at it for hours and Julio’s food supply had been run almost dry, the tickle of inspiration no longer inspiring but irritating. But as the harsh afternoon sun moved in line with the window, something beautifully spiritual happened; the light of the sun shone upon the last remaining opportunity before him. An ingredient overlooked by a man who thought the idea beneath him was now reconsidered by a man driven mad with desperation. Another game life has mastered; to strip you of everything so that you are forced into something new. Life has a heartless sense of humour. But Julio, of course, had his pride to maintain and therefore was not a quitter. It had to be done.

Julio sat at the table once more, with his thirty-second waffle and ristretto for that day and tried, one last time, to find the true breakfast of kings. As the spoon entered into his mouth, Julio felt a buzz. This buzz was most likely caused by the sheer volume of ristretto coursing through his veins but Julio interpreted it as a rebirth of his breakfast routine and a discovery of something wonderful. How did he not see it before? Two ingredients, both entirely bland, one adding absolutely no flavour or value to the other and therefore superfluous to the entire breakfast experience. Isn’t it obvious? The daily consumption of a breakfast such as this would highlight the ability of one to afford the luxury of such superfluousness. In its simplicity, it was the breakfast of kings and therefore the only breakfast deserving of consumption by our great Julio.

It is at this point where I now chuckle as I reveal to you that this breakfast of kings was merely waffles with a topping of freshly cooked, plain noodles. But I suppose in all of our amusement we may as well acknowledge Julio’s achievement of finally becoming a true experimenter. An experimenter who explored and toyed with every area of life. That was, of course, not including his morning ristretto. I suppose we all need some consistency in life; does he still deserve to be called a hypocrite?

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