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A Light Snack

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“You have the palate of a five-year old.”

“Who, me?” Clint is sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn on his lap, watching something with car chases and explosions as if it holds the secrets of the universe. “Why would you say that?”

Phil ticks his points off on his fingers. “Breakfast--cereal that was pure sugar, floating in chocolate milk.”


“You followed it up two hours later with two donuts--one Boston cream and one frosted coconut. That got you through til lunch, when you had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a can of root beer and a Twinkie.”

“Hey, it’s cheaper than the SHIELD cafeteria.”

“At four o’clock, you were observed inhaling a packet of strawberry Pop Tarts from the vending machine.”

“Yeah, they were out of brown sugar cinnamon.”

“You came home, had a beer and for dinner, you insisted on a hamburger and Tater Tots, which you washed down with--surprise, surprise--another beer.”

“And that’s where your argument falls apart,” Clint says. He’s paused the movie during Phil’s diatribe and now he grins triumphantly. “Five-year olds don’t drink beer…usually.”

“And here it is, eight-thirty, and you’re sitting there chomping on popcorn and gummy bears! It’s a wonder your pancreas hasn’t exploded, the way you abuse it!” Phil isn’t sure what bothers him more: the way Clint eats or the fact that he never seems to put on an ounce of fat.

Clint stretches and gets up with the bowl. “I love kettle corn. It’s got fiber, y’know? And it doesn’t turn your fingers orange, like Cheetos.”

He exits into the kitchen. Phil, standing there counting to ten, hears the rattle of unpopped kernels being deposited into the trash can. The water goes on and off--he’s rinsing out the bowl, at least, not making more--followed by the sound of silverware clinking together and…the fridge door?!

Sure enough, Clint returns with a carton of ice cream. He settles back down and turns the movie on again. Tires skid. There are gunshots. Something explodes.


“Hey, I brought two spoons. Come on, Phil--live a little!”