Bob? Is that you, honey? You’re home early. I guess I’d better start making our dinner.

Nothing for me, sweetie-pie. I just finished lunch!

Where did you eat?

At Trader Joe’s, pookie.

Trader Joe’s has a restaurant now, my love?

Not really. They were just giving free samples of some of their appetizers—tiny tacos, samosas, stuff like that.

That doesn’t sound like enough to fill you up, my darling.

It is if you go back again and again for more.

Again and again? How many times will they give you free samples before they have security throw you through the plateglass window?

Twenty-seven times, it turns out.

My goodness! That’s very generous of them, pumpkin.

Not exactly, buttercup. I changed my appearance in the men’s room a number of times, so they wouldn’t recognize me. I used novelty buck teeth, an eye patch, a pronounced limp, a bishop’s miter and I spoke Estonian.

So when they figured it out and tossed your butt onto Cordova Road, where did you go then, my heartthrob?

Whole Foods. They were sampling some camembert and crackers, navel orange wedges. I got pretty full there.

No wonder you look like you’re going to barf, snookums!

I’m not finished. Let’s see. There were peanut butter muffin samples at Sage Bakehouse…
Go on, love-muffin….

Um, spicy sausage at Kaune’s, back by the butcher’s case…
Say, dearest, is that truffle oil I smell on your breath?

Probably. I stopped at that olive oil shop downtown and got free drizzles of a bunch of exotic oils on their cubes of French bread, which I then crammed into my mouth like dental cotton.

Yikes! My poor, over-stuffed babykins! Let me fix you a drink!

Oh. About that, doodle-bug. They were also sampling sparkling wines at Trader’s, and….


Over at Susan’s liquors they had a free tasting of Santa Fe Spirits - Silver Coyote Whiskey, Expedition Vodka….

But did you have any dessert, my snicker-doodle?

Yes, at ChocolateSmith. They were sampling their White Chocolate Lemon Lavender Bark….

Holy crap, do you have a tapeworm, or what? Anything else?

Don’t say where you heard it, but if you go through the lobby at the Inn at the Anasazi, and go back into that cozy room they call the Library, they sometimes have warm oatmeal raisin cookies for people who look like hotel guests…

What a useless, freeloading parasite you are! I should have known! So, are we doing anything special together this evening, El Gordo, before you explode into fat globules all over our nice adobe walls? 

I thought I’d build a romantic fire for us in the fireplace… 

What are you going to build it with, Mr. Gluttonous Freebie King? Did you buy any firewood? 

No, but I do seem to have thousands of these greasy, used wooden toothpicks in my pockets. I think they’ll burn…

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