It was Pierre Labouche’s dream to eat around the world. He’d longed for the exotic meats, cheeses and pastries the world had to offer. Over the years he’d eaten shark, squid, cuttlefish and even sea cucumber. Cow’s tongue? Delicious. Rare, aged goat cheese? He polished off an entire wheel. He bragged to his friends that there was nothing he wouldn’t try. His arrogance grew like a chip on his shoulder. His friends took him up on the challenge of knocking it off.
Remember Fear Factor? Pierre’s friends made that show look tame. Bear Grylls wouldn’t eat some of the things his friends placed before him. Chilled monkey brains, extra aged prairie oysters and even sheep rectum posed no challenge to Pierre’s palate. With each success Pierre’s ego ballooned. His friends were so disgusted with him, they got together to scheme.
“What can we feed this guy? It’s got to be something people really eat.”
“Some cultures eat people.”
“No, we’re not resorting to cannibalism.”
“I’m just saying, he doesn’t have to know.”
“We’re not feeding him real people.”
“That’s not what I’m saying.”
“We feed him something, you know, like spaghetti with meat sauce, but don’t tell him what it is.”
“He knows what spaghetti with meat sauce looks like.”
“No wait, I think I get it. We serve him something normal, but make him think it’s something awful by not saying what it is.”
“And we have to sell it, really sell it.”
The group decided.
The next day they served Pierre a plate of ordinary spaghetti with meat sauce, but refused to tell him what it was. Instead they stared, wide-eyed, with over eager anticipation of the first mouthful.
The mind is a funny thing. It can turn abstractions into real objects, fear into a tangible thing. Pierre believed his friends were up to no good. So deeply did he convince himself of this that he refused to eat without knowing what was going in his mouth. When they told him, he didn’t believe them. He was utterly convinced of their duplicity. Disgusted, Pierre rose from the table and stormed off. The friends remained, amazed that their scheme had worked.
“What do we do now?”
“In don’t know about you guys, but I’m hungry.”