May 10, 2015

The last thing Perkins expected to see was a mild mannered blowfish sitting across the table from her in the Automat. For this reason she froze in place with the hash loaded fork midway on its journey to her mouth.

‘Don’t be alarmed, young lady. The day couldn’t be lovelier. The weather couldn’t be nicer. I thought I’d join you for no other reason than serendipity. In short, you look pleasant to me,’ said the blowfish.

‘Thank you?’ Perkins managed to say, lowering her fork.

‘I know, I know, I know. Surprising, what? To see a blowfish not unfamiliar with the art of conversation here all large as life in the Automat. My name is Puffer, by the way,’ said the blowfish, nodding.

‘I’m Gale?’ said Perkins, uncertain about the status of her sanity. ‘You’re not in water. How …’

‘Well, Gale, pleased to meet you, and let me say it like this. Water is pretty much overrated as a living environment. I can take it or leave it. I mostly leave it, as you can see. I’m in the insurance game. Why? I worry about people like yourself, young women on the go, rush, rush, who knows …’

The attendants, clad in white, entered the Automat and efficiently straitjacketed and removed Perkins to the waiting ambulance.

‘What was that all about, I wonder? Poor girl was just sitting there alone not bothering anybody,’ said one Automat diner to another.

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