Set your goal high, Suzy Spudsbury

2011 February 10
by Don Hammack

Suzy Spudsbury hated this part of her shift. The lunch rush was hitting, and she knew it was going to get bad. Really bad.

“I’d like a No. 2 combo with a Coke,” the next customer said.

“*Gulp* Would you like to jumbo-size that?” Suzy said.

“Oh, yeah. I love me some fries,” he said.

Suzy’s heart sank.

Why do they put me on the cash register? I don’t mind getting the burgers. Cows are no friends of mine. Soft drinks are just a bunch of sweet stuff with carbonated water in ‘em. The heck with a bunch of sugar.

Fries, though. So many fries! Can’t these people read my name tag. Suzy Spudsbury. Look at my face, deep into my eyes. I’m a potato, dammit. I have feelings, too.

You dredge us out of the ground, put us in big trucks and take us for processing. I’m a lucky one. That big pothole outside Ronnie McDougal’s farm bounced me out. I hitchhiked here to Boise and got a job at Burger Village.

I applied at the library, but I’m extremely nearsighted. Doc said something about too many eyes make things look funny. I can’t afford 10 pairs of glasses.

I applied at a garage, but when they told me I was going to be a grease monkey, changing oil, I got lightheaded.

I applied at the grocery store, but didn’t return their calls. Produce (potatoes), snacks (potato chips), frozen foods (french fries), canned vegetables (new potatoes). So many aisle with so many cautionary tales. Mashed potato flakes, potato pancake mix. The horror, the horror.

So I wind up at Burger Village, motto: It takes a Village to make a Burger. Uh, no. It takes a big machine that chew up cows and squeezes out patties. I wish I was on the burger line here, though. Then at least I’d be out of eyesight of the potato slaughter taking place over there by the drive-thru window. Big bags of french fries, dropped screaming into burning oil. Oh, the humanity.

This stupid restaurant won’t even consider serving sweet potato chips. You know how much I hate sweet potatoes? All nice, and kind, and happy, all the damn time. Makes me want to puke.

Every week — every damn week — I buy a lottery ticket. I’m not asking for $200 million. I’m not asking for $75 million. Just gimme $5 million.

I figure with that I can be a couch potato.

Fiction prompt from

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