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The Usual Crap:
The characters aren't mine, the idea was. Read, review, enjoy.
This is a one-shot fic for Yma's Neglected Character Challenge.
Cheers.
Jack

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The sandwich was big, Fre--. Well. Somewhat large, really. No, make that immense. Oh, wait, wait: enormous. Yes, enormous. Or...

Sorry. Had to be there, I suppose.

The sandwich was bloody huge, Freddy decided. Of course, he couldn't actually see the thing given the blindfold Todd had insisted on slipping over his eyes, but the platter in his hands was pretty darn heavy. His mouth started to water.
"Aw, geez Freddy. Todd, go get a towel, would you?"
"Sorry Lance," Freddy sighed. He wiped a massive hand across his mouth. "Can we get on with this? I'm getting kinda hungry."
As though his tone hadn't quite gotten the point across, his stomach then chimed with a churning baritone rumble worthy of Leonard Warren on one of his better days. It had the desired effect. Before the echoes had died away, he felt the couch move as his friends sat down.
Freddy scooped up the sandwich and opened wide.
"Let's go over the deal one more time," Pietro blurted. Freddy resisted the urge to belt the little runt. "If you can't name everything on there, you're buying the groceries for the next month. That means getting a job to pay for them, too. And if you do name everything, then," Pietro snickered, "the three of us will follow your orders for that same month. Anything," sarcastic snort, "you want us to do, we will. That settled?"
Freddy nodded. "Yeah. Now shut up, will you?"
Most people would probably have jumped right into the food, but not Freddy. He was, you might say, a connoisseur of food. Not in the traditional sense, of course, since most experts in that field tended to mince about in tuxedos while sampling snails and other obscure (and vaguely obnoxious) treats from beneath garden stones and no one had yet found a tuxedo that would fit his girth,* but he was an authority on food in general. The tastes, the scents, the textures - all this appealed to Freddy and he'd made somewhat of a study of food in general, amassing as much knowledge on as wide a variety of subjects as possible rather than delve too deeply into any single one.
He was, to put it simply, an epicure of large proportions.
Food tasting was his favourite hobby. He'd started as a child; on trips to the supermarket, he'd ferret out every free sample in the store and make guesses as to which brand was on special. He'd quickly moved up to such feats as discerning the difference between Better Made and Lay's potato chips (a popular party trick during his middle-school years was to mix the two in a bowl and seperate them by scent alone) or reciting the ingredients in any given cake mix, given a taste.
Soon he counted himself an adept.
There was an art to this, he'd discovered long ago, and he had a real talent it. By the time Mystique had convinced him to move to Bayville, he was skilled enough to distinguish between a large and jumbo egg by the size of an omelet produced from the egg in question within four seconds of eating it.**
Unfortunately, none of his housemates believed Freddy.
Not a single one.
Not even Todd, a firm believer in such things as Santa Claus, Michael Jackson, and other questionable fairies, would listen to him.***
So Freddy had insisted on demonstrating his skill. Lance and Todd had shown a genuine interest, but Pietro insisted on upping the ante by placing a bet on the whole thing. He overrode Freddy's objections and, well, you know how Pietro can get when he wants something. Rather annoying, that.
Freddy had played video games all day while Lance and Pietro put together a sandwich to test his expertise. His two housemates had shooed him out of the kitchen every time ventured in (Pietro actually chased him out with a broom at least twice) and by the time they'd actually finished, he'd already ordered, paid for, and eaten two large Meat Lover's deep dish pizzas and a two-litre of Coca-Cola.**** But that had been hours ago and he was ready to showcase his talent.
"Anyone else gonna say anything?" he asked politely, just in case.
No one spoke, which was good - for them. Freddy was hungry and wasn't going to wait for anything. With a final shrug, he lifted the sandwich to his face and took a hearty sniff.
Hmm. What a peculiar aroma, he thought. Delicate, yet robust. A tantalizing, mysterious zesty mixture of scents, yet also an underlying hint of familiarity. It was, all in all, a fine bouquet. Lance and Pietro had done a fine job.
Freddy took a small bite, downing a third of the sandwich, and considered the myriad flavours. Oh yes, a very fine job. As he chewed he noticed a hush in the room, as his housemates had fallen silent the moment he had taken a whiff of this delightful dish. He took another bite, and another third was gone.
Pietro must have gone shopping, he decided, because some of these ingredients aren't found in any local store. (Freddy had weighed the food stores in Bayville upon his move and had found them wanting.) He paused momentarily in respect for his friend's thoughtfulness. Not just everyone would pick olives right off the tree; it took a real pal to do something like that.
Freddy belched. The picture window shattered.
"Sorry," he muttered sheepishly. Someone grumbled, but kept silent.
Another bite and the sandwich was gone.
Freddy licked his lips. "That was pretty good, guys."
"Yo, Freddy, my man. We're waitin' here," Todd told him from his perch somewhere behind him.
"I don't think he can do it," sneered Pietro. "All that effort for-- "
"Sourdough." Always start with bread, Freddy thought. Good habit to get into.
"Huh?" That was Pietro again.
"Shut up, man." Lance's voice, followed by the crackling of paper. "All right, Freddy. Go on."
"Sourdough," Freddy repeated. "Boiled ham, Vidalia onions, slightly wilted, Genoa salami." He could hear a pencil following his words as someone scratched items off a list. "A mild-to-medium Cheddar, (aged less than a year), bologna, sweet pickles, Tabasco sauce (the green bottle), green, red, and yellow peppers. JalapeƱo peppers too, and those were pretty fresh. Mexico?"
"Guatamala," Pietro told him in a sour voice.
"Oh, right. I shoulda tasted the higher iron content. Um, let's see. Hard salami, Monteray jack, bean sprouts, pepperoni, cracked wheat bread, olive loaf, dill pickles (kosher), honey mustard, low-fat mayonnaise, honey-glazed ham." Freddy stifled another belch. "Iceberg lettuce, scallions, horseradish sauce, crumbled bleu cheese, yellow mustard, corned beef, barbeque sauce (four different flavours), sliced radishes, roast beef, Swiss cheese, ketchup, anchovies, banana peppers, mozzarella, pumpernickel (slightly stale). Was that feta?"
"Aha!" Pietro crowed triumphantly. "There wasn't any f--"
"No, sorry, gorgonzola," Freddy said, as though Pietro hadn't said a word.
"Um, American cheese, sliced turkey (both dark and light meat), and green olives. How'd I do?" This was a rhetorical question, of course and Freddy knew it.***** He lumbered to his feet and removed the blindfold. "Well?"
Pietro and Lance exchanged a long, considering look.
"All right. Your wish is our command," Lance said in resignation.

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*: There was one tailor who made a valiant attempt, but unfortunately the cost of such a large quantity of satin for the lining drove him penniless and he committed suicide in despair; the tux was actually completed, but the bankruptcy court had everything sewn up in litigation and not a stitch of it was delivered.

**: Provided, of course, that it is an undiluted, unadulterated omelet. Freddy's record for a more normal omelet (eggs, mushrooms, shallots, and garlic) was a slightly more disappointing 6.3 seconds. Note that this is more in the nature of a party trick; it's generally conceded a single egg, to Freddy, provides about as much nutrition as a corn flake to a normal person.

***: Flame someone else.

****: $22.14 including tax and a 10% delivery surcharge because the local pizza driver was reluctant to drive anywhere near the place, having once been chased off the property by the image of Todd (wearing a pair of bikini briefs and a bath towel) crawling up the side of the boarding house after an unfortunate incident involving a batch of hallucenigenic mushrooms and a tenor saxophone.

*****: Given the faint edge of indulgent humour that accompanied his words, they knew he knew, and he knew that, too.

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