Although he’d quickly proved himself adept
at many things, her newly hired handyman’s
command of the vernacular was not spectacular.
When she expressed the wish to be adorned
and dressed revealingly – in other words, to be
a “dish” – the culture Phlumb had come from
only knew the word as meaning shallow bowl
for ice cream, say, or pudding – or a synecdoche
referring, like a trope (re: literary terms, he was
no dope) to what was in the dish to eat. They’d
left whatever else “dish” intimated out. He asked
her (of the two he knew) which dish she meant.
She bent her little pinkie in an answer, as she
glanced at Phlumb and lifted up what she referred
to as “my drinkie”: she favored gin, and liked to drink it
neat. She didn’t miss a beat. She lent to Phlumb
a little smile and wink: “I mean to be a treat. I mean
to be delish.” She got her wish. He served her up
with relish, all embellished, not unflatteringly on
a platter: at first sight of which somebody (from his
culture not from hers) became so quickly famished
for her curves and ways, he slurped her down before
she could convey what we must now presume
she’d have preferred to howl instead of merely say.
Of course, as far as Phlumb knew, he obligingly had
done exactly what she’d asked him to. He queried
Phlamb, his countryman: had he enjoyed the dish?
Phlamb loved to eat. “She looked a treat,” Phlamb
began. “But oh, she tasted more than I’d have
wished like cuttlefish.” Neither Phlumb nor Phlamb
had had a clue how much she’d wanted to be
touched and cuddled, not ingested. The whole thing
would have ended in a muddled mess if Phlamb
had not looked back again, appraisingly, at Phlumb,
deciding he looked rather yummy. Phlumb is now –
well, we don’t have to tell you in whose tummy.