Grey Poupon

A passenger boards a train and approaches a gentleman sitting by himself.


“Excuse me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?" Hope pooling in her eyes.


The gentleman's steely gaze softened. He felt sorry for her, yet at the same time, couldn't believe the faux pas she had committed, allowing all those within earshot to hear how destitute she was. She was either very naïve or very brave.


"My good woman, for your own safety, please keep your voice down. Last week someone was foolish enough to ask for a bottle of Perrier."


"Excuse me?" Her brows knit together in confusion.


"Surely, you must see the dire consequences behind your words?"


How she hated it when someone answered a question with a question. Why can't people be more direct?

She had to keep reminding herself she wasn’t in the States anymore. She truly resented being sent to Blubberhouses in North Yorkshire, England on this writing assignment. One more week and it's back to Chicken Bristle, Illinois. She definitely preferred bristle over blubber any day.


"Look over there." He pointed with his cane.


She turned. After focusing for a second, she noticed a small monitor. On the screen, she saw herself -- along along the gentleman -- pointing with his cane.


Cameras? Why cameras? Her pulse quickened.


As if reading her mind, the gentleman responded, "Ever since we came under the rule of Lord Pompous and Lady Pompadour, it's not been the same."


"What's wrong with asking for Grey Poupon?"


"It's not what you asked for. It's that you asked at all, because it plainly shows, as far as our lord and lady are concerned, the impoverished state in which you are living."


Just as he was about to continue, with the purpose of saving her, the doors to the car flew open and in burst a couple of armed guards, smartly dressed in their stately uniforms, marching swiftly toward the woman.

The look of fear in her eyes, and the involuntary gasp escaping her lips, said it all.

Lucìa Arrivato
May 23 2022

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