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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: It’s Only Regurgitation: A Love Story
By william price


I didn’t know sushi would have the effect it did on my digestive system prior to eating some for the first time at my fiancée’s parents’ house. My stomach’s revulsion to the uncooked fish, rice and vegetables was too rapid to contain.

The expensive silver table cloth commemorating my host’s 50th Wedding Anniversary was ruined.

I also didn’t know my future in-laws had weak stomachs. The chain reaction of gastro-unpleasantness was not a pretty sight.

“I’m so sorry, Betty and Mr. and Mrs. John…”

I had to cut my apology short and dash to the downstairs bathroom. On the way I heard the anniversary couple excuse themselves to the facilities upstairs.

After splashing cold water on my face, I looked at myself in the mirror.

Great first impression. It’s not enough I don’t own a house or make a lot of money, but I have to fly to New Jersey to humiliate myself in front of Betty and her parents.

After deciding my clothes were still presentable, I undid my trousers and re-tucked my shirt. After fastening my belt, I took a deep breath and headed back out to face the music.

When I walked through the dining room I noticed the windows had been opened and saw the Johnson’s service help carefully clearing the table.


“Benjamin, is that you? We’re in here.”

Betty’s voice came from an adjoining room.

She doesn‘t sound mad.

Upon entering the Sitting Room, I was about to apologize again, but I noticed a very embarrassed and shocked expression on Betty’s face.

Oh, Oh, she is upset.

I just stood there; big and dumb.

“Honey…” Betty said slowly, nodding her head downwards.

I think she’s trying to tell me something.

I looked behind me, but didn‘t see anything.

With a slight smile, Mrs. Johnson set her teacup down and calmly said, “XYZ.”

XYZ? Oh no!

I peeked down quickly and fled yet another room.

After making sure I was completely fastened up this time, I tried to find the courage to face Betty and her parents again.

“Well, that was certainly special,” Mr. Johnson said with a grin as I took a seat next to the multi-millionaire’s only daughter.

I looked Betty in the face.

“I am so, so sorry.”

Betty’s face contorted and she turned her head.

I really did it this time.

When she turned back around she handed me a mint.

“Oh yea, my breath, thank you.”

I wanted to die.

“Benjamin, dear,” Mrs. Johnson said with the sweetest, kindest voice I ever heard, “just relax. No big harm was done. Would you like some tea?”

“No thank you. I think I’ll just chew on this mint for awhile.”

Betty patted my leg, leaned into me and whispered, “I love you.”

“Do you see that, son?” Mr. Johnson’s tone was calm and polite. “Look at my daughter’s face. She gazes at you like Samantha does me. She loves you.”

I turned my head towards Betty’s deep brown eyes, her perfectly tailored eyebrows, her bright smile, and my heart melted.

“I love her too, sir. And I would like to apologize…”

“No need for that, son. Things happen; we’ll fly in to New York tomorrow and eat some cooked meat.”

“But, sir.”

Mrs. Johnson respectfully cut me off.

“Benjamin, dear, we could not have received a greater anniversary present than what we saw tonight in our daughter’s eyes. You don’t know how many years we’ve prayed she would truly find love.”

“Yes, son.”

Mr. Johnson cleared his throat and wiped a tear from his eye.

“You reminded me of what love really is; what Sam and I shared before we had all of this. I know you feel like you can’t support our daughter the way you may think we feel she should, but you’re wrong. You run a Christian orphanage. You both help parentless children. That’s worth more than all the wealth we have.”

“Amen,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Granted,” she added with a smile, “your first impression, on the surface, was, let‘s say, memorable, but nothing you did tonight spoke ill of your heart or soul. You just proved you’re human. I’m glad our Betty found a real man.”

I felt relieved I could have survived such a night. I leaned over and gave Betty a long kiss.

Mr. Johnson‘s cough interrupted. “One more thing before we call it a night.”

His stern look concerned me.

Maybe I’m not out of the woods yet?

“Separate rooms.”

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This article has been read 840 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon02/14/08
I love the XYZ moment -- haven't heard that in years. Very funny, and well written. Good job with the topic.
Joanne Sher 02/15/08
Excellent characterization - and you certainly put us right in that room with them all. Love the MC's internal monologue especially, and the end.
Patty Wysong02/15/08
Oh my. Talk about a memorable introduction! I loved the humor sprinkled throughout! Especially the XYZ!!
Laury Hubrich 02/16/08
What a title! This was a good story and I love the ending!
William Stevenson02/18/08
Isn't it amazing what some people eat? I enjoyed your choice for this topic, Don't think anyone could have descibed it better in so few words. I'm really reading to see what others say because I don't know very much about the tricks of the trade. I would say love conquers all. Good one.
Kristen Hester02/18/08
This story made me feel good all over. I love it. (I'm a sucker for a love story, anyway). It was so refreshing to see the rich couple portrayed as kind and compassionate. I loved the humor and how they got a laugh out of it. It's how, I think, many would respond.

It reminds me of the first time I met my sister's husband. They'd just driven in from A & M (whoop) and he was car sick (Perhaps she had been driving). He said "Hello" and then dashed to the toiled to barf. I'm not THAT scarey.
LaNaye Perkins02/18/08
Oh my..... this was great! I love your sense of humor. I think it might even be as twisted as mine. lol This was such an endearing story and it kept my attention all the way through. Great job!
LauraLee Shaw02/18/08
Ok, as an official sushi addict, I am mortified by this story. I love the humor sprinkled into the romance. Great job!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/18/08
Too funny! Such a bungled, embarrassing beginning for your MC, but you still managed to tug at my heart strings with the love story. Great job!
Debbie Wistrom02/18/08
So many details here and they all sparkle, I can see why it is a jewel. Would love to have a love like this.....
Leigh MacKelvey02/18/08
The details MADE this story! Great characterization, too. I loved the details like the MC tucking in his shirt and buckling his pants and all the rest. Really, really enjoyed this one!
Lyn Churchyard02/19/08
Ahh Sir William... you have done it again. Your characters are so human. Right on topic (though what a way to show it!)
I'm with your MC... raw fish? No way, not for this little black duck.
Super job!
Chrissi Dunn02/19/08
Well done. So funny! It reminded me of one of the scenes in 'Meet the Parents'! The poor guy - I'm just glad the inlaws reacted so well.
Jan Ackerson 02/19/08
Oh, this is hilarious! I lost it on the "chain reaction", and didn't stop grinning once through the rest of the story. Priceless!
Holly Westefeld02/19/08
This heart-warming and humorous story was very enjoyable.
Lynda Schultz 02/19/08
I loved it, though I can't understand why anyone would get sick on sushi.

The last line caused me to stumble. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I would have assumed that since they are all believers there wouldn't be a question about who was sleeping where.

Great story—one of those days that one would like to start over and do right!
Dee Yoder 02/19/08
One thing's for sure: he could hardly do anything worse after that introduction! Laugh-out-loud-funny and I like the wealthy couple's attitude, too.
Shirley McClay 02/20/08
One of my favorites this week! Hilarious and lighthearted, but very well written. I've read it a couple of times now and it just gets better.
Beth LaBuff 02/20/08
Aw... sweet love story! This was a lot of fun to read. Your poor MC got put through the wringer. :) You're very skilled in your story-writing.
Sara Harricharan 02/20/08
ROFL! I felt so glad to be vegetarian after reading this. LOL! It was just too funny, the "XYZ" coming from the Mother, was also too funny. I liked how you set everything in motion and kept it going with the mint and then the last line of "Separate rooms" That was just too funny! I think you did great with this one. ^_^
Betty Castleberry02/20/08
This is wonderful, and too much fun besides. Of course I LOVE the name of your MC's promised. :0)
I'm glad Betty's parents saw what their daughter saw in her beloved.
Excellent Sir William!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/20/08
The sushi would have done me in, too. I could see this playing out as a movie, with lots more adventures of the newly engaged couple to follow. I really enjoyed the humor in the story.
Peter Stone02/20/08
Don't forget they'll forget this evening in a hurry. Loved the XYZ line.
Sally Hanan02/21/08
Boy did you get a lot of comments ;) This was really good, probably because it was so real.