Short Fiction: The Potato Salad Man

July 15, 2018Posted In Short Fiction

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David Wallace, the Fiction Editor at The New Yorker said, while this very short story wasn’t exactly the right for them, it “…did make him hungry for potato salad.” Since I’m now done shopping it around, here it is for you to enjoy. – Bon Appétit!

It would’ve been nice if The Potato Salad man were a legend, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t. He was very real, pale and bald, like a hard-boiled egg dressed in summer clothes. He was nowhere to be seen at the end of April, but by mid-June he was everywhere. Wellfleet. Long Island. Martha’s Vineyard. You name it. No one ever saw him enter, but every hen within earshot went quiet when that hideous pink bowl nudged its way onto the competition table. It would’ve been poor form to ask him to leave, and so it was never done. When there were entry fees to be paid he paid them. He never gave his real name, only pseudonyms.
Bunbury Moncreiff was the worst.
The judges tasted.
The judges’ wives tasted.
Women who had once had an affair with “You Know Who” and were now set for life tasted.
Yes, there was dill.
Maybe something like Tarragon – not exactly – but in the same family.
What was it? — They would never know.
Sometimes he took the prize money.
Sometimes not.
Some say he just liked the competition, but it wasn’t really much of a competition, was it?
Some day he would drop dead of something horrible and everything would be as it was.

 

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