Man walks into kitchen, encounters girl in red tank top writing intently into a very tiny notebook.
Him: Oh no! Was I late ? Are you writing me up ?!
H (looking around): Then they dock ya!?
P: I am docking you...one and three-fourths jelly beans.
H: That's not so bad. Do you know how long it has been since I've had a jelly bean?
P: How long has it been since you've had a jelly bean?
Malinche: What flavor was it?
H: Thirty years! Grape.
M: You remember what flavor!
P: What was the worst flavor you ever had?
H: I don't know... licorice ?
M: Yea that's pretty bad.
H: Jellybeans suck.
P: The worst I ever had was -- there's this company in the states that makes "interesting flavors"-- was a buttered popcorn.
H & M: Ew.
P: I don't know of anyone that liked it.
H: In Communist Romania my favorite candy was Ciocolata Frezia, which was this orangey but very lightly jelly, in this shape (makes a crescent with his finger), covered in very thin chocolate. It was good! They came like 20, 30 to a box, it had fresias painted on it, you know, the kind of thing to give to a teenaged girl. Then later jelly beans showed up, but... meh. Where's the chocolate, why are they so tiny, what is this bullshit with the flavours... I didn't think much of them. In fact, I thought exactly that they're bullshit wannabe Frezia chocolates made by idiots for poor people.
P: Oh, and did they stop making the thing you liked?
H: Pretty much, yeah.
P: That sucks.
H: Whatever, by then I had stopped caring. But when I was little... I could eat a whole box! Often, I did. I even struck a relationship with this girl on the basis of my eating her bonbons. She was nineteen and kept getting them, but wouldn't eat any, you see, she was "minding her sillhouette".
P: Where'd she get that from?
H: Isn't that bizarre? She was you know, lanky Romanian girl. What was going to happen, she eats a whole box and then bam, she's fat?
M: It's not the eating of the whole box itself, it's the habit of eating the whole box.
H: There wasn't enough food for that kind of thing. I don't mean it in the sense of people generally starving -- some went hungry, I suppose, but I swear it was the best fucking thing for them, well earned and well deserved and hopefully to be seen again. I mean there wasn't the flood of crap food, cheap and accessible. You wanted to eat, you had a serving from a pot of beans or Cluj cabbage or something. Warm it, sit down, set a plate, eat like normal people. None of this shoveling corn fried in corn with corn fastfood and snacks all the time while watching something else. Consequently, I don't recall ever seeing a fat girl. I mean, the concept still existed, you'd make fun of a girl or another now and again, but it wasn't the sort of 400 lb insanity you think of when you hear the word. Whatever, girly put a few pounds on, as girls do before going into puberty. What, "My eleven year old pre-pubescent daughter is getting fat!" ? It's ridiculous. Girls with actual honest to god thyroid conditions were ten, maaybe fifteen pounds heavier than the very 19ish BMI typical of the time and place. Being fat was a thing of old age, like grandmotherhood.
P: Hm, so --where-- did she get that "minding my sillhouette" thing from? Cause it's very particularly phrased.
H: You know? Probably reading Flacara.
M: The thinnery? The thin girl-ery?
H: Flacara? It was this magazine, like half the thickness of Vogue, and printed on plain paper, not gloss. In the style of the Romanian press at the time, like it's 1919 New York and here's a broadsheet with tiny print cuz we know you like to spend three hours with your tea and your newspaper.
M: En Espanol flaca is "thin gal", as opposed to fat. Flaca y gorda.
H: Ah! No, it means like tongue of flame in Romanian. Specifically the red flame of Communism, you realise. This little magazine covered all by itself what today constitutes a humongous, dazzling array of demographics. From the Playboy letter to the editor all the way to Better Homes and Gardens, it had everything. What to say to your husband, here's some things you didn't know abouti, what once happened...
P: Oh then definitely, that's where she got it.
H: For sure. Everything was in there... that's a pretty good enumeration, huh.
P: Yeah, especially What Once Happened. That'd make a great name for a mega, multi-volume history text. "Fuck you, I'm not calling it History of the World. It's What Once Happened."
H: Yeah! Rise and fall of the... fuck you. "What Once Happened". I'd read it.———
- Literally, "Stiati ca..." ie, "Did you know that..." followed by trivia fare. This was a dedicated column. People enjoyed reading it. [↩]