REX DEXTER meets Gary Schmidt. George the meatball thinks he can escape digestion by fleeing the kitchen table, but in a world of pets, vacuums, rodents, corvidae, and existential crises, there are lots of things that can eat a meatball...
You could say with certainty that before the end of the night, George was going to be thrown off the table.
“I’m tired of being pushed around,” George simmered. It wasn’t stove heat that agitated his oregano, beef, and breadcrumb stuffing.
You know how it is when you’re a meatball. All day long, The Hands forced George through multiple relocations on the countertop. The Hands–Righty and Gauche–were George’s creators, and they were the two bossiest beings he ever met. That’s saying a lot because George had been alive for twelve hours (twelve years in Food Time).
Earlier, in the frying pan, the garlicky stench of his fellow meatballs wafted towards him as he and his batch brothers cooked. George’s fatty beef backside sizzled and popped pleasantly, and the non-stick surface solidified the eggs in his belly. Rolling was easier once George had a hard crust on his bottom. He exuded a rare smile. This is the life, he thought.
But then the stove timer beeped like a fire alarm.
“Dépêche-toi,” said Righty.
“I can’t leave the pan yet,” whined George. “The heat is still rising through my meaty mixture.”
“BAWK,” screamed a nearby vat of Turkey Soup cooking on the stove.
The Hands urged the other meatballs out of the pan. Each meatball cooperated, except George, who rolled away in the oil, dodging the spatula.
“What about what I want?” George asked no one, because why would anyone listen to a meatball?