The last time Sean Morrison and his high school buddy, Jeremy Holtz checked, there was no such thing as the Food Police. Their respective parents remind them from time to time about needing to eat healthy, and they have certainly heard the Four Food Groups Speech more than once at school, but it’s not as if there are armed soldiers standing in the shadows waiting to blast away anyone they see eating a chocolate bar. That’s one of the reasons why they eat the things they do when they stop by Lou’s Diner every day on their way home from school.
“What will it be today boys?” Deanna, their regular afternoon waitress asks when she sees them stroll in at their usual time of 3:15.
“I’ll have a caramel sundae,” Sean says. “And could you bring me a bottle of hot sauce?”
That garners a raise of the eyebrows from their waitress.
“I’ll have a plate of fries, please,” requests Jeremy.
“Anything with that?” Deanna asks.
“No, I’m good for now,” he tells her.
‘Good for now’, of course, means only until she brings his food to the table. His dish will then require something else before he can dig into it: sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Twenty packets from the container people usually grab from to sweeten their coffee or tea to be exact.
“I don’t get you kids,” Deanna says to the two teenagers. “Every day you come in here, order what should be a normal dish and then ruin it by topping it with something bizarre. What’s the deal?”
“The deal,” Sean begins to explain, “is that we know one day we will be you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Do you have kids?” Jeremy asks.
“If you’re like most grownups then you have probably used the old ‘You kids don’t know how lucky you are. These are the best days of your lives’ line on them at least once.”
Deanna nods in agreement before Jeremy continues.
“Well what if these are the best days of our lives? What if being a responsible grownup is as difficult, and boring, and restrictive as you all say it is? Shouldn’t we do stupid stuff and have all the fun we can now, before we’re weighed down by stressful jobs, bills and kids of our own?”
“That’s the big reason why we add hot sauce to our sundaes and a stupid amount of sugar to things that don’t even call for sugar,” Sean then says. “We’re just goofing around. We’re going to sing Rodgers and Hammerstein show tunes in the middle of the town square later on if you want to join us.”
“I get off work at five and then have to pick my kids up from daycare right after that. Can I meet you there?” Deanna asks with a giddiness she hasn’t felt since her own school days.
“Sure, our parents have to work late tonight. They do that a lot, sadly, so they won’t be expecting us home anytime soon. We can wait as long as you need. We have all the time in world,” Sean assures her.
“Well, not all the time in the world,” Jeremy corrects him. “We only have one year of high school left and then four years of college. After that….”
“Lou!” Deanna shouts, cutting Jeremy off. “Can I leave early? Something important has popped up!”
The three of them then race out of the diner.