“Eating companion, do you not enjoy the manfingers?” his long time friend, Zignon asked.
Blignon burped politely from his armpit, “No, the Ancestors could not have been more mistaken about this meal, surely these are not manfingers!”
Zignon’s antennae curled in alarm, “But I selected them myself from the bio support. They were the plumpest in the tank!” He lowered his voice and whispered to his friend, “Ix-nay on the Ancestors-ay. You never know which generation-jay is listening…”
Blignon sucked in his eye, his face now flat and expressionless, and wrapped his mottled webbed feet around his companion’s ankles to assure him all was well.
“Old friend, this is nothing to fear. You will always be an honored eating companion. Do you remember the time we ate a whole, what was that called, a whole elphalent? No, eletank.”
“Oh, yes, eletanks. Tusks, grey hide, very tough as I recall. Delicious ears.”
They laughed. “Hraack, hraack, hraaaaackarakarak.”
“Blignon, beloved and honored comrade, who am I to report such a trifling issue as a food choice to the authorities?”
Zignon’s antennae relaxed.
“No, there must be an explanation for the difference in this delicacy. Do you remember when manrump was tough but manfinger tender?”
Blignon buzzed thoughtfully. “Could it be their food supply? Or our DNA alterations?”
Zignon frizzled his wiggit. “I am unable to answer that question. But observe on this history port, “he paused, pulling a screened device from his clothes, “that humans in the later period accumulated more energy reserves in their manrumps. If we zoom to their pre-computer age, their posteriors have a flat, almost defined appearance.”
The two friends examined portphotos of Oregon lumberjacks from the 1800’s zooming forward in time to human workers bent over keyboards.
Blignon’s armpit thripped excitedly. “Yes, yes, see the difference! These early humans do not fill out their posterior clothing. They do not manifest large manrumps. Oddly different from the inhabitants we subdued. Do you think they were banished to the wilds of conical forms because of this or are they typical of humans in that era?”
“It’s likely they were banished – anyone in their culture exhibiting physical discrepancies was shunned. If they’d had our technology, they might have shuttled them to another orb in their planetary system. Or heaven forbid, one of ours!”
“Hraack, hraack, hraackarakarakara.”
Their wiggits blithered simultaneously, backs rippling in disgust and good humor.
“Oh, ho, ho! What a dilemma! And no newly discovered landspaces to send them off to! They must have wished for a new Australiup to colonize with their wicked.”
The robowait removed their unfinished food when they signaled their desire to choose from the menu again.
“Should we try human again? Manrump might be a better choice. This batch appears well fattened. There’s very little muscle. Ah, yes, no wonder! Gleaned from a colony of writers.”
“Your choice, beloved companion, your choice.”
“Manrump it is then!”
The robowait returned with skewers of dripping meat. “Ooooh, how wonderful! This batch oozes concentrated energy reserves. We will have to deny ourselves the sweetness at the conclusion of our meal.”
“I rarely eat the sweetness,” Zignon confided. “It makes my hawoo erupt.”
Blignon cast a discrete look at Zignon’s nether region. “I love the sweetness. Can’t resist it.”
“Here’s to a fine evening!” they agreed, clinking orbs of red intoxicant together before spearing their food.
— Cynthia Washington
Cynthia has published in several magazines and newspapers, finally using that liberal arts education from Rutgers University. Her favorite writing pastime is composing limericks and Haiku and won first place in 2011 for Bad Christmas Poetry in the Tacoma News Tribune.