Lunch With Grover – Mike Hickman

“It’s the same thing every time I come in here.”

It is always Grover and the blue man. It can’t always have been Grover and the blue man, but when I think back, when I see that room, see myself opening the door, dropping the bag, heading for the kitchen, it is always Grover as the waiter and the blue man trying to place his order and Grover misunderstanding him to hilarious effect. As they say.

“Alright, Charlie, broil the biggy.”

This time it’s a hamburger. The blue man – I’d forgotten he had a moustache – wants a hamburger. I remember this. Grover gives him the option of a big burger or a small burger. The small one is too small and the big one is too big – comedy too big. Breaking the doors down and demolishing the blue man’s table too big. I might have laughed at the time. I do now.

“You’re not looking in the soup, you’re looking next to the soup.”

“I knew that.”

A fly this time. I’d have sworn it was the same memory, but there are loads of these videos, and they’re all available online, if you’re so inclined. If you want to reach back.

I know I went home for lunch for – what? – at least a year. Until it stopped, was stopped, was put a stop to. And I know it can’t always have been Grover and the blue man because the TV can’t always have been tuned to that channel, and the news would at least sometimes have been on, and it wasn’t just children’s television that warmed that room all day. But when I see the bag going down – never actually dropped; that would have made too much of a noise – and I see the route to the kitchen – funny how you remember these things – round the back of the green sofa with the frayed tassles and then a sharp right at the cabinet with the broken porcelain – I see Grover, towel over his arm, nodding his head – like he did – coming to the aid of the blue man and making the blue man really regret ever asking in the first place.

I could understand that. Maybe that’s why I remember?

They always end with the wah-wah-wah comedy music and the blue man raising his eyes to heaven and I’ve sought them out – I’ve found them all – and I’ve watched them, but I only really remember Grover and the blue man the once, that one time that was every time, every time I came back home, dropped the bag, walked through the room, tried not to take too much notice, made lunch, listened to the Muppets arguing, listened for anything else coming from the front room. When there would be nothing. I’m sure of that, too. The tartan blanket would be there on the sofa, but there’d only be Grover warming the house as much as he failed to warm the blue man’s soup.

“It’s the same thing every time I come in here.”

I’d let myself out. Head back for the afternoon. It would be Inspector Gadget when I got home, then the six o’clock news, then dinner, if there was anything in the freezer, if I could make anything from the cans in the cupboard. I remember the nighttime shows, too, but only one of each, as if only seen once, as if the same always.

You’re surprised by this, I know, that it would be the TV and only the TV, but that’s memory, isn’t it? My whole school life comes down to – what? – the memory of two lessons at most, and bare moments of both of those. Would you expect me to know more? Grover, the waiter, eager to please, always making a mess, making me smile – isn’t that enough?

Wasn’t it, then?

It had to be.

Mike Hickman is a writer and former academic from York, England. He has written for the local stage, being an artistic associate for a group specialising in staging new works by new writers. His most recent play (Not so Funny Now, Off the Rock Productions, 2018) revolved around Groucho Marx’s ‘companion’, Erin Fleming, and he has also written radio drama for the same company. Recent short stories include “Trunk” for the Blake-Jones Review.

The Cabinet Of Heed Issue 30 Contents Link

Image via Pixabay

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