Anne and Peter had long retired. Occasionally their peace would be shattered by noisy and loveable grandchildren, but generally they lived a quiet, yet active, existence.
“We should really cut down a bit on our meat intake,” suggested Peter one day.
“Meat is certainly one of the more expensive foods. It would save a bit, and besides, less meat is apparently a more healthy option,” said Anne.
“Less meat it is!”
Anne found a recipe for beans and other vegetables that when cooked and minced up looked exactly like ground meat. Because it was the first time she had used the recipe it took a little longer than it normally would. She had followed the recipe meticulously. It smelt lovely. In fact, it actually smelt a little like ground beef. She arranged helpings on plates with mashed potato, and a cucumber and shallot salad.
“Come and get your healthy meal!” called Anne to Peter. He was reading the paper in the next room, ensconced in an armchair. “Everything’s ready!”
Florrie and Gordon Brawley had been married for just under eleven years. They both worked for a pet food company. Gordon was in charge of the meat grinder and Florrie was in charge of the packaging.
Their marriage was disintegrating. Gordon suspected that his wife had been having an affair with the pet food company groundsman. Why else was she constantly admiring his delphiniums? That was when she accidently slipped into the meat grinder. Gordon was unaware of what had happened until there was nothing of her that hadn’t been minced. In fact, to be honest, he wasn’t sure if she’d fallen in the meat grinder at all. She was there one minute and gone the next.
“If she had fallen in,” said Gordon, “there would be bits of cloth here and there in the dog rolls and cat sachets. There is not a skerrick of fabric to be seen.”
He continued to feed the animal carcasses through the grinder. “She’ll turn up somewhere before the day is through.”
At the end of the day’s work Florrie still hadn’t made an appearance.
“Perhaps she went home on a bus,” suggested Gordon. He set off for home alone. On the way he dropped Florrie’s clothes off at the St Vincent de Paul’s Used Clothing Store.
Florrie was the one who fed their three dogs each evening. Gordon would have to do it himself. And to think! Florrie’s last words that morning to Gordon were, “I’ll always make sure the dogs get fed if it’s the last thing I do.” Thank goodness he had remembered to bring home some pet food.