Norbert Burtonshaw was heavily into natural food. By “natural” I mean organic and unprocessed. He liked to grow things himself and then he knew for sure what he was putting into his mouth. He grew lots of sunflowers and pumpkins. That way he could dry the seeds in the sun and spend a gloomy winter gobbling them up. If one needs to nibble between meals, what better than a sunflower or pumpkin seed or two?
His wife, whose full name was Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw, thought that Norbert’s obsession with food was ridiculous. “You’re not a canary,” she would say. “If God intended you to be a canary he would’ve given you a singing voice.” And indeed, she was right; Norbert didn’t have a musical note in his skinny body.
In the meantime, Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw would get stuck into her meal of animal fats and salt and sugar and everything under the sun that was processed and came out of a packet. Constantia called herself buxom; others called her fat.
Constantia and Norbert had drifted apart over the years, although they still lived at the same address. They never shared a meal together; their preferences were so vastly different. And then one day, Norbert dropped dead. Most people were expecting it to be the other way around.
At the post-funeral cup of coffee, Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw served a variety of little cakes imbued with all sorts of seeds that made a mess. “These little cakes are to celebrate the life of my late husband,” said Constantia. “However,” continued Constantia, “there are little bowls of whipped cream on the tables, and one can place a dollop of cream on each little cake if one isn’t a canary.”