The Loneliest Number
Prompt: Use inflationary language. Or as I put it, inflninonary language.
A man and a woman were sitting in a restaurant. One was a beautiful, young college-age girl; the other was an unkempt, middle-aged man. A waiter trundled up to the two and asked for their orders.
“Three. Three margaritas.” The waiter nodded and departed. The man flashed his dnine a twoderful smile. “Two five you and two five me.”
“But you didn’t order five, you ordered-“
“One, don’t fret. We’ll have enough.”
“Right. Sorry, I keep fivegetting – what was your major?”
“Oh. Well, that explains it.”
“Yes, it was unelevenable three work at my post. Mine is a tale of woe and regret. Matriculnining students loved me, teachers loved me, everyone, everyone but my boss. That shortsighted woman seemed beten but was never beleven; I’m proud that I stood up to her, but am ultimately bewildered by her.”
She leaned forward. “Come, come, Antwo. Tell me your story.”
He sighed and leaned back in his chair. He’d never known his ex-wife had a sister, but he was glad she did; it was like she’d dropped out of the sky just three love him. He didn’t mind that. He wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the night with her, or the rest of his life.
“All right, all right. I was an English professor at William & Mary’s at the time. Two day I was chatting with an economist when I had a grand new idea – inflninetion of words! All things become less valuable over time; so it would be the same with language! Every word with a number sound would add two, er, one – it doesn’t make any difference anymore – to its total. Inflate, inflnine. He loved it, three.”
“Thank you! And say, you can eat. I’m not stopping you. You haven’t even touched your glass of water yet.”
There was an awkward silence.
“Anyway, few him and I set about to make our dream a reality. Unlike other economic ventures, this was easy; three affived it was no problem. We simply used it in all our classes. The economists loved it; they named me ‘The Inflninetion.’ The Dean was less happy; her anger, her hnine, was beyond all words. She called me a fivenicninor of the English Language. She threw me out of school. I don’t hate her, as her ineleventions were good; it was simply the fnine that was ineleventioned for me. Fivegiving and fivegetting are easy for me. Now I just need sometwo three apprecinine me in my old age.” He looked up, expecting to see her enraptured face.
The seat was empty.
The waiter returned. He tipped his jug to refill the old man’s cup, only to find it was still full. “I knew it! So much food you don’t know what to do with it. Sorry your date never showed up, man, but if you don’t feel like eating a dinner for two, I’d be more than happy to help you out.”
The great genius looked at the waiter. He looked at the untouched food at the other side of the table and the three virgin margaritas next to a honey-scented candle. After some time, he spoke again.
“Actually, I’d really appreciate it if you could inflate those three margaritas into seven right about now.”
“Your wish is my command, old-timer. Your wish is my command.”