Mr. Pecan

By Eric Suhem

 

Mr. Pecan seemed cold. Leo’s parents had seen Mr. Pecan in countless advertisements in their childhoods, but now, in this latest viewing, he seemed icy, like some type of criminal of the worst kind. The monocle just added to the effect of his burning stare, scanning his victims for traceable weaknesses, the dark top hat casting a shadow of impending doom.  Mr. Pecan had much evil on his mind. He was just a picture on a can of unopened pecans, but the eyeball behind the monocle seemed to follow Leo’s parents, burning a hole into the wall to monitor their switch from the living room to the kitchen. At the same time, nine-year old Leo was in his bedroom, spraying Lysol every 30 seconds because he would get a feeling of control over his environment with each spray. After that night, Leo’s parents disappeared, and he never saw them again, though they would annually send him a postcard from a random pecan processing facility.

 

27 years after that encounter with Mr. Pecan, a can of pecans showed up, unannounced, on the doorstep of Ingrid and Peter. Ingrid and Peter were dedicated professionals who didn’t have much time for distractions, but Peter had decided to introduce the can of pecans as a conversation topic during their 15 minutes to review the day’s activities. Ingrid frowned disapprovingly at the blue and yellow label on the can, and the little monocle-wearing legume glared back at her, promising retribution.

 

In the house next door, 3 children sat at the dinner table, staring apprehensively at the vegetables on their plates, suddenly they were brought to attention by the sound of crashing dishes. Asparaguy appeared, bumping into the cabinet of cherished family china. “I’m here to make sure that you eat your fruits and vegetables,” he declared to the children in an unsteady voice, self-consciously brushing dust from his green superhero uniform.

 

“What the hell kind of superhero are you?” demanded one of the children.

 

“He’s a modern superhero!” said another.

 

“No I’m not! Shut up and attend to your plate!” responded Asparaguy, feeling a new-found confidence in the face of their disapproval. “I am beyond your categorizations!” he yelled to no one in particular, jumping out the nearest window, his tights tearing on a piece of jagged windowpane.

 

Asparaguy was actually a neighbor named Leonard who was participating in a therapy exercise conducted by the controversial psychologist Dr. Filbert. The techniques of Dr. Filbert, much discussed in the therapeutic community, consisted of directing his patients to emulate superheroes, imaginary or real, in order to improve their self-image. He had his patients perform superheroic interventions in the local environment.  Leonard’s issues were partially rooted in a mysterious incident from his childhood involving pecans and a can of Lysol. Leonard had overcome this obstacle to become a moderately successful mid-level manager in a vegetable distribution company. After his visit to the children (they eventually did increase their intake of vegetables), he set his sights on the house next door, seeing a large legume in the light of the kitchen window.

 

Having leapt off the pecan can label, Mr. Pecan stood in the corner of the kitchen, facing Ingrid and Peter. The kitchen floor was linoleum with large black and white squares. In moments of conflict, Mr. Pecan liked to stand diagonally in the black squares, the corners of the squares pointing at his adversary like an extended dark blade out of the tips of his shoes. He felt that this gave him a psychological advantage. He began to advance on Ingrid and Peter, holding his cane in the air, yelling incoherently. However, just as Mr. Pecan was preparing to deliver the swift punishment, he slipped on a banana peel, partially shelling himself when he hit the floor.

 

The banana peel had been carelessly discarded on the floor by Asparaguy, as he entered through the back kitchen door. Screeching in angry terror, Mr. Pecan staggered out the door, slowly melting into a disagreeable puddle near the edge of the sidewalk. This resolved some of Leonard’s pecan issues.

 

 

 

 

Eric Suhem lives in California and enjoys the various qualities of his vegetable juicer. His work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Cerebral Catalyst, Clockwise Cat, Why Vandalism? and other places.

Published on April 5, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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