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Pretty Darn Tasty

Ronald Harborman was the most respectable food critic in the county. Restaurants preferred his approval over the health inspector's, for people cared more about Ronald's opinion than their own well-being. He liked many different types of restaurants, but favored the American tradition of All-You-Can-Eat buffets.

One day, Ronald found an ad in the newspaper featuring the grand opening of a new restaurant a few towns over. Although it was out of his way, he made it a point to drive two hours to attend the opening because it had a buffet.

Ronald took note of the distance of the buffet from the general seating. He'd found that the farther one had to walk, the less appetizing the food became. While walking past the hostess podium, he noticed a small kitten sleeping and wrinkled his nose. Animals shouldn't be allowed inside restaurants.

A waitress escorted him to a table and offered a menu. “That won't be necessary,” said Ronald, walking past. She shrugged and walked away with the menu. Ronald took a plate from the end of the buffet and considered his options.

The pans were piled high with steaks, egg rolls, cinnamon buns, bratwurst, pancakes, salads, ostrich burgers. Ronald frowned at the awkward variety, then heaped everything onto his plate. He'd have to make multiple trips. A plate in each hand, he made his way back to his table.

The waitress came back once he was seated. “Beverage?”

“Diet Coke.”

Everything was terrible. No matter what he sampled, it all tasted the same: awful. Ronald wrinkled his nose in disgust.

The waitress returned. “Is everything alright?”

“Everything is perfectly hideous,” replied Ronald. “Your entire buffet is a laughing stock. Why, I'd have a better meal if you fricasseed that damned cat over there! Why is that animal even around the food? That's disgusting!”

“I'm terribly sorry, sir. I'll inform the chef right away.”

Ronald picked at his plate. When he was about to leave, the waitress returned.

“If it pleases you sir, the chef is preparing a special meal for you.”

“I suppose I can't turn that down, can I?” said Ronald, sitting back down.

Later, the waitress returned with a steaming plate and sat it in front of him. It held a delicate pile of meat, garnished with sprigs of parsley.

“What is this?” he asked. “It smells delightful!”

“It's the kitten you ordered, sir.”

Ronald eyes widened and he pushed the plate away. “Is this some kind of joke? Do you expect me to believe you actually…although it smells quite different from anything I've ever been around…” He took a tentative bite, chewing slowly, and smiled in approval. “This is the best meat I've ever had at any restaurant! So tender, so delectable! I approve!”

The restaurant, now known as the Kitten Griddle, naturally received lashes of disapproval from less open-minded folk. However, everyone else knew Ronald's culinary tastes were the best and most trustworthy, not to mention that kittens were pretty darn tasty.

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