The San Francisco Treat

"What on earth is this?" Bruce demanded, lifting the offending food from his plate.

"It is a kind of pilaf. I won a case of it in a contest," Alfred replied. "Don't you like it, sir?"

"It's...clumpy. And it has little noodles in it." Bruce lifted the fork to eye-level. "They look like tiny worms." He glared back at his butler/chef. "They are noodles, aren't they?"

"I would never serve you insects, sir," the butler said with stiff upper lip. "And, in any case, I know that you have consumed insects before with apparent pleasure, during your various survival courses."

Still holding the fork raised, Bruce leveled a Mach-3 glare at his chef and chief support. "I was starving at the time. Mealworms and grubs were protein. Don't change the subject."

"Hi guys," Dick Grayson, Bruce's teenaged ward, loped into the dining room and plunked himself into his usual chair. "Hi Alf! What do you have cooked up for us tonight?" Reaching a long arm forward, he snagged the cover off the center dish.

"Hey! Great! Rice-a-Roni! We used to eat this at the circus. What flavor is it?" Dick glopped several large spoonfuls into his plate, dipped in a fork and started eating.

"You like this?" Bruce asked. "You've eaten at the finest restaurants on the planet, Dick. I've exposed you to escargots, pate de fois gras, beluga caviar, the haute cuisine of a dozen continents and this, this is what you like?" He gestured with the hand holding the fork and both man and boy watched it fly off the table and land on the floor with a splat!

Dick took another mouthful. "Yeth," he mumbled around his food, then burped. "We got any more?" he asked Alfred.

Sniffing at his master, Alfred turned to Dick. "An entire case, Master Dick. It will be on the menu regularly until the supply is exhausted. Waste not, want not."

Bruce tossed his napkin on his plate. "I'm eating out!"

"As you wish, sir," Alfred said. "Come now, Master Dick and see the crateful I have received. You can tell me which flavors you prefer..."