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The day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2031—the Year of the Pig—the prophet Mohammad stopped by the Super Kitchen Chinese restaurant in Bear, Delaware, no less. The snow outside fell lightly, making a small coating on the sidewalks, streets, and grassy areas. He shuffled into the restaurant with an awkward gait. He noticed the red envelopes full of money. He noticed the firecrackers that had been legalized in the state just a few years ago. Like a vagabond just looking to sup up some East Asian cuisine, Mohammad sat down at one of the booths.
He opened a menu and looked at the options. He selected the pork dumplings. It was a test. He wanted to see if this pork stuff really was so bad. A waitress named Sarah Huang came over to where Mohammad sat. He pointed to the pork dumplings on the menu.
“Would you like to sample some of the dish before it is brought out to you, sir?”
Mohammad grumbled, “No, just bring me out the food.”
The waitress bristled at Mohammad’s standoffishness. She then smiled in his face and said, “Yes, sir,” but that smile evaporated on her way back to the kitchen.
Mohammad viewed the firecrackers popping just a few yards away. A dragon and a lion costume with a few people inside swirled and twirled around in the street, adding to the celebration. Mohammad just grumbled. He noticed that other patrons of the restaurant peered at him. He shot a glance their way and they continued to stare. Mohammad buried his head in his coat.
At last, the food reached his table, steaming.
“Enjoy!” Sarah said.
Mohammad pushed the dumplings onto a plate with his chopsticks. He moved them around the plate. He was like an avant-garde artist making smudges and splatters with paint and canvas. Only the chopsticks and the plate and dumplings would aid in his nutrition. But he continued to push the food around, delaying his inevitable tasting of the pork in the dish. Arrangements of the dumplings that resembled the crescent moon encircled the plate. He set down his chopsticks. Mohammad fidgeted and fussed with himself over whether to take a bite of the forbidden flesh. He finally reached for his chopsticks again and sunk his teeth into the pork. He chewed. The flavors combining ginger, garlic, green onion, and soy, danced on the prophet’s tongue. He experienced delectable ecstasy. The pork’s savory and sweet notes and velvety texture all constituted a revelation to the prophet. How could this food be forbidden? Just because a pig has cloven hooves? he wondered. He gobbled up the ten dumplings and washed it all down with some plum juice.
“It looks like you enjoyed everything. Would you—”
“Give me more. Now…”
Sarah smiled again. But then, once more, it vanished on the way to the kitchen.
In a few moments, another steaming plate of dumplings reached Mohammad’s table.
“Enjoy this second helping, sir,” Sarah said.
“Yes, give me another plum juice, too,” Mohammad said.
“Of, course. It’s on its way.”
Mohammad gobbled up the pork like it was life saving medicine. He felt no aversion to the savory meat. Throughout the centuries, he had forsworn this delicious treat. Billions of people had been snacking on it in the meantime and now he was just catching up. With the excitement that follows eating his 20th dumpling, Mohammad leapt up from his chair and rushed out of the restaurant into the bitter winter wind.
“Hey!” Sarah’s uncle and owner of the restaurant Robert Huang said to his niece. “Go after him, he didn’t pay!”
Mohammad already bolted from the restaurant to the street. Yelling at the top of his lungs, “Pork is good!”
He turned to a group of strangers at the bus stop who shivered and looked all bundled up.
Once he backed away from the people at the stop, he stepped right into the street, and was struck and killed by a private bus.
Sarah ran up to the patron that failed to pay. She stopped mid-flight and noticed the people surrounding the fallen prophet. She then learned of his vicious track record from the people at the bus stop and remembered his boorish behavior and negligence. She walked back to the restaurant after learning more information about Mohammad and how his death spelled something pleasant. Sarah smiled again, and this time it remained.