A man gets more then just a meal at a local buffet.
The New Young Dragon was the greatest Chinese buffet around. Unlike normal Chinese buffets this one didn’t have to sacrifice it’s quality when it put up the sheer volume of General’s chicken. Everything, from the fried rice to the wanton soup, was better then even the finest sit-down restaurant in the area. Rumor has it the chef had a near death experience when a grease fire erupted in his kitchen. While on his back about to die from smoke inhalation he went to heaven where the secrets of the finest Chinese food was passed upon him. (Another rumor was that he became a Scientologist, but no one wanted to accept that those wackos were right.) A different rumor circulated that he was actually the greatest chef in all the world, and set up his shop as an eating dojo waiting for the legendary “Iron Stomach.” Perhaps an all-you-can eat buffet wasn’t the best place for Dana to work at. Like many girls her age, the seventeen year old Dana was very self conscious about her figure, the often got jealous of the people who could walk in here, seemingly eat pounds and pounds of food, yet never gain any wait. If it weren’t for the fact this was her parent’s restaurant, she wouldn’t even be here. In her mind the worst offender was Pat. Pat was a 29-year-old software consultant who came in every Thursday after work, and ate an amazingly large amount of food, and still looked like he was starving himself. Plus he was messy, oh how he was messy. He was as much of a slob as he was skinny. Thursday rolled around, and in came Pat right on time, he had been here so often he was on a first name basis with most of the staff.
“Hello Dana, one please.”
“Yes sir, this way.” She said, not even bothering to force a smile for the customer. She lead him to a table, placed down his receipts marking the table occupied and went back to her post at the cashier station. She spied him getting up, walking up to the buffet, watching him shovel the sauce covered meats and vegetables onto his plate. Then he went to the rice, and kept adding more. Dana had enough, when he sat down she walked over to him, and removed from her pocket a powerful medicine her grandmother had given her.
“Would you like a drink, sir?” She asked, as she had many times before, and when he looked up she sprinkled the medicine into his food. Tasteless, odorless, and potent was the tagline Granny had given her.
“Just water thanks.” He said, loosening his tie preparing to eat.
Dana nodded and left him to his own vices. He removed his tie, and began to wolf down the food. When Dana returned with his drink, she took note of a few subtle changes he had, like that of acne reappearing on his face. She placed it down, already starting to feel a little better. “You dropped some on your shirt, sir.”
“What?” He blundered; looking down he saw the stain as a drop of soy sauce from his rice put a nice black bead onto his blue dress shirt. “Damn it” he moaned, then repeated it when he grabbed his shirt forgetting he had grease on his hands from using his thumb to help shovel the rice onto his spoon.
“I’ll get you a wet nap, sir.” Dana left, only showing a smile when her back was turned to him.
Pat sighed, before she got back he needed to use the facilities. He stood up, hitched his pants, and left to go drop some Cosby kids off at the pool. While washing up he noticed his pants were lose again, and this time he tightened his belt before heading back to eat. He couldn’t resist the call of the buffet on his way back though, and soon had two plates he was working on, with bits of rice falling all over his lap as he fell into his early twenties. Before Dana could return, he already finished all the food in front of him, and the now seventeen year old stood up to get seconds. He was going to head straight to the buffet when he noticed the last course had gone right through him, so he went back to the bathroom. Again he had to hitch his pants and tighten his belt, but this time when he was there he noticed that the small amount of acne Dana spied earlier had developed into a full-blown pimple outbreak. He cursed his misfortune and his voice cracked. He covered his mouth; he hadn’t had this kind of problem in years! This action would have shown him his sleeves were now past his wrists had he not rolled them up when he washed his hands. Oddly enough though, he was still hungry. The fifteen year old left the bathroom, after getting pissed at how his shoes had stretched, and got himself some more food. Now as he shoveled it down he cared less about how much of it got on him, and how much he could get into his mouth. Dana then returned with the promised wet naps.
“Here you are,” she said to the kid before her who looked like he was playing dress up in his father’s clothes.
Pat hardly looked up to thank her as he wiped his face down, which was now covered in sweet sauce, and continued eating. Dana went back to her post where she took out the real reason she left just now: To get some diapers. She went back to the table where a five year old kicked off his shoes, and was greedily shoving things into his mouth, using utensils only every now and then as a formality. Dana bent over.
“Please hold still, you’re a mess Pat!” She said, wiping down his face, which again had a ring of dirt around the mouth. Pat found it odd, but didn’t care, if it would get her let him keep eating the yummy food it was worth it. When he fell to around too and couldn’t reach the table anymore, he finally noticed something was wrong. He patted himself down with his food-covered hands, “Hey! I’m tiny again! Then he smelled something foul...
“Oh, did little pat make a stinky? Your years had to go somewhere little man.” She plucked his shirt over his head, and carefully pulled the toddler, poo-filled pants and all, into the woman’s bathroom. She lowered the changing table, threw the pants out.
“HEY!” He protested, but was too small to fight it.
“You obviously can’t go big boy potty anymore, so you need these” she held up the diapers, and began wiping him down. Next thing he knew he was in diapers.
“Now what do you have to say?”
He thought on it for a moment.
Dana laughed, knowing that due to the medicine, more food would mean more youthening. “Only one thing left to eat, kiddo.” After thoroughly washing her, and his, hands she handed him a fortune cookie.
“Yay! Cookie!” He said before taking a bite, removing the fortune, and then eating the rest of the cookie. He stared at the slip of paper, unable to make heads or tails of it, as his mind had reached the point where reading it proved impossible. Dana took the piece of paper from him, and saw his hands shrink before her very eyes. She saw the toddler’s hair recede into nothing. She saw his tiny feet get even more baby fat, she could see his final fall from being a toddler into babyhood. She smiled and read the paper aloud.
“It says: If you can read this, then you’re not Pat, because here comes the final change where his bad eating habits can finally be fixed.” Then she read some Chinese characters and the baby before her lost all of his memories and experiences, as well as any claim to the former life he had had. There was only one thing left to do, and she sighed as she began to do it: His last change had also come out of his behind, making another change needed. “Final change my ass” Dana muttered, knowing that even this one wouldn’t be the last.