Monday. The day of the first Golden Brown Baguette. Randomly given to one lucky child in Wheatville. The ticket to the tour of the Bakery.
Billy Crumpette sat right in front of the television (probably too close for the good of his eyes), waiting with anticipation for the announcement of the first winner. The Baguette was not delivered to his house that morning, so he wanted to know who the lucky kid was. The announcement came:
“The fortunate winner of the first Golden Brown Baguette is Mickey Peeta! Congratulations. He will be the first member of the Bakery tour this Saturday. Jim Jameson is live with Mickey himself. Jim?”
Billy was disappointed that he had not gotten the first Baguette. Not that he had expected to. There were thousands of kids in Wheatville, he being just one. Still, he was melancholy for the rest of the day, especially after hearing Mickey’s acceptance speech, told to Jim Jameson and broadcast throughout the town:
“I walked out to my front porch this morning to get my father the newspaper—which he owns—when a baguette hit me in the head. Granted, it was a nice looking hunk of bread, all golden brown and crispy, but it left a nasty knot on my forehead. Whoever sent this to me is going to pay! My fa—what? What did you say? This chunk of injury-inducing carbohydrates lets me have an all access, private tour of the Bakery! Wow! I’ve always wanted to go there! Yippee! Father, father! I’m going to the Ba—”
Billy shut off the TV. He had heard enough from this spoiled, whining boy. Though secretly, Billy wanted to hear a lot more from Mickey—during the Bakery tour.
“Billy, who won the Golden Brown Baguette?” asked Grandpa Sam.
“Some kid named Mickey Peeta. His dad owns The Wheatville Wire,” answered Billy.
“That waste of trees? I could get more news from talking to the bees buzzing around the flowers outside. And they could probably write better articles, too.”
“I wonder what the Wire will say about the tour tomorrow.”
“Nothing worth reading. Probably made up too.”
Peeta first on Bakery tour, followed by Rhy
read Tuesday’s front headline. Sadly, it wasn’t made up. Billy had not received a Golden Brown Baguette again, but Carla Rhy had. Her responses to Jim Jameson and the eager reporters were even stranger than Mickey’s the day before:
“What do they make at the…what was it called? Oh right, the Bakery. They make bread? I’m not sure I know what that is. Flour and yeast? That’s a very strange combination. I’m very sorry, I just haven’t heard of it. Would I like to try some? Nah. Of course I’m still excited for the tour this weekend! No, I probably won’t eat any of this bread stuff when I’m there. It’s just too weird!”
Billy and Grandpa Sam looked at each other in disgust. Bread was a daily staple for the Crumpettes. Without freshly baked, home-delivered bread every morning, they surely would be starving.
“Grandpa, how could a girl who doesn’t even know what bread is win?” Billy asked.
“Because life is like a stale piece of sourdough. It’s lost its freshness, so it’s just plain sour,” replied Grandpa Sam. He was always full of wise truths.
“I wonder who’ll get the Golden Brown Baguette tomorrow?” Billy wondered aloud.
“I, Natasha Pumpanik, am proud to accept this award,” began Natasha Pumpanik on the television the next day. She had received Wednesday’s ticket to the Bakery. “I’d like to thank the Academy for their recognition of my talents. I also want to thank my faithful dog Snickers, the butterflies by the flowers, the sun, and all the cute animals in the world. But not the bees. Or the cows. They’re just pesky. This is the tastiest award I’ve ever gotten! Well, it took the Bakery long enough to pick someone worthy of going on the tour. At least they gave it me now!”
“What a pretentious, cocky little bi—”
“Grandpa! Be nice to her. She’s not any of those things. Well, she is a bi—”
“See, I’m right, Billy! An opportunity like the Bakery tour shouldn’t be wasted on a stuck-up bi—”
“Don’t let the neighbors hear you call her that, Grandpa Sam. They might actually know Natasha Pumpanik and might tell her that you called her a bi—”
“I thought your parents taught you that you can’t hide the truth from people. Especially if the person’s a bi—”
“I just hope the winner tomorrow, if it’s not me of course, is a little nicer than the past three.”
Nope. Thursday’s Golden Brown Baguette recipient wasn’t Billy, and he certainly wasn’t nice. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Because Kris Bizquit is dead. Saw the special Baguette on his door mat, picked it up, and shoved it in his mouth. Choked.
“So this means there will only be four kids that go on the tour?” Billy said.
“About that…” Grandpa Sam said, attempting at casualness.
“What, are they replacing Kris Bizquit with a different kid?”
“No, about the ‘kids’ part….”
“What about it?”
“Have you heard of the AARP?” Billy nodded. “And do you remember how I’m an active member of the AARP?” He nodded again. “Did you hear that the AARP claimed that the Bakery was age discriminating because it was only letting kids on the tour?” Billy nodded vigorously, then abruptly stopped as he realized what his Grandpa had just said.
“They did what?”
“The AARP has some of the finest lobbyists in the nation. When they want their way, they get their way. And they got their way.”
“So who’s the old person who gets to go?”
“Haha, very funny, Grandpa. Really, who is it? Do I know the person?”
“I told you: me. I’m their most winningest bingo player, so they chose me. I hope you’re excited for your old Grandpa. I love the Bakery as much as you do, you know.”
Billy just sat and stared. His Grandpa was going on the tour, and he hadn’t even needed to get a Golden Brown Baguette. He just had to be part of an organization for older folks that had very good lawyers. Though Billy was frustrated with his lack of a Baguette, he was still happy for his Grandpa. Better him than another spoiled kid. Or worse: a kid who doesn’t even acknowledge bread’s existence. Billy smiled at Grandpa Sam and gave him a hug.
It was now Friday.
The day of the fifth and final Golden Brown Baguette.
The day that would determine the last member of the Bakery tour.
The day that would go down in history forever.
The day that Billy Crumpette opened the front door to get The Wheatville Wire and the fresh bread just like any other day.
The day when Billy looked down to pick up the bread.
The day when his fresh loaf of bread was a Golden Brown Baguette.