Another "realistic" story, part of a trilogy of restaurant tales (the first is "The Undercover Connoisseur;" the third is still unwritten.) Written as a playful take on the manipulation theme overriding so much feeder fiction, "Consuming Interests" has a lot in common with another men's mag tale of mine, "Jack's Revenge." Because it was written for the still new Plumpers and Big Women, I naturally felt obliged to put a sex scene in it.
The prevailing image was inspired by a real-life Italian restaurant that I used to visit regularly as a college student. It was a small, dark family run place, and every time I went there, I saw the same figure sitting in the furthermost corner: a super-sized matron in a black dress who presided over the proceedings with a benevolently critical eye. As a young, closeted neophyte FA, I used to plant myself at a table where I could unobtrusively watch her: she always had a cup of coffee and a small plate of something in front of her. Once the restaurant closed (beaten by an inferior Italian place nearby,) I never saw the woman again.
"Consuming Interests" appeared in PBW's March, 1995 issue. It was heavily edited with the ending cut off and the heroine's ultimate weight significantly smaller than I'd originally visualized it. This version corrects those changes and, of course, also contains a few small additions and word changes.
-- Wilson Barbers