“We are on a case, not on a vacation,” Jay reminded Robin. He had no idea how many times he had had to state the obvious, or hint at it, or anything like that. The carnival around them was utterly distracting to the shorter man. Though, to be honest, it didn’t take much to distract Robin as far as Jay was concerned. All one needed to do was pass by a window with a pie cooling in it to have Robin ranting about that it was time for lunch – whether or not it was in fact time for lunch was irrelevant.

“Of course we are! But we’re not trying to be obvious, so we should look like we’re enjoying ourselves! Cotton candy, Jay!”

“Is a sticky mess that exists for the sole purpose of charging more for sugar.”

Robin’s lips twitched upward. “You had that response prepared, didn’t you? Don’t like cotton candy? There are funnel cakes! Caramel apples! Kettle corn! Shaved ice! Fried pickles!”

Jay paused. “Fried what?”


Looking around himself, Jay shook his head. Once again, Robin had fooled him. “Very funny. There’s no such thing.”

“You’ve never had deep fried dill pickles?” Robin looked offended. “We have to find them now!”

“Why on earth would anyone deep fry a pickle.”

“Once again, Jay, I am utterly shocked by your limited eating experiences. I bet you have never eaten a single thing I haven’t eaten.”

Once again, Jay had a very immediate response. “Mopane.”

Robin opened his mouth and then froze. After taking a moment to think, he spoke with a tone much more reserved. “And that would be…?”

“The caterpillar form of a moth.”

Robin shivered. “You’ve eaten caterpillars?”

Jay tried not to laugh at his friend’s reaction. “They taste like barbecued chicken flavored potato chips.”

There didn’t seem to be anything Robin wanted to say to that, but he finally managed something. “You don’t like potato chips!”

“I’m not fond of them, but I don’t hate them. Mopane’s all right.”

Robin shook his head. “We are finding you pickles. Basic carnival fare, Jay. You can’t have come here and not have had it. I forbid it.”

“As long as you don’t forget about the case,” Jay reminded him, but allowed Robin to find him fried pickles.

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