Where’d That Ham Go?!

One time a king was planning a huge feast, so naturally he told his royal chefs to cook a big-ass ham. The chefs got the biggest, juiciest pig in the kingdom and put the biggest, juiciest apple in the kingdom in its mouth. Then they stuck it in the biggest, hottest oven in the kingdom. Then they realized that was a pretty dumb idea and lowered the temperature to 375. 

They had to cook it for a whole day and night, and they had to keep turning it and pouring juice over it because it was so damn big. Then they set it on the windowsill to cool. At dinner time, the head waiter went to get the ham, but it was gone! He asked the chefs, the guards and even the prisoners in the dungeon, but none of them had seen the ham. He checked the royal dogs, but none of them were noticeably fatter or smelled like ham. He thought to himself, “The king is going to shit his fuckin’ pantaloons about this. Maybe if I stall for a bit, I can find it.” He went back out and said to the king, “Hey, sorry to tell you this but they still have to caramelize the onions. Should be done in a jiff! Jiff and a half at the most!”

“What’s this?!” cried the king. “If you wanna pull the full sweetness out of them, that’s going to take at least three jiffs! Maybe more! How could my chefs be so dumb?!”

“Um, no idea,” answered the waiter, who worried he might have just gotten his friends’ heads chopped off. “I’ll have them send out snacks.”

Anyway, ¼ of a jiff later, the waiter came back with some medieval cheeto-type things and a bowl of mutton dip. “Now don’t fill up on that,” he said with a nervous chuckle. “Dinner will be ready in 2 ¾ jiffs!” Then he rushed back into the kitchen. 

He decided that the best thing to do at this point was to ask the royal wizard for help. In fact, he realized he probably should have just done that in the first place. 

He climbed the big tower in the old part of the castle and knocked on her door. “Evanora?” he whispered. “I know you’re probably busy delving into the mysteries of the universe and stuff, but I’m having a bit of a ham dilemma, if you have a minute.”

After a few seconds, the door swung open and a wizard in bright red robes popped her head out of the door. “What’s all this?” she asked. “Ham problems? What happened?”

“Well,” said the head waiter, “you remember that giant pig we were roasting for the anniversary of the king winning that bird calling contest?”

“Sure, sure,” said Evanora, “I still think chicken would have made more sense but go on.” 

“Well, I just went to serve it and it’s gone!” said the waiter. “I don’t suppose you could just magic up a new one real quick?”

“Just magic up an entire ham?” asked the wizard, cocking her eyebrows in a way that said that idea was stupid.

The waiter replied, “Well, er, yes, with maybe some cloves and pineapple rings if you can.”

Evanora tried cocking her other eyebrow, but when that didn’t work, she sighed and said, “Look I can’t just create a ham. That requires the creation of a pig, and the creation of honey and herbs to spice it with. The amount of magic that would take would leave me powerless for weeks, in which time we might very well be attacked by an army of beholders from the Underdark. Then where would be? Mining for mithril in the Underdark. That’s where!”

Beholders are solitary creatures and actually come from space, but she was counting on the waiter not knowing that. 

“But just last week I saw you conjure a pheasant for the prince’s birthday!” moaned the head waiter.

Evanora just sighed again and shook her head. That was a bird, not a pig! Normies just don’t understand anything about magic, she thought.

“Look, cool your balls off. I’ll be back in a jiff,” she said and slammed the door.

The head waiter felt drops of sweat begin to run down into his underpants. He was nearly out of jiffs, but what choice did he have?

A little less than a jiff later, the door opened up and the wizard handed him a burlap sack filled with crackers. “There!” she announced. “Give this to the king and stop bugging me. You were right about me delving into the mysteries of the universe, and I was just about to find out who done it. See ya!” And she slammed the door again.

The head waiter stared at the bag in disbelief. “Evanora! Evanora!” he cried, pounding on the door. Finally, in a total state of panic, he sprinted down to the great hall with the cracker-sack in hand. 

“Your majesty!” he said in a tone of voice he hoped sounded triumphant. “I now present to you and your guests the greatest crackers ever baked!” 

“What?! What?!” cried the king. “What about the ham?”

The head waiter just ignored him and upended the bag in the center of the table. Out of it poured a gigantic ham on a silver platter. It was covered in pineapple rings and cloves. Each of the rings even had a bright red cherry in the middle of it. 

“What’s going on?” asked the grand vizier. “I thought he said it was crackers?”

“No doubt some sort of waiter joke,” answered the king. “Enough hijinks out of you, servant! Be gone so we can eat in peace.”

“Of course, sire,” said the head waiter, who you better believe got that fuck out of there as quickly as he could. 

Later the head waiter kept thanking the wizard over and over until it was almost kind of embarrassing to be honest. The truth is that turning ham into crackers and back was one of the first spells Evanora had ever learned. The thing is, there hadn’t been any frost giant attacks or demonic invasions in a few years, and the rest of the staff was starting to wonder why she got a chest of gold every week while they got a bag of coppers and half off leftover stew. As a wizard it alway pays to be useful, even if you’re the one who has to create the problems that you solve. 

Later that night as she was drifting off to sleep, Evanora felt a little bad about tricking the waiter and about the chefs almost getting their heads chopped off and all that. Of course, if they had fired her and there really was a beholder invasion then the whole kingdom would be fucked. It was really the lesser of two evils if you thought about it. She got up and cast BurningHands to warm up a glass of milk and had a few of the ham crackers that had fallen out of the sack. “You know,” she thought to herself, “these things really aren’t half bad.”

Anyway, that’s where pork rinds came from, in case you were curious.

The End. 

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