"The Valentine III"

(Set one year after The Valentine II, in the same timeline. BTW I am NOT patronising you by stating who the author of this is.)

As February 14 th approached yet again, Misty felt rather disconcerted by the fact that Ash still did not understand what the big deal was. She could not understand why. If animals with brains the size of peanuts could understand reproduction purely from instinct, why couldn't Ash understand at least one thing remotely within the romance range, emotional in a uniquely human way or otherwise? Well, she thought, maybe he would mature with time. He had certainly had plenty of it with her, but when she caught him he couldn't even control a mouse, so perhaps she should have eJabedin this. Nonetheless she didn't see it that way. As far as she was concerned, the only excusable aspect of him showing no more sign of loving her than paying for everything she ate was that . he paid for everything she ate! Of course, we've been there before.

Anyway, she should have counted her self lucky. .

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As February 14 th approached yet again, (yes, I'm using it twice for dramatic effect,) Sakora was rather melancholic, having no man in her life, or boy for that matter. Now there are two ways of being melancholic in the Western, all-you-can-eat-if-you-can-afford-it world - you can either lose your appetite or comfort-eat. Sakora had such a large appetite that the fact that she physically managed to take the latter option was truly surprising, although I do not mean to suggest that there was anyone (bar Sakora) who KNEW that it was so, in order to be surprised. She envied Misty for having two male companions wherever she went. Well, I say two. You have to remember that Sakora did not envy any girl for being followed by Brock. Most girls would treat that as sexual harassment. To be honest, Sakora kind of felt sorry for Misty for that. Nonetheless her overall sentiment was envy. In fact this was true to such an extent that her run-up-to-Valentine's day comfort-eating melancholia seemed to just be a continuation of her more societo-typical Christmastime fit-to-bursting continuous eating frenzy. She pushed herself further in eating terms than usual, downing it almost as if a chore, because the taste made her feel much better - but not for long. The two consequences of this were unusually rapid weight gain and unusual stretching of her stomach, which increased its capacity for food and also her desire for it. Even if she did cheer up, for whatever reason, on the big day, the consequences would be irreversible. Frankly the growth in her eating capacity was practically exponential.

It was partly her own fault for dumping Morty, which is part of the reason why he made the local papers for almost committing suicide. It might not have made the national papers were it not for the fact that his intended method for committing suicide was to recreate the Morgan Spurlock experiment. Brock, reading all about his tribulations, decided that although he was too heterosexual to please Morty he could always manipulate the situation on the aspect of Sakora. If he sent her a Valentine's Day message, he would make her cheer up. Naturally she wouldn't have anybody else by now. Of course that's not to say that there weren't other fanciers of fat out there, but Sakora was so . so . well, Espeon-obsessed. Not exactly a mature person for loving. It's a little tricky to explain, but basically Brock knew enough about her to know that she was the female equivalent of him. Well, watered (or oiled*) down mind; she was nothing like Temacu, or whatever her real name was. (*In molecular biology, oils, which are like fats but liquid at room temperature, are the most common non-water solvent.) Unfortunately the events that followed were rather messy, because once you send a Valentine's day card with your name in it (if he hadn't he wouldn't have benefited), you have to go visit the girl, and that meant Ash and Misty were coming too. Read on. .

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Ash and Misty decided to see a film entitled « Un film d'amour divers aux Françaises pour les femmes qui tomber trop facilement pour les attributs et les trucs steréotypiques». (Translate it at the first opportunity; you'll find it funnier then.) Brock had managed to persuade Sakora, who was almost as desperate as him, to see something he foolishly expected to be a little bit less romantic, namely "Ein deutscher Film, der überraschend romantisch ist, weil jeder ein Francophilic Rassist wenn in der Liebe ist" . (You may notice I have got the correct syntax, as did the filmmakers, because they were German.) Having been patronised without realising it, all four of them reported

Sakora and Brock went on what for all intensive purposes constituted a date, and the most embarrassing one in the world at that. Brock, almost as nervous as the last time a girl had had any interest in him whatsoever (see above), was interested in about 40 cubes of sugar in his ice tea. Given the ice, whether there would be room for that was not at all obvious. Sakora decided she could do with having 40 of something else in reciprocation - but what? Sakora knew exactly what when Misty turned out to be visiting wish Ash at the same restaurant. Sakora had been through hell in the last two to three months; she might as well get something out of it, she thought, with Brock not being all of it. (As I said, she didn't think too much of him.) She remembered the events of last year, when Misty had beaten her in an eating contest, even though it was one of speed, because Misty had had a larger capacity, and knew that solid savouries would slow down Sakora, and to that end Misty had tricked her quite well. This time, Sakora wondered, would Misty still have the larger capacity? Sakora had undergone some stretching. She decided to test the water.

"I've gained two hundred pounds since Christmas, Misty, that's how much of a comfort-eater I've been." Misty was quite surprised. SHE had not done the same. Mind you, did it prove anything?

"Misty, I've been wondering, do you still perform best with ice cream?" Sakora asked, her plans now afoot. Misty gave an affirmative nod. "Me too! You wanna see who can finish the most of those Valentine sundae specials? If you do, I'm gonna make it a no-time-limit thing." Misty agreed. So it began.

Sakora showed off her immense speed so much that it looked like Misty was not only an inferior eater, but not even in the same league. Misty did not want to be made to look like that, but she had no choice, what with Sakora being as intimidating as was for her physically possible. Misty downed the first sundae only to find out that Sakora was almost finished on her third. Misty did not slow down, but neither did Sakora. By comparison it looked like Misty was nursing her sundaes. By the time the score got to 28 - 10, it looked unlikely that Misty was going to win - but only to an inexperienced audience, which fortunately was absent. Pikachu knew where his eJabedinations lay. (Oh no, I asserted that an animé-pokémon of a two-gender species has one specific gender! So what? The same happens to a Delibird on the back cover of Volume 1 of the Pokémon Chronicles DVD that has become available first in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, thank you very much you almost always luckier American . sons-of-guns.)

When she hit 50, Sakora decided on a rest-room break. Misty was just finishing her eighteenth, but decided not to waste any time. She ate and ate and ate, but she had only just finished her 23 rd when Sakora returned, now eating with renewed vigour. Misty made sure not to stop at 50: it would lead only to more embarrassment. In truth she was the only one feeling it, but that's how the human psyche works.

Eventually, Sakora started slowing down, which was particularly obvious on her 200 th . As she finished it, she decided to make Misty feel as uncomfortable as possible, given the circumstances. "I tell you what, Misty", she said. "Once I finish number 250, I'll stop and wait for you to catch up, and then start again. Let's see if that makes this more interesting!" Misty agreed, but Sakora could not understand her smirk.

A huge amount of time passed with Sakora digesting to find more room in her stomach when Misty ate alone, but Misty still had not even begun to slow down. As she finished the 250 th sundae her self, this remained true and Sakora was concerned. Mind you, Sakora had eaten her 250 th one more quickly, so maybe there was still hope for the long-term loser.

As they started gain, Misty unbuckled her made-to-measure genes, and suddenly it was a whole different ball game. Both girls ate at top speed, the lead occasionally being taken and frequently switching but often non-existent or negligible, and this stayed that way until about # 300. Then things began to change. Sakora felt her massive stomach starting to feel full and heavy, and she panicked. She felt a bit less full after another rest-room break, but Misty had gained considerable lead in the process. It was as if Misty was finally winning despite a handicap of never stopping to make more room. Misty was allowed to, but had not done so yet. Sakora struggled on, but eventually stopped at 337, while Misty had reached 388.

In case you are wondering, Brock was paying.

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Even if he had not paid financially, he would have had to pay for it somehow. As far as Misty was concerned, the whole issue of reminding Sakora where she stood was getting rather tiresome. The flavour of ice cream was of course untarnished by the issue of using it instrumentally; in fact, Misty felt upset she had to stop when she did, for financial reasons. That was part of the reason she said of Brock that he would only ever be the world's greatest breeder in a sense that referred purely to other species. Togepi apparently showed a surprising appreciation of this observation.

(Okay, that's both the pokémon you must mention covered.)

After that, everyone decided to retire, to see if there was any way of actually keeping to the romantic spirit of the day rather than this public display whose intention was to discover a peculiar secret. So, Sakora still had the smaller stomach. Ash didn't really seem to care too much. There was something rather trivialising about downing huge numbers of a seasonal product rather than focusing in the nice arrangement on them of hundreds and thousands and chocolate-sauce-striped wafers. Still though, at least the rest of us like the way it turned out.

As for what alternatives were explored, let's just say they made sure I was not an omniscient narrator. It suffices to add that Brock and Sakora very quickly split up, and it was partly due to the fact that she suddenly realised it might be better just to forget about boys altogether than to stay with Brock - given her age.

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(You didn't think I meant . ? Oh. Oh!)


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