Mister Yummy is a short story written by Stephen King. It was first published in 2015, as part of his short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Mister Yummy: Summary and Plot Analysis
The story is set at Lakeview Assisted Living Center and details the last days in the life of an elderly homosexual – Ollie Franklin and his friend – Dave Calhoun.
It opens with Olga, another elderly resident at the facility, trying to complete the pieces of a puzzle with Dave by her side, whom she mistook to be her husband, who died two years ago.
Ollie joined in as Olga stepped out for her smoke break and soon they realized that the puzzle had a few missing pieces.
Ollie asked Dave out for a walk in the garden, a request which surprised him a bit but he complied regardless. Shortly after, he offered Dave a family heirloom as a token of gratitude for their friendship, as he was sure that he would be dying very soon.
Dave, although initially hesitant to accept such a precious family heirloom, eventually agreed to accept the gift.
Ollie attributed the certainty of his death in the near future to very frequent visits by a Mister Yummy.
He went on to describe the events that led to him meeting him one fine day in New York, and how the beauty of that man was forever etched in his memory.
Listening to this conversation brought back memories of such an experience for Dave – where he happened to see a redhead in his teens. Ollie died later that day, and Dave noticed when visiting his room for one last time, that he had a sketch of a beautiful man lying on the bed- an unmistakable Mister Yummy.
Olga’s memory began to deteriorate even further and she mistook Dave for her husband even more frequently now. Dave started to have visions of the redhead as well, each vision of her being closer to him than the earlier.
He saw her for the last time while having dinner with his son – Peter – at a restaurant, where he offered Ollie’s pocket watch as a gift to him.
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Mister Yummy is a short story which is published in a collection of short stories called The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. You can use the links given below to check the price of this book:
Mister Yummy: Review and My Thoughts
The story is likeable for so many reasons. The observations on human nature are on point.
Consider these for example –
Dave recognizing Ollie just by the sound of his cane
As a young man, Dave wouldn’t have believed that you could ID someone simply by the sound of his cane, but as a young man he had never dreamed he would finish his time on earth at a place where so many people used them.
Dave playing along as Olga’s husband sportingly, taking into account that loss of memory is justified with advancing age.
Since when are you Bob?
“He was her husband. You remember. Came here with her, died two years ago.
Actually, a funny little jab at the Eiffel tower came as a welcome relief from the saddening portrayal of old age.
La Tour Eiffel. Did you know that there was a protest when it was under construction?
No, but I am not surprised. The French.
The artist Léon Bloy called it a truly tragic street lamp.
Some other artist or writer- I can’t remember who- claimed that the best view of Paris was from Eiffel Tower, because it was the only view of Paris without the Eiffel Tower in it.
The reason why portrayal of the old age and its by-products was particularly haunting – is that its so very real and relatable to a lot of us – if not now, sometime in the future.
They walked toward the patio, where they would climb the steps as carefully as they had descended them. Once they had lived in Raegan era; now they lived in the era of glass hips.
Life’s a great thing, but if you live long enough, it wears you out before it runs out.
I would not have called it a horror story but for the latter statement. Makes me think (read depresses me) more than I would care to admit.
Stephen King mentioned in the notes to this story that he discussed the rough sketch with a friend who didn’t approve of it citing the reason of him being a straight man and not having enough perspective or much to add to what is already known about AIDS, to which he responded saying that all he wanted to write about was the brute power of human sex drive.
How in a right or a wrong night, all reason, all sense of risk, all logic and all caution is swept away- things that need to be done, needed done.
Ollie’s obsession with Mister Yummy and Dave visions of the redhead are cases in point. They are elderly and in Dave’s words have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. But their memories so far back in time are still as fresh as ever when it comes to people who made them feel the way they did-even for one brief second.
I can’t help but recall one of Dave’s quotes as he sits in the garden with Ollie thinking of all the ordinary luxuries.
When Dave Calhoun thought of death-not so far off now- the prospect that he regretted most was the loss of the sensory world and all its ordinary luxuries-taste of lemon pie with a cloud of meringue on top, and smell of flowers, sound of Cozy Cole going on drums.
It’s the simple pleasures that count, In a mad race to get where we want, we lose sight of the inevitable end. The years can pass us by and it wouldn’t be long before we are one of those glass hip people. Let’s stop for a second and smell the flowers, shall we?