Sunday, May 11, 2008

On dreadful food

We are here in Mississippi, waiting for the Carter Work project to begin so we can start swinging hammers. And as lowly Americorps, we are housed in the Isle of Capri casino, where the food is TERRIBLE. Not just bad: really, really terrible. I was eating hard-boiled eggs on dinner rolls, because everything else was so greasy, so salty or so foul that I simply could not stomach it.

"Guys," James said, "Come on. This isn't so bad."

We just looked at him.

"I've had worse," he said cheerfully as he wolfed down more food. "I mean, it's not great, but it's certainly not that bad."

I sighed. "James, life is just too short to eat shitty food."

He shrugged. "I eat to live, you know?"

There he sat, wolfing down a plateful of pathetic substitutes for sustenance, and I struggled to think of a way to convey the fullness of my reaction. Because life IS too short to eat shitty food, and just because you may not live to eat doesn't mean you have to feed your body foulness.

So I said, thinking that this was a totally irrefutable argument that would cause him to see the gloriously delicious light of day, "James, you breathe to live, right? But you wouldn't walk around with -- with a canister of smog attached to your face."

"Um... I smoke cigarettes."


"Sorry," he said, with a grin, a shrug, and a raised fork.

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