Friday, February 6, 2009

Ode to A Greasy Muffin

Whenever I am tired at school I find myself writing about food.

In art school, years ago, I had a notebook page full of food doodles. Stacks of drippy pancakes, floating pieces of crispy, stripey bacon, McDonald's oblong hash browns peeking out of their little sleeves.

A year ago, during a semester of poetry, I found myself writing an elegy to the hot chocolate machine. I actually did two revisions of it before I tucked it away in my old notebooks, with all the other ramblings of sleep-deprivation.

Today, in the midst of a particularly trying semester of literary analysis and philosophical reflections on aesthetics, I yawned a big yawn, and got the urge again. Out came: "Ode to A Greasy Muffin."

I won't blast your sensibilities with that text here, but I will share with you my inspiration. Then someday, when the Ode is on the page next to other Odes (I was making reference to Keats' "Ode to A Grecian Urn" for those of you who aren't English majors), you can do a contextual analysis of it. And then the formalists and I will disapprove of you.

I was tired and hungry enough to consider a nap on a sunlit couch in the atrium of Dunham Hall. Upon closer inspection, the sunlit couch was found to be a stinky couch. I considered going to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin, sans Canadian bacon. Then I remembered my promise -- I swore I wouldn't eat McDonald's for a year. It's not like they even have much I can eat. But something always draws me back there.

So I looked like a damn fool pacing around the building, looking out at my car on the street, weighing the options. If I go, I lose my parking spot. And it's a good one. If I go I'm going to feel shame for padding Ronald McDonald's pockets. But I'm so goddamn hungry! I started outside.

Halfway to the car: "WAIT! They have egg sandwiches at school!" In the same building, there is a little snack bar with some packaged sandwiches and soups. I snagged one, tossed the ham in the garbage, and popped the muffin in the microwave. It tasted ten times better than the "Mc" version, and I didn't break any promises or waste any finite resources (unless you count "pig" as a finite resource).

If I ate ham, which I don't, I would have been even further impressed with this little muffin. It was real shaved ham, folded over so that there was more than one layer of meat. Nothing like the round piece of pink stuff that McDonald's factory stamps out of a twenty foot wide sheet of Canadian bacon. Or do they squeeze it out of a tube and cut off thin slices, like kids do with their Play-Doh factories? No matter.

The thing was good, and it deserved an Ode.

1 comment:

  1. I want to hear the ode...food is indeed inspirational! I used to write awful silly poems a long time ago, and lots of them were crude odes...I think somewhere I still have a copy of "ode to my pants" which was followed not long after by "pants lament" after a sad laundry accident.

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