An internal survey by an independent study group revealed that The Bygone Bureau writers are 4 to 6 times more likely to commit a capital crime than the average American citizen. Rather than take preventative action, which is against the Bureau employee disciplinary guidelines, the editors saw it fitting to force the writers to contemplate their inevitable execution. What better way to do this than request a short piece explaining the writer’s preferred last meal? In an ironic twist, the same study revealed a 1:1 chance that at least one Bureau editor will be convicted of treason is his lifetime. As such, all members of the staff hereby present their selection of final meal.
I always thought the “Last Meal” question was rather odd. I wouldn’t feel like eating much of anything if I knew I’d die in a few hours. Other than that I took it to be an extreme way of asking one’s most favorite meal. I’ve rethought that. For my last meal I would select something intensely comforting. I would order my grandmother’s chicken and broccoli casserole. I think it could probably found on the back of a Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup can. I’d want the casserole, some fresh strawberries, and tiramisu from Costco. The precursor being about four gin and tonics (it was my grandpa’s drink after all). Even if I couldn’t bring myself to eat at all, the smells alone would bring me some calm.
At first, it seems kind of trivial to think of the importance of a last meal; if I am going to die, what difference does it make what I eat? But if you mull it over a bit more, you realize that it is your last chance to demonstrate your freedom before your life is taken away against your choice. So, as my last manifestation of freedom, I would start with some sushi (eel, maybe some yellowtail tuna) and sake. I would have for a second course some Italian chicken dish, and for desert, I would have rum cake. Only not just any rum cake. We have a regular customer at work who sometimes brings us homemade rum cake. She is a bit advanced in age, and usually, she forgets to cook out the rum (so her cake is pretty much just angel food cake soaked in uncooked rum). So I would eat about seven or so pieces of cake, and I would go to the guillotine a happy man, drunk on cake. Showing up to my own execution intoxicated by cake would be the ultimate “fuck you” to my executors.
I can’t imagine what it would feel like if you knew your death was impending. I’d probably only want Wheaties; gotta stay strong. But I’d eat them very slowly, maybe even until they got soggy, so that I may relish my last moments alive on earth.
If I’m on death row, chances are I’m responsible for some stupid act (murder) and carried it out in some stupid place (Georgia). At least you’re granted a final meal of your choice before facing the death penalty, I mean, capital punishment. Might as well make the most of it. I would take a hot bowl of pho, a medium-rare steak (any cut), two-dozen eel sushi, grilled Ahi tuna, steamed dumplings, Lebanese meze, full rack of baby back ribs, pulled-pork sandwich, fried calamari, Honey Dijon Kettle Chips, and cheese ravioli. For dessert, I’d like New York cheesecake (which is, to my knowledge, the only good thing New York produces) and good ‘ol fashioned apple pie a la mode. Oh, and to start off the meal, maybe a salad with dressing on the side. I have to watch my figure.
When I was three years old, my family moved to a house in the foothills of Denver, Colorado, and has been there ever since. The story goes that, the very first day we moved in, my parents bought pizza from the only pizza joint within 10 miles of the house, Guido’s Pizzeria. That was also the day I fell out of a second story window. Despite the minor head trauma, Guido’s has been my favorite pizzeria for as long as I can remember.
Although you, the reader, have probably never been there, you can tell the pizza is good because it ranks in the top-ten Google results for “Guido’s Pizza,” which seems to be the most common name for independent pizzerias in the country. What makes Guido’s great to me is more than just their genuinely excellent New York style pies. The place has a real character, from the ski-bum owner Rick to the legion of stoners that have staffed the place for decades. As far as I know, at no point has anyone named Guido been even remotely associated with the place.
My favorite part of the place, though, has little pertinence to executions. Nearly every time you walk into Guido’s, an unusually attractive girl is working the register. The girl is almost always different, and I’ve never seen her do anything besides take money, call out orders and distract the real employees. I have to give my respect to a restaurant that will hire a cute girl for the sole purpose of increasing tips, thereby allowing the decrease of actual wages. It’s a stroke of economic genius.
Anyways, I think a few slices of Guido’s Pizza would bring back all of these good memories before I was carted off to the chair for selling delicate national secrets to the Germans in a drunken Oktoberfest haze.