My parents cut me off the day that I graduated college. I proved that I could handle myself by immediately hitting the road with everything that I owned: fifteen bucks, my car, and a dream of starting a food truck that sold s’mores.
It took me about an hour to officially break into the food truck industry. I bought s’more ingredients with my wad of dollar bills and started selling them at highway rest stops. By “selling,” I mean giving away, at least at first. I sold the s’mores for free – a bargain compared to overpriced non-s’more fast-food products. Like my first college roommate said, “the first hit is always free.” Thanks, first college roommate.
The reactions to my free s’more giveaway were mixed. One woman yelled at her daughter for “taking a cookie from a stranger.” First of all, they’re not “cookies.” Second of all, they’re s’mores. Third of all, I’m only a stranger because your daughter was way too busy munching on my s’more for me to introduce myself. Other asked, “Are you serious?”, “Does this guy think he’s camping?”, “Why are you selling s’mores?” The answer to all of these questions is yes.
Eventually, things really heated up, so to speak, and I turned my price tag up to a dollar per s’more. I was making profits before the first person could even express concern over the potential sanitation issues of roasting marshmallows on an engine block.
I sold your run-of-the-mill s’mores: graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow. Then one day, everything began to change: I started to see the world through the eyes of my food. I previously saw this happen to other food truck owners, but never really understood why until it happened to me. For example, my hero Chuck who runs Chuck’s Shuckin’ Oyster Truck always said: “The world is your oyster.” No, Chuck. The world is YOUR oyster. The world is MY s’more.
I realized that everything is a s’more if you look hard enough. A turkey sandwich is not really a turkey sandwich; It’s a turkey s’more! It has bread (instead of a graham cracker), turkey (instead of chocolate), and melted cheese (instead of a marshmallow).
Even sushi rolls are just little s’mores. The seaweed is the crispy exterior, the rice kernels are mini-marshmallows, and the raw fish is the chocolate. So, is sushi even REALLY sushi? No. It’s s’sushi!
The plus side to selling s’mores out of your car at rest stops along the highway is that when it rains, you can invite customers to sit in the backseat. I call this my s’mezzanine.
The downside of selling food out of your car at rest stops along the highway is when you invite a cop into your car and he shuts you down. Apparently, I didn’t have the “license” or “permit” (their words) to be selling a “delightful assortment of s’more products.” (My words.)
The cops took away my s’mores and sent me on my way. I decided to return home to tell my parents about all the success I had without their help. But before I did that, there was one more s’more that needed to be sold – the s’more I was driving.
It’s a s’Mazda! The brownish, water-damaged paint color of my exterior is the toasty outside. The seats and dashboard are the chocolate inside. I am the gooey, living, breathing filling, doing my best impression of a marshmallow.
I scraped the marshmallow off of my engine block and brought my s’Mazda to a used car dealer. I took what the gentleman offered, even though he kept making me redo the paperwork that I wrote “s’Mazda” on. He just didn’t get me.
After selling my final s’more – the s’Mazda – I walked away proud of what I had accomplished in the food truck industry in just a few hours. Not only had I transformed entire food groups into s’more products, but I felt like I had become a s’more myself. My skin had become warm, golden brown, now resembling a graham cracker. My bones were stiff like chocolate. My blood, organs and insides were soft like marshmallows.
I am s’more.