We’ve just passed that time of the year again: when the USPS becomes altruistically involved in a food drive and invites its customers to donate bags of canned goods to fight hunger.
TPG and I are fighting all right … but not about hunger.
Last time I responded instantly to the Postal Call to Duty and in short order amassed an impressive largess from my stores; to wit:
1. White Asparagus Spears – 4 cans. What seemed like a good gourmet choice at the time was totally thwarted by SOMEBODY’S astute observation (after purchase) that said Spears resemble grubs more than asparagus – thus effectively ending any possibility of Gourmet White Asparagus becoming an item of culinary choice.
Asparagus or grubs? U pick…
2. Canned collard greens: 6 cans. TPG helpfully pointed out that since ‘poor’ and ‘Southern’ are common word pairings, it was far more likely these cans would be shipped down South than passed out to nearby Northerners, for whom ANY form of ‘green’ is both mysterious and smacks of ‘weeds’
Note: the can even
SAYS ‘Southern’. That’s ‘cause
Up North we calls ‘em ‘WEEDS’…
3. 6 cans of Spam – various flavors. Another experiment gone awry: what on the face of it seemed a good, protein-filled move for an Earthquake Preparedness Kit proved ineffectual when the first sampling revealed that SOME words simply should not go together: most notably ‘Spicy’ and ‘Spam’. However much that I protested that most likely the Poor would appreciate a little dietary diversity, it in actuality proved a bone of contention The Peanut Gallery was only too content to gnaw upon ad nausium.
4. 8 cans of Dr. Joel’s Weiner ‘n Chicken Soup proved a prime example of how two rights CAN make a ‘wrong’. Take it from One Who Knows: wieners and chicken should never be married in the same can.
I consulted with my friend (who benefits from occasional Food Bank donations) who further pointed out (for those of you big supermarket donors – and you know who you are!) that while the initial generosity of a ‘bread for the poor donation program’ was in fact thoughtful, “the poor” actually have no way of easily converting bread mold into penicillin. Which rather neatly negates any “kill two birds with one stone” argument advocating the health benefits of donating pre-molded bread.
When critiquing my (somewhat dubious) donations, TPG posited that we should indeed NOT be donating foods we ourselves wouldn’t actually be willing (if not eager) to consume.
This point, I believe, should be the subtitle of ANY Food Drive: it should NOT be confused with an opportunity to rid one’s shelves of ill-advised canned good purchases that “seemed a good idea at the time” just because they were on sale. (Or, in my case, sounded weirdly interesting.)
And so, with a sigh of conscientious thinking, I returned the Canned Creamed Escargot to my Emergency Earthquake Supplies shelf and when Postman Joe comes ‘round for our donation next time, I’m servin’ up a bag of canned ham, gourmet beans, and soup – likely to the melodious sound of Bill’s sobs (…da man always cries when ham goes to somebody else, much less a stranger – needy or not).
Dinnertime came ‘round and I “surprised” The Peanut Gallery with a truly gourmet offering: Creamed Escargot with White Asparagus Spears and an appetizer of Spicy Spam on Crackers.
I figger serving up this single meal entitles me to donate, next time: 3 remaining cans of White Asparagus Spears, 4 remaining cans of Creamed Escargot, and 5 lonely cans of Spicy Spam; as the (self-imposed) pre-requisite rule of “not donating what one hasn’t actually tasted” will have been more than met in one creative fell dinner coup.
Bon Appétit, Bill!