Man vs. Food. [The Death Wish.]

It made no sense to me.

Mind you, this is probably only thanks to the fact that I was absolutely religious about eating my vegetables as a child, and have never had a head injury.

But when Herb* [who works in the cubicle neighboring mine at the Frat House,] and I ran to a nearby deli for lunch, I sat innocently at a table with the tupperware of tarragon chicken salad I’d brought from home whilst he ordered. I expected a sandwich. We were, after all, at a deli. A demure turkey and swiss on rye, or possibly your run-of-the-mill ham and American on white. Something star-spangled and apple pie’d-the kind of sandwich that one might imagine would be preceded by that much beloved phrase “good ol’”.

The monstrosity that accompanied him back to our table, however, was anything but. The thing could have fed a small third world country for a month.

What is it with men their Neanderthal-like compulsion to conquer food? Only a man would eat a ten pound burrito for a free XXXL t-shirt and the dubious honor of having his picture affixed to the oily wall of his local Mexican dive bar.

I stared in horrified awe at what was aptly titled “The Death Wish”. Two pounds of roast beef, half a pound of bacon, cheddar cheese, copious amounts of slippery onions, and enough garlic butter to fill a small kiddie pool that oozed menacingly from the sides. It was bigger than my head, and seemed to take on a sort of life of it’s own the longer I stared at it. As Herb regaled me with stories of his highly illogical but very real fear of leftovers [he doesn’t even own a fridge], I watched in morbid fascination as he tackled Mt. Death Wish with a fervent gusto that left me strangely proud, and not a little nauseated. He chewed with the practiced ease of one who’d eaten a small cow for lunch many times before. Garlic butter dripped down his greasy chin and beads of sweat sprang to his forehead as he determinedly trucked through the alleged “sandwich”-resolved not to take any leftovers home. I sat in flabbergasted silence, not sure whether to stage an intervention or offer a standing ovation.

He slowed down about ¾ of the way through, and carefully wrapped the sopping remains in wax paper. I walked into cubicle land at the frat house fifteen minutes later only to be hit by a wall of garlic butter and shame. I kid you not-my eyes started burning as Herb sat impishly at his desk with the tell-tale, soggy remains of the offending Death Wish oozing beside his computer. Again, Herb doesn’t believe in refrigeration. It was unbearable. Through peals of uninhibited laughter I attempted to convince him that the rules of the Geneva Convention applied to him as well while tears pouring from my burning eyes made rivers of mascara down my face. Doubled over, I couldn’t decide whether to punch him in the kidney, or look up “aneurysm” in my medical dictionary to see if I’d just had one!

Mind you, this was all relatively unconcerning to Herb given that he’d just eaten a Heifer, and was quickly sinking into a food coma that no amount of Mexican narcotics could have revived. He groaned with his head in a pool of garlic butter on his desk, begging me to put him out of his misery. Which I very nearly took him up on.

Alas, wisdom prevailed and I decided instead, to run to the other side of the building, beg for a pack of matches [which in my panicked, red-eyed state were quickly given to me], and light my vanilla cupcake candle in a frenzied attempt to exorcise the stench from my office. Determinedly, I waved that cute little candle all around Herb’s head-combatting the criminal stench the only way I knew how.

It took about an hour, but eventually my eyes stopped burning and my vision slowly returned. For those of you that are concerned, Herb woke up after several hours, and we made a gentleman’s agreement about the garlic butter. Welcome to life at the frat house.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.


  1. Wow. I think i’d like to meet Herb. But then again I think you’d like to meet Beth Moore more than me meeting Herb. Great writing! Really love how your pen channels your active creativity (or hyperbole). ha

  2. Just today I thoguht, “It is time for Ashley to update her blog.” This is not what I was expecting.

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