Soul Food: A Duel With Death At Lunchtime
A silly poem by Mike McGee
October 24, 2000
So last week the Angel of Death comes knocking at my door
totally interrupting Perfect Strangers
And I’m like, Dude, you are so early! There is so much more I wanted to do with my life!
“You’ve had plenty of time for that!”
You know, you sound a bit like Sean Connery.
“No, he sounds a bit like me.”
Whatever, dude. There’s gotta be some sort of loop-hole. What if we competed for my soul? Like some sort of contest.
“I do love a good challenge. If we can both agree on one, then the winner may keep your soul.”
At this point I remembered I had a pot of ramen noodles waiting for me on the stove. The Angel of Death was lured into my kitchen by the sweet aromatic joy of powdered shrimp flavoring. I could see that Death was hungry, so I made a second pack of noodles. We sat and ate in silence, but my hunger just wouldn’t subside. So while I raided the fridge, I noticed Death scoping my Rice Krispy Treats.
“Still hungry, dude?”
“We’ll take one for the road.” he said.
And we both put a Rice Krispy treat in our pockets.
“You know, I could probably eat half of all your food.”
“So could I, dude… so could I.”
And it hit us both at the same time. We pulled out every bit of food in my house and divided it all into equal halves. We had one rule: First person to finish eating their half of food keeps my soul.
We sat down on the kitchen floor surrounded by an odd buffet. The world’s greatest food challenge began.
But this was no ordinary match.
I took an early lead as Death fumbled opening a can of refried beans. I plowed through a dozen eggs and half a gallon of milk. I strategically swallowed spoonful after spoonful of leftover lasagna without chewing. Death caught up to me with a tub of butter and half a soggy pumpkin pie. I hustled my way through cans of corn, green beans, kidney beans, chili, chicken soup, fruit cocktail, and a few cans of peas, but I was stopped dead in my tracks by a mystery can. It’s label missing and nowhere to be found. Damn, dog food! No time to think, I had to eat it.
Death was now ahead of me by two-cans of beer, a frozen steak and what we think may have been tamales. I burped to make room and continued on in the feast for my soul. I ate broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, oranges, bananas, a container of baking powder, two cups of salt & pepper, a jug of Pepto-Bismol and a can of whipped cream. We reached our last item of food. One. Raw. Potato. Each.
We slowly gnawed our way through the raw potatoes, swallowing our last bites at the exact same time. It appeared as though we had a draw. Then Death looked to me with a sly grin and handed me a Tupperware bowl with my half of uneaten Jello. I grabbed a straw and sucked it down, saying:
There’s always room for Jello, bitch!
But Death just smiled and said, “I believe I finished my half before you. Your soul is mine.”
But I just outsmiled him and said
What’s that in your pocket, hooker?
His face sunk as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the last Rice Krispy Treat.
He looked to me with fear as I handed him my wrapper, and swallowed a mouthful of crispy, marshmallow goodness.
I believe I win, fucker.
With that, the Angel of Death bowed and vanished.
I sat down to an episode of Full House
and ordered a pizza…
cuz there’s never
anything to eat
at my house.