It was in a recent discussion of Fine Victuals with our friends Laura Belle and Don that the topic of Death Row Dinner came up.
It’s the ultimate compliment to pay a Food Selection, to call it Death Row Dinner. The implication, of course, is that if it is good enough to be requested as one’s Last Meal in the old Death-House, it is mighty good indeed. One last Smack of the Lips afore Riding the Lightning, as it were, although, sadly, these days few of the condemned actually do any Lightning-Riding. Mostly it is Lethal Injection anymore, and Sliding In the Death-Squirt does not have the same Poetic Ring to it.
This whole business of Last Meals lends itself to philosophizing. There’s a Good News - Bad News aspect to the matter: the Good News is that you can eat whatever the hell you want, because what are you gonna do, worry about your waistline? [“Do these Prison Coveralls make my ass look fat?”] Your cholesterol? Your blood pressure? Hell, naw! The Bad News is, well, you won’t be around long enough to see the Corn on the Cob you requested show up at the other end.
But from our comfy chairs, it’s a wonderful Intellectual Exercise. What would you order for your Last Meal? Sushi? Banana pancakes? A honkin’ thick porterhouse steak, grilled medium rare (Pittsburgh style), smothered in fried onions and accompanied by a baked ’tater and an old first-growth Bordeaux? Perhaps a Moon Pie? Cheesy Mac?
For once, none of this “Bring a slice of cheesecake and six spoons” bullshit. You want to eat the whole fucking cheesecake? Knock yourself out...just don’t make yourself sick! No point being nauseated for your last two hours on the planet, am I right?
Elegance or comfort food? What would you want as your last meal?
What’s good enough for you to call it a Death-Row Dinner?
Update: Check out this nifty website, replete with Final Menus. “I’ll have what he’s having.” “I’ll take one from Column A and - aww, what the fuck. Everything from Column B.”
[Tip o’ th’ Elisson Fedora to the one, the only Velociman, who dropped this little gem in the Comments.]