24
Sep
14

the structural integrity of this burrito wrap has been compromised

He discovered his talent, as many dillettantes do, by accident, having dropped the platter holding the cake his grandmother had made for the family to enjoy after lunch. Eager to get back in his cousins’ good graces, he accepted their dare later that afternoon to eat the blackened bananas from the freezer she had been saving to make banana bread. Decades later he could no longer recall whether it was the exhilirating cold, the surprising sweetness or the regaining of his loved ones’ affection that made eating expired food such a pleasant experience, but what kept him hooked was more than merely the thrill of risk inherent to his habit. As a college student he had to fight the perception that he was just that weird kid in the dorm who would eat anything, politely declining snickering offers from his classmates of orphaned pizzas and burgers from the fast food joints near campus notorious for disregarding accuracy in filling their customers’ orders, knowing that by the time most students discovered an error they would be unlikely to make the trip back from the dorm demanding satisfaction. Instead he would patiently clarify that his preference for expired food was one purely of taste and that a sub sandwich with olives on it, disgusting though it may be, hardly qualified. Among friends he achieved a perverse sort of acclaim for being able to predict to the minute when milk would cross the line into absolute undrinkablity. As an adult he spent years developing a tolerance for, and then an immunity to, the gray parts of overripe avocados, and later expanded his palette to encompass even the opposing pleasures of slimy wilted spinach salads and the dried hardened edges of forgotten cheese slices. And so it is with great sadness that we lay him to rest today, taking meager but meaningful comfort in the knowledge that he was able to enjoy one last serving of his beloved day-old egg salad before tragically being struck by lightning.

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