“Dear Foods That I Have Eaten In Cars,” by Melissa Nott

Sep 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Foods That I Have Eaten in Cars,

For decades now you’ve been my moveable feast, my chow-down conspirator.  You’ve entertained me, sustained me, fulfilled me, and thrilled me in various vehicles across the continent.  For your devoted companionship I will forever be grateful.  Which is why it pangs me (and I do mean pangs) to announce that, although my feelings for you are as fresh as the day we met, our journey of dietary delights must now come to an end.

Don’t take it personally, Foods That I Have Eaten in Cars.  You’re still the sizzling hot sustenance I fell in love with years ago.  It’s not you —it’s me.  You see, there comes a time in every woman’s life when

Aw hell, what am I saying?  This break-up was not my idea!  I can’t tell you how pissed I am that I have to stop eating you… and all because of him.  That self-centered little brat in my backseat.  That toddling food Nazi who monitors every morsel that crosses my lips, who screams if he doesn’t get twenty licks of my ice cream and wails bloody murder if I dare keep every last Skittle for myself.

Believe me, Foods, I’m dragging my feet over this goodbye.  But I can’t endure that demon seed’s highway hissy fits any longer, lest temporary insanity take hold and cause me to do something rash.  It pains me as much as it does you, but our encounters of physical intimacy must stop.  Right now.  Today.

Well, in just a few minutes.

Before we plunge into this dark new era of our lives—the era of me not eating you—I need a few moments to reflect upon some of our most cherished times together:

Cheeseburgers, as my first car food experience, I will always love you.  Thanks for fueling my body with your satisfying meat, for caressing my digestive tract with your enriched buns. Most of all, thanks for costing less than fifty cents apiece for the entire duration of my adolescence.  Kids today think a dollar burger is cheap – ha!  Your ambrosial affordability will always be remembered.

Junior Mints, you freshened my stagnant breath after many a Friday night football game.  You refused to let me vomit that time my best friend Margo peeled you off the floor and shoved you, sticky lint and all, into my mouth to keep the vodka odor from wafting up that policeman’s nostrils.  Your self control was impeccable that night, Junior Mints.  Bravo.

M&Ms, you were there when I had PMS.  You were there when my BF pulled an IAG and an ILBCNU.  You were there when my BFF gave me a KOTL and I was like WTF?  LYLAS!  One of you is still here, in fact—a souvenir M&M lodged between the plastic slats of my non-working heat vent.  Does it bother me that you’re once-shiny green shell is now mottled by a layer of dashboard dust I can’t quite reach with a Q-Tip?  NO.  ILY, M&Ms.

Baby carrots, I’m probably slightly skinnier than I would have been if we’d never hooked up.  Sorry for the times I let you get slimy in the sun.  I’m especially sorry for those long summer months you spent in the trunk, and for that ear-piercing, shrieky gaggy noise I made when my dad finally extracted you and two dead rat carcasses from the spare tire well. 

Nachos Supreme, you had me at “Hola.”  My salsa-stained jeans, cheese-sauced blouse, and bean-crusted bra strap were worth every bite.  The sour cream on my steering wheel and beef bits in my ignition cleaned up easily with the wet wipes and toothpicks provided by the restaurant.  Most people who sit on the right side of my car can’t smell the onions anymore.  Gracias.

Soft serve ice cream cone, everything would have been fine if I hadn’t rear-ended that pizza delivery guy.  Sorry for the surprise trip you took up my nostrils, down my shirt, and into the dank crevices below my waistband.  For what it’s worth, you kept refreshingly cool in spite of the jolting circumstances, and I only got stung by two wasps while the officer was writing me a ticket.

I could go on forever, dear Foods That I Have Eaten in Cars.  But Burger King in the backseat is making bloodcurdling demands that I fish out my souvenir M&M for him with a chop stick.  I hate to disappoint the little food receptacle, but that piece of candy is never coming out.  Never gonna melt unless I get the heater fixed, either.

Perhaps I’ll stop at this gas station up ahead and buy the vermin his own sack of impenetrable chocolate.  While I’m at it, I might as well pick up one final box of Junior Mints for myself—for posterity’s sake, of course.

I’m not mistaken, there’s a sandwich shop at this service station, as well as a soft-serve ice cream machine and a heat-lamp nacho/burger display.  Also, I believe there’s a fresh foods section with chef salads and ranch dressing packets.

Ah, chef salad.  Now there’s a food I’ve never tried in the car.  Sounds like an interesting culinary challenge, does it not?

I guess I can put up with that food-obsessed bastard’s screaming a few miles more.  He’s just like his mother, after all.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  And what’s a little ranch dressing in the gear shift, anyway, Foods?




Melissa Nott graduated from Alma College with a psychology degree, which she uses to torture her husband.  She is a music teacher in Michigan, where she lives with said tortured man, two beautiful children, and three egocentric furry creatures.  She has written one unpublished novel for ten-year-olds.  This novel is about donuts.  Yes, she’s got a little food obsession going on.  No, she’s not fat.  At least not when she shuts her eyes.

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