6.03.2012

My, people love food.

I discovered the Dead Man Eating Weblog, which is a database of sorts that lists out the requested last meals of death row inmates.  I don't read about their crimes, which are included in most entries.  Just the food.  Occasionally, the posts are filled with reader submissions of what their last meals would look like.  I find it odd that the blog inspires its readers to fantasize about a situation that would require them to (a) murder someone, (b) be sentenced to death, and (c) consume food for the last time.

And these readers have ridiculously expensive taste.  And, surely, eyes bigger than their stomachs.  Here's an example:

Lucius O. Cape Town, South Africa 

1 dozen Mossel Bay Wild 0ysters (served ice chilled with 1 fresh lemon, and Tabasco Habanero sauce) 
12 Fresh Grilled and Butterflied Mozambique Tiger Prawns with Lemon Butter and Peri Peri sauces 
Marinated Springbok Chateaubriand with roasted potatoes and creamed cauliflower. 
Roast loin of honey glazed Pork with fresh applesauce, crackling, green peas and buttered garlic mashed potatoes. 
1 small jar Dat-il-do-it Pepper sauce 
Cape Gooseberry-Blueberry Pie with double thick whipped jersey cream and two scoops of Godiva Chocolate Ice-cream 
2 slices Young Amsterdamer Cheese, 2 slices of aged White farmhouse cheddar, 2 slices Blue Tower, 1 slice Cape fairview Brie. 
2 wholemeal Digestive Biscuits and 2 pickled onions. 1 pickled walnut. 1 preserved Fig. 
4 Ice Cold Dr.Pepper and One mug (Mug not cup)of Nescafe Coffee (with milk and 3 sugars) One Dunhill King size and matches. 
A Toothpick. 



No wonder some states have put a $15 limit on the cost of the "last meal"... and some states discontinued the privilege entirely after one dude (in Texas, I think... but then Texas kills everybody... something like eight out of 10 entries on this blog are from Texas) requested a ginormous, expensive meal and then when it was delivered, he said he wasn't hungry.  The dozen oysters alone for this reader's request would cost at least $25, depending on the season.  

But this example is also odd to me because South Africa, where the reader lives, does not implement the death penalty.  So this dude is seriously imagining this.  Having a fantasy about what you would eat for the last time isn't that weird, I guess... kind of morbid, but whatever... but if the fantasy also assumes that you had to murder people and spend years on death row, and assumes that your country has to adopt different laws for your imagination to be achieved, isn't that kind of fucked up?

The inmates' tastes aren't as expensive, though they were probably influenced by mandated cost and what the prison or local restaurants had available at the time.  I'm seeing a lot of cheeseburgers, French fries, fried chicken, and Dr. Pepper.  And every steak that's ordered is requested to be well done with a side of A1 sauce.  As I type this, I have a very disapproving look on my face.

(I mean, shit guys, if you're going to order a steak well done and bathe it in A1, you might as well just eat chicken instead.  What the hell.)

A typical example from inmate Robert Morrow, who was put to death 4 Nov 2004..... yes, in Texas:

Last Meal: Morrow had a final meal request of ten pieces of crispy fried chicken (leg quarters), two double meat, double cheese burgers with sliced onions, pickles, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup, salt, pepper and lettuce, one small chef salad with chopped ham and thousand island dressing, one large order of french fries cooked with onions, five big buttermilk biscuits with butter, four jalapeno peppers, two sprites, two cokes, one pint of rocky road ice cream, one bowl of peach cobbler or apple pie. 

(Note that everything was ordered in excess -- two burgers, large order of fries, etc. -- except for the lone salad, which he wanted to be "small.")

After going through several of these, I noticed few differences in the choices made by the inmates about their food.  The Texans, Southerners, Hoosiers and Appalachian folks all preferred fried, simple food; there is definitely more seafood the farther south and east the inmates are, but other than that, their meals are pretty similar.  That surprised me.  

(But still.  Texas?!  I'm glad I didn't grow up there.  I stole lipstick once from a grocery store when I was 13.  Pretty sure Texas would've killed me for that.  Oh shit, and I've got cousins there.  Ann!  HEY ANN!  Don't get a speeding ticket!!)

However, there was one meal that stuck out to me, from inmate Robert Dale Conklin, who was put to death in Georgia on 12 Jul 2005:

Last Meal: Conklin requested a filet mignon wrapped with bacon; de-veined shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with lemon; baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and real bacon bits; corn on the cob; asparagus with hollandaise sauce; French bread with butter; goat cheese; cantaloupe; apple pie; vanilla bean ice cream and iced tea. Prison officials said he ate the entire meal, cleaning two plates.

I raised my eyebrows at his taste, which was... let's say... a little more "cultured" than those of his peers.  Asparagus with hollandaise?  Goat cheese?

So then, as I rarely do, I skimmed down to read up on him further... and aha.  He was gay.  

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