Bread and Cheese and Water

Well, I am glad that you’ve picked up this essay. I’m not sure what reasons you have for doing so, perhaps you are my professor trying to determine how much you like or loathe the writing you are required to grade, or maybe you are someone who happened to find the paper after the professor marked it and returned it and there it was on the ground and you couldn’t help but read it because it’s lunch time and the title read something like “Bread and Cheese and Water,” which all sound very nice to you. I can’t really imagine any other circumstances in which this paper will be read, seeing that it is only an exercise and the introduction you are reading at this point will be so cut and pasted before it could possibly be published that you would never see it in any other circumstances. All other options would undoubtedly never happen: someone wrestle me to the ground and demands that I print off the last paper that I typed, unlikely; someone is stuck by the way that I look and dress so much that they publish a magazine featuring every detail of my life, including this essay in all its drafts, also unlikely. So, I’ll stick with the two likeliest possibilities and write to someone who is either hungry or my professor or both, which I do hope is the case, not for a better grade, which an empty stomach might desire to give, but because food, whether in text or on fork, is always more enjoyable when one is hungry; and I particularly could go for some bread and cheese and water.

It’s a simple meal really, one that I have always enjoyed, at least when the bread and cheese are simple and expensive, which I don’t seem to understand. There is a packet of pasta, that I particularly love to use when making myself some spaghetti and sauce. Not only does it cook well, hold itself together, and has the simple taste of wheat to it, but the ingredients are few. It doesn’t include any of those added minerals and vitamins and words that I cannot pronounce. The only ingredients are flour and water. And yet the pasta is the most expensive in the aisle. Somehow the pasta that uses less actually costs me more, much like a meal I bought months ago at a burger bar. As I stood in line I remeber studying the prices on the menu and found that if I bought the meal as a combo, fries sandwich and soda, then it would cost me less than if I had bought the sandwich with a side of fries. I was puzzled at this and asked the attendant, who was also puzzled and said she would mention it to her manager. Why on earth would I be charged more for less? Why on earth would I be charged for a pasta that has less in it. Don’t these additives cost anything? I wonder if these companies aren’t paid to put these things in, but that would be just as ridiculous as someone beating me up just so I would print this last paper which I am writing.

And maybe I’m ridiculous for paying more for the pasta and the bread and the cheese but not the water. I would never pay for water. Why pay for something when it is free? Which reminds me of the other week, when I came up against this question. I was picking up food for my self, wife and son. The kids meal was free, but I found out last time, when I was charged for the meal, that it is only free if you dine in. After I had ordered my food, and as I was paying for it, I said that I would like to dine in, when I fully intended to take it home. I ask if I couldn’t have to-go lids for the food. I quickly realized that I had made a mistake. I had a two-year-old that I needed to take out to the car, and I had to somehow carry the meal without the kid’s meal in a to go box, without a bag for the food to go in, and without a third hand to hold my son’s hand as we crossed the road to get to the car. I herded him, with food in my hand, like I would herd a cat. I’ve never herded cats, and I’ve often heard the term used, and I can only imagine that it would be difficult and a lot like trying to herd a two year old.

And here I am at the end of this exercise and I haven’t even said hardly anything about bread or cheese or water, which makes this essay even less likely to be picked up than ever.