The Heartache of Forgotten Foodstuffs · Rick Blum

 On the top shelf, just out of sight, sat the left-
overs in their opaque Tupperware biome, right
behind the jar of pickled tomatoes, which, up
until minutes ago, had not been taken down
from its lofty perch since your wife out-
lawed beef hot dogs as a regular repast, in-
 stead replacing them with a the latest in-
digestible vegan concoction better left
to high-cholesterol sufferers who do without
larded tubes of meat trimmings in favor of right-
eously ingesting Tofurky franks while looking down
on everyday rabble like you who see only the up-
 side of succulent wieners that unfailingly up-
lift the spirits of carnivorous diners in
thrall of an American culture that down-
plays warnings of meat toxicity from the Left
in favor of the raucously unrestrained Right’s
conviction that an individual’s desire to pig out
 on intestine-wrapped animal scraps out-
side next to a fiery barbeque grill up-
stages their carcinogenic potential (as rightly
cited by your spouse), which is an in-
apt assertion that didn’t prevail, so you’re left
with no choice but to double down
 on the mustard and sauerkraut, gobble down
this meatless mess in two bites, then guzzle an out-
landishly hoppy IPA brew that was left
in the fridge last weekend shoved up
against the pickled tomatoes, which, in-
cindentally, now serve as a downright
 delicious ending to this most right-
fully decadent dining experience, which slid down
your eager gullet like a greased pig in
heat, thus capping a carefree cookout
with a smiling spouse and two kids … up
to the moment when only crumbs for the birds were left.

All this time, the container of tempeh chili, now out in
plain view in the fridge, has been feeling rather down up
on the shelf where it was unceremoniously left. Right?

Rick Blum has been chronicling life’s vagaries, often with a humorous spin, for more than 30 years. His writings have appeared in The Literary Hatchet, The Satirist, and WINK magazine, among others. He is also a frequent contributor to the Humor Times, and has been published in numerous poetry anthologies.