The Saddest Bachelor Meal

Tom and I have concluded that the saddest bachelor meal is this:

An open, leftover can of Spaghetti-Os, unheated and eaten out of the can with a dirty fork, eaten alone and washed down with a bottle of white Zinfiandel (or perhaps one of those boxed versions) that’s been in the fridge for at least a week.

Neither of us would ever stoop this low. But someone in this universe has probably consumed just this.

The real question is: Can anyone top this? I urge readers to offer their thoughts on this very pressing matter. Failing that, what’s the worst meal you’ve ever served yourself at home?


  1. Gnawing on a raw, unpeeled potato ain’t bad – but you’ve got to be sitting in front of a computer while you do it.

  2. I’ve had good old fashioned salt soup on many occasions. I usually felt sad about it. Also, eating broken Fritos out of a bowl like breakfast cereal is kinda sad.

    Any meal can be made sad by eating it over a sink full of hot water and several pairs of dirty socks. Likewise, any meal that’s eaten whilst sitting cross-legged on the floor over a pornographic magazine with a torn-off cover and mold damage is very sad indeed.

    Boiling a single frozen hot dog, bathed in the light of a naked 40 watt bulb, while dressed in a parka, stocking cap, and heavy gloves in an apartment so cold you can see your breath is kinda sad.

    Any meal eaten within the city limits of Galt, California has a slight dour note to it.

  3. Technically a very sad bachelorette meal: one can of tuna, drained and dumped into a Rubbermaid container (in case you don’t finish the whole thing), then mixed with a couple of tablespoons of old mayonnaise. Serve with not-quite-stale pretzels and whatever wine you can find. Suggested accompaniment: ancient “Friends” or “Seinfeld” reruns or Nick at Nite, depending on time of day.

    Alternative sad meal: leftover, dried-out takeout rice, topped with dregs of a jar of salsa and a few cubes of cheddar cheese (trim dry and moldy bits first), heated in microwave. Stir and serve with beer from back of fridge — the awful brand you hate to drink but somehow can’t throw away, brought by someone else for a party you threw back at the end of last year, when you still had friends you liked.

  4. Ramen noodles, 25c a pop. Don’t even add the fucking MSG spice sack–it’ll just give you a headache. Just boil the bejeezus out of those fuckers. On a good day, add a pat of margarine.

  5. Good answers, folks, but you can do better! I want to hear about meals that absolutely epitomize solitude! Where are the meals that involve listlessness and a concession to being miserable?

    And, Jimmy, top ramen? Top ramen!?! I’m disappointed. I expected better from you, sir. The saddest bachelor(ette) meal must involve something atmospheric, ironically intricate in its lack of care, and the least possible effort. A better answer, sir! Decency demands it!

  6. You’re a brutal taskmaster, coach. I could mount a spirited defense of ramen, but it would ring hollow, like when someone in a writing workshop says “Yes, but it really happened that way!” Anyway, touche.

    Okay, what about the faux nutritional: You’re a bachelor and you eat dreck all the time, so one night, goddammit, you decide you’re gonna have fruits and vegetables. Of course, you wouldn’t know a head of lettuce from a head of cattle, so this means you proceed straight to the canned goods, i.e., cling peaches in heavy syrup. A lovely aperitif, sure, but what about a vegetable? Canned beans just won’t cut it. You deserve better after all, before a full night of game shows and pornography. Frozen peas? Too much work. Creamed corn? Even you have standards, such as they are.

    The answer: artichoke hearts IN A JAR. Tonight really is special. Artichokes connote class, as does glass. Wow–you’re a fucking genius. Pop those puppies open, lean over the sink and dig in. Dems good. Of course, you can’t just go straight to the peaches without a main course. Spare no expense, I say–pickle loaf awaits! The bonus is that pickles are vegetables, too, in a manner of speaking. They are like vegetable cadavers. Anyway, go ahead, get crazy, roll up a few sheets of p.l., and dip it in Miracle Whip. That’s shittin’ in high cotton, baby! Now turn on the TV, see if you can masturbate to the Home Shopping Lady, and then, after you’ve waddled to the bathroom with your pants around your ankles, treat yourself to those clingy, sticky, juicy-ass peaches. Now I ask you: Does it get any better?

  7. One slice of Roman Meal bread–the edges of which have been picked away, because they had turned green–sprinkled with parmesan cheese from a plastic container.

    One cup of instant Folgers coffee. No cream.

  8. No one could top Rasputin’s hot-dog horror, but I’m thinking Hot Pockets — no, _Lean_ Pockets — imperfectly heated in a toaster oven, with room-temperature Tang on the side.

    On TV: a rerun of TJ Hooker, the opening credits of Taxi (with that miserable flute solo and washed-out shot of the Brooklyn Bridge) or the Knife Collector on the Home Shopping Network.

  9. I think what Ed and I were getting at here was an ATTEMPT at some taste or elegance with a fairly unredeemable (albeit edible) meal. With the White Zin, you get the sense that a.) said bachelor COULD quite possibly afford better but is too lazy to prepare the kind of meditative supper that should accompany such a libation; b.) it’s a sad attempt at capturing an “elegant” meal, but failing miserably – it was either buying a good wine and a crappy meal while saving on electricty by not cooking, or it was purchasing a so-so meal overall; c.) life has become such a perfunctory affair that when not performing or entertaining, said bachelor will eat whatever is in eyeshot with little thought of health consequences – chances are, he doesn’t wash his hands when he uses his own bathroom, subconsciously thinking, “Oh they’re MY germs, so it’s okay.”

  10. Kroger Pizza.

    If you haven’t tried it asking about it would not enlighten you. If you have tried it you don’t need to ask.

    Let me put it this way; red paint and stale grout on cardboard makes for a better meal.

  11. Tom:

    The Home Shopping Lady was hot at one time. Clearly, she’s now on the back nine–maybe the 13th hole, let’s say. The thing is, she’s still exuberant, so one is able to see the ghost image of her one-time hotness (or is that just poor cable reception?). And, unlike Mr. Bachelor, she’s trying like hell, so one can imagine that her ambition and clarity of purpose, undiminished by the ravages of time, may be just the catalyst our bachelor needs to rouse himself from his artichoke-and-Lowenbrau-induced catatonia and general self-loathing. Well, that plus exercise, six loads of laundry, gainful employment and an actual date with a sentient human.

  12. Hmmmm . . .
    I have some memories from back in the day of government cheese melted on the 2 cent day-old tortillas with really bad salsa pilfered from the 7-11 hot dog bar.
    You had to go in the morning and stand in line outside the Social Security office to get the cheese, so it was kind of like a social event! Then the people at the tortilleria only spoke Spanish – so you were being multicultural! Of course the 7-11 parking lot was populated by “regulars” drining 40s out of paper bags under sodium vapour street lights – adding a little nighttime ambiance – a modern feeling of film noir – for those too poverty-stricken to actually afford drinking shooting the shit in a proper bar.

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