“I could be wrong, but I think pasta salad is the vilest culinary invention of mankind. It’s perverse, repugnant, disgusting shit. Who the fuck decided it was a good idea to eat pasta cold? What lunatic asylum lunch buffet was it originally made for?”

“It’s a midwestern thing,” I said trying to hold back my laughter. “For us, it’s a side dish in the summer. Something we have with burgers and brats and illegal firework displays. What you had was the classy kind too, we usually just got a plastic tub of the stuff from the supermarket and dove in with an array of plastic spoons. I love the stuff- both for the taste and the sweet memories it evokes.”

“Sweet memories? What could that vile, human-grade cat food that stands as an affront to all that is good and decent in the world Evoque in your memory?”

“Well, the summers of childhood I guess. An outdoor cookout was a special kind of thing. The hard, bitter days of winter are behind, though paradoxically on the horizon, but the days are long and warm. There is community, family, friendship. The smell of the grill, the childhood trials of eating off cheap plastic plates with cheaper plastic sporks.” 


“A combined spoon and fork.”

“Oh shit, I love those! KFC in Hong Kong gives you one so you can eat your rice and your fried chicken. Though the thought of an innocent spork being defiled by being submerged in that pasta salad shit makes me sad. “

“Well sad sporks aside, it was a part of the best part of the year. I love those times as a kid, a high schooler too. Hell, I’m sure I’d love it now as an adult, most of the parties weren’t exactly short on beer. Midwesterners might not have the best cuisine, but the large supply of cheap beer is damn near guaranteed.” 

“That does sound nice, though I am hesitant to associate myself with something that includes such shitty food.”

“There’s corn on the cob cooked over a grill.”

“See now with something that good why do you waste your time and plate space with that other nonsense.“

“Well if you set out a good spread, you should cater to all tastes. The US is a diverse place, people have different tastes, and to some of us, probably found in the highest concentration in the Midwest, pasta salad is a favorite.” 

“Weirdos, but I guess I’ll give you my portion, I’ll trade you for the corn.” 

“I didn’t say I liked it that much, but we’ll see.” 

“You don’t even like corn that much, come on, admit you like that slop more than fresh, crisp corn.” 

“You are causing a war inside my prairie soul. It’s a place famous for both. I guess it would depend on how fresh the corn was, in season, there’s nothing better, out of season, gimme the pasta salad, cold with extra mayo.”

“Christ almighty that’s gross”. 

“Or delicious.”

“Or just gross.” 

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