I kept putting it off. Even when the hunger struck and gnawed at my stomach like a ravenous coyote, denial remained a constant companion. It could wait. Wait until I finished my Saturday assignments, until I slept, until I finished my Sunday assignments. The reality hit around breakfast time Sunday. I needed to eat something, and didn't care what. With great hesitation, I walked to the fridge, and pulled out a plastic sack full of food. It all looked innocuous enough: a cookie, two buns, two oranges, lunch meat and a 236 ml carton of fat-free milk. There was even a knock-knock joke on the back of the milk carton. How bad could it be? Still I could feel my stomach churn. "It isn't too late to back out of this," I told myself. "It's just a job." The meal was given to me by a worker at the Tent City jailhouse, at my own foolish request. It's the exact stuff they feed to inmates locked up in the notorious Phoenix institution, which now includes Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. This exact dish, wrapped the exact way, and prepared by the exact people has reduced grown men to such misery that I was hesitant to try it. "It's really gross, actually," one prisoner assured me. Another told me about having green carrots mixed into his dinner slop, while a third recalled finding ants in her peanut butter sandwich. They all seem to love whining about how vile it is. I wish I would've have just taken their word for it, but I was curious.
Food an acquired taste at Tent City jail
Winnipeg Sun | Aug 1