Let’s pretend that I’m in prison on death row. Years ago I did something unforgivable, like cheer for the Washington Redskins or go to a Nickelback concert and because of my actions I’ve been sentenced to death. Here I am on the eve of my execution and my old buddy Marvin comes in. Maybe he’s not really my friend, he is a prison guard after all, but I’d like to think of him that way even if the feeling isn’t mutual. We bonded over our love of the musical Les Miserables and he sometimes calls me Jean Valjean, which I roll my eyes at because he’s done it so many times, but secretly I still get a kick out of it. He doesn’t appear his usual chipper self tonight, and goes to extreme measures to avoid making eye contact with me. We both know I’m going to die tomorrow and he seems a little bit sad about it, so perhaps he considers me a friend after all.
He pulls a notepad and pen from his back pocket and asks me what I want for my last meal. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, and this is what I’ve come up with. To start with I would like some spinach and artichoke dip along with a pineapple flavored slushy with just enough cyanide to kill me. I’m sure they probably won’t comply with the cyanide but it’s worth a shot, just to spare me the humiliation of being executed in front of an audience. For the main course I want a steak, cooked medium rare obviously. I may have committed a terrible crime but that doesn’t make me an animal. I also want a half dozen blackened shrimp, and a side of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, no peel. I want to taste some lumps but I obviously don’t want them to lumpy, surely this request can be granted by even the most elementary of chefs. For desert I want some ice cream with chunks of peanut butter and chocolate layered throughout. There’s something great about the sweetness of chocolate with the slight hint of saltiness in the peanut butter, and it’s the last thing I want to taste while I’m alive on this earth.
Marvin said that he would take my order to the cook, but reaffirmed my suspicion that they wouldn’t add the cyanide to the pineapple slushy. He asked if I wanted anything else to drink with my meal and I told him ice water would be fine. I want plenty of ice though. I really hate drinking water when all the ice has melted, regardless of where its being drunk, a restaurant or a prison cell, it’s completely unacceptable. He left the room and I sat on my cot thinking about the next twenty-four hours, my final day of existence. It’s been a pretty good life that I’ve had, despite having spent more than half of it locked away from society. At least I’ll have one last great meal of my choice before I die, a luxury many people don’t have because for most, death comes unexpectedly. I guess I’m lucky in that sense.