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| Columns |

Friday Food Funnies: Calvin Trillin On A Chinese Dinner In Hell

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The Tummy Trilogy, the 1994 compilation of Calvin Trillin's three food books (American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; and Third Helpings), contains enough funny -- and brilliant -- observations on eating to fill Friday Food Funnies for years. There is certainly no other food writer that can play on the same turf as Trillin when it comes to humor, and few that can match his writing skills.

Here he bemoans the democratic means of ordering food in Chinese restaurants, where each person at the table gets to pick a dish that everyone else has to share:

In my vision of purgatory, the Devil tells me that I am about to eat eternally in the best Chinese restaurant that has ever existed -- with, of course, a couple of qualifications. My dining partners will be seven of those basebal players who always used to be described in the sports magazines as "strictly meat-and-potatoes men." They will do all the ordering for the table. I will not be allowed to indicate my preferences by word or gesture. "Maybe we should have some of that chop-suey stuff," one of them says, as I see an entire carp being carried by, floating in a sauce whose aroma alone makes me weak.
"That stuff's too gooey," a large first baseman says. "You think they have any plain chicken?"

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