Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lone Starved State: No Last Meals in Texas

Can it be true?  After decades of dishing out huge, meaty, deep-fried dinners, the state of Texas will no longer offer condemned inmates a special last meal prior to their execution.  Instead, they’ll be served the same food as everyone else that day.

The change of policy came one day after convicted killer Lawrence Brewer ordered an enormous multi-course last meal then refused to eat even a single bite of it.  Texas lawmakers decided that last meals for Death Row inmates are a waste of time and money.

To be honest, the Death Row in Texas was never a steak-and-lobster place; inmates could only order food available in the kitchen at the time, so choices were limited.  Cheeseburgers were the most popular item, along with pizza, Mexican food, and fried chicken.  With the exception of the mysteriously popular fried okra, vegetables were rarely requested.  Meals tended to be loaded with calories, stuffed with sodium, and dripping with grease.

But despite the lack of culinary finesse, it’s still hard to imagine Texas Death Row without its last meal program.  After all, executions and last meals go together like guns and bullets or breaking and entering.

I shall recognize the passing of this time-honored tradition in the most appropriate method; through the Japanese art of haiku.

Texas meals are gone;
The double-meat cheeseburger
Now cries ketchup tears

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