In Don McKellar’s 1998 end-of-the-world film Last Night, protagonist Patrick Wheeler sits down to one final “Christmas” dinner with his family. It’s not Christmas, it’s an unexplained Armageddon, but mom’s warmly remembered turkey and stuffing seems a nonetheless fitting culinary sendoff.
However, mom doesn’t forget perverse Patrick on this special day. Before the family dines, she emerges from the kitchen with a platter of lamb for Patrick, her sullen son’s favoured fare for his last meal.
The instances in which one may be faced with chowing down on just one final feast are numerous. If it’s not the end of the world, it could be death row (at least in some other country). If it’s not in the big house, it could be at the house of Jim Jones or some other like-minded suicidal cult leader.
And, like your last words, your last meal should make a statement about you.
The pacifist may wish to follow Victor Feguer’s lead. Feguer killed a doctor in Iowa in 1960 and was hanged for the crime three years later. Perhaps to make amends, Feguer requested a single olive, with the pit still inside. Rumours say he hoped the fruit would grow from his body into an olive tree, a symbol of peace.
To profess your cult commitment or witch status, dine like robber-murderer James Smith did before he was executed in Texas in 1990. Allegedly to perform a voodoo ritual, he requested a spread of dirt for his last meal. Unfortunately for Smith, the prison disqualified dirt as an acceptable food. Fortunately, he was willing to accept dairy in lieu of dirt and enjoyed yogurt before his big sleep.
Humanitarians shouldn’t have trouble taking a page from former vagabond Philip Workman’s book. Executed in Tennessee in 1997 for robbing a fast food restaurant and killing a cop, Workman denied personal nourishment, but requested a large vegetarian pizza be given to the homeless. His request was also denied, but altruistic Nashville residents responded to the rejection by delivering hundreds of pizzas to local homeless shelters.
But if the thought of impending demise spurs apathy over how you may be remembered, you might as well gluttonously indulge like triple-murderer Lamont Reese, executed in Texas in 2006: Enchiladas, fajitas, one bacon cheeseburger, a pizza, chicken salad, tacos and fried chicken.