Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Greatest Column By Roger Ebert Had Nothing to do With Movies

The Greatest Column By Roger Ebert Had Nothing to do With Movies:
It was
about the late movie critic's memory of eating, written after he
could no longer eat or even talk.
filled with elegies
for crap food that are by turns haunting
and hilarious:
Another surprising area for sharp memory is the taste and
texture of cheap candy. Not imported chocolates, but Red Hots, Good
and Plenty, Milk Duds, Paydays, Chuckles. I dreamed I got a box of
Chuckles with five licorice squares, and in my dream I exalted:
"Finally!" With Necco wafers, there again, the licorice were the
best. The peculiar off-purple wafers were space-wasters. As a
general rule in candy, if anything is black, red or green, in that
order, I like it.
This got carried so far one day I found myself googling White
Hen-style candy with the mad idea of writing an entire blog entry
on the subject. During visits to a Cracker Barrel I would buy paper
bags filled with licorice, root beer, horehound and cinnamon drops.
Searching for Black Jack gum, I found whole web sites devoted
licorice in its many forms. I even discovered and downloaded a
photo of a basket that seemed assembled from my memory, and it is
And then there's slow-burning,
power-chord finish:
I came across this sentence in its web review, and it perfectly
describes the kind of place I like: " A Greek-style chow joint
replete with '70s wood paneling, periwinkle padded booths, a chatty
wait staff and the warble of regulars at the bar. Basically, if
you've ever had it at any place that starts with Grandma's, Uncle's
or any sort of Greek place name, you can find it here." Yes. If a
restaurant doesn't serve tuna melts, right away you have to make
So that's what's sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not
the loss of food. It may be personal, but for, unless I'm alone, it
doesn't involve dinner if it doesn't involve talking. The food and
drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments
and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words,
"Remember that time?" I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to
break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me
anymore. So yes, it's sad. Maybe that's why I enjoy this blog. You
don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.
the whole thing.

Ebert also wrote
memorably - and movingly
- about depression, boozing, and his
AA connections.