10 Ways to Feed Yourself While Broke and Hungry

Look at that big sexy can of Beef Ravioli au boeuf. It was related to Shia! $2 may seem steep until you appreciate how big this can was. It was 1.1 kilograms of pure Canadian Boyardee. That's over 2 pounds. For the health-minded, if you exist, that means this can was 1,000 calories of fat. It was like a small tub of lard that someone had wiped on the floor near a tomato. Plus it contained 140 percent of the daily recommended allowance of sodium, because if you're canning pseudo pasta, you better give that shit a salt bath.

Now technically this is a meal unto itself, but I was looking for a little flair here. I could have just beat this can against the pavement and feasted on what squirted out, but I'm civilized. I wear ties with short-sleeve shirts and say things like "hello" and "I don't smell anything" when I'm in public -- I'm a decent guy. I needed more. I was going Dollarama gourmet up in this bitch. Plus this was on the next shelf.

Good God, is this life in Canada? That's a liter of gravy in a box (litre, as the box says). Or poutine sauce, if you want to be technical. It says it's a value pack, so you know this is a good deal if you need a large quantity of salty brown in your diet. Like you could get a few smaller packs, but what are you, dumb? Get this one, it's $2. That's 25 cents per shame level.

I had no fries or cheese, nor would I eat either from a dollar store, but I figured gravy goes on anything, so this purchase couldn't be considered a mistake. That's what I thought, anyway. But of course gravy is only a garnish. You need more to make a meal. You need mandarin orange slices, deviled ham, and sardines.

For scientific purposes, I sampled each separately, and I can assure you I loved it as much as you do at this very moment just looking at those delectable images. Well, that's not fair -- the oranges were actually alright. The deviled ham, however, was clearly poorly disguised cat food for a pet that you at best feel apathy toward and at most want dead in a slow, colon-shredding demise. The sardines I think might be from a factory where the mob makes people who don't pay their debts disappear. Time to make a stew!

How about that, huh? The bowls were four for $1, too; I felt that was a pretty smart purchase. I left them in my hotel room, incidentally. Made some housekeeper's day.

So we've come to the crescendo of my gastronomic sonata here, and I imagine you'd like to know how I enjoyed this dastardly mess. The orange as I said was quite nice, although the thin brown poutine sauce, which isn't quite gravy so much as a film that coats your food in brownness, distracted from it. It was like eating wax lips. It's not food, why are you doing this?

The cat food was neither improved nor damaged by the poutine gravy. It existed beyond such human ideals in the nether realm of objectionable flavors one finds in their mouth when they wake up face down on the floor of a room they don't remember entering. The devil really had touched that ham, possibly with the tip of his penis, and he found it objectionable as well, so he banished it to Dollarama. I did not enjoy it and plopped it aside on a napkin. In Canada they call them serviettes. What a silly word.

I speared myself a ravioli that hadn't really made contact with any of the other bullshit I tossed into this bowl and took a bite. The microwave had seared the edges to a rubber cementish consistency, while the inside, which if you recall was an alleged beef product, felt a lot like oatmeal that maybe someone sat on. Not once, but as a habit. This was sittin' beef. The flavor was salt and the hazy remembrance of a tomato, now little more than a sodium brain fart with mild acidity. It was the flavor of all canned pastas that you cook in the microwave: consternation and that feeling you get when you think you have to go to the bathroom and then it suddenly goes away.

I didn't finish eating this meal of mine. It was shitty. It was a shitty meal from a shitty dollar store. Instead I ordered pizza from a nearby Canadian pizzeria that gave me two medium pizzas with wings and two Cokes for only $19.99. Good deal, Canada! I ate it for two days. I regret nothing.

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Felix Clay

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