Condiments 101

Graduates of the class of 1999, by this time, many of you riding that high from graduation have probably already gotten your own apartment. If this is the case, then you are likely feeling the pride of being on your own. It's that certain little quiver in your stomach that says that you are absolutely starving, because you have forgotten how to feed yourself.Young singles, not unlike other human beings, have to eat. Despite your lack of skill, you can survive. Eating can be a manageable task as long as you rid yourself of the desire to taste anything. For you, eating will become a matter of life sustainment and not pleasure. You're best off to look at it this way from now on. With that in mind, there is probably quite a bit of nutritional value to be reaped in what you already have around the place.First, take a look in your fridge. Here's a scorecard for your fridge to test if you have the right food items:Score one point for every food item;If more than half of the food is in liquid form, deduct two points;If 90 percent or more of that liquid is alcohol, deduct four points, unless of course you are under 24 then add four points;If you can find one single, edible thing then you automatically score 10 points.A score of 10 or more for anyone under the age of 28 is exceptional.To make what you have go farther, employ the use of water. Water is the most unappreciated food supplement.It is almost free, and has the amazing ability to increase the volume of other foods.Say you are almost out of ketchup;just add water and, presto, you have more ketchup. Before leaving the house in the morning, float a cheerio or two in a bowl of water. When you come home, blammo, you have donuts. For a quick fix, pour a glass of water and drop a multi-vitamin inside. Suddenly you have nearly all the nutritional requirements of a meal. The only thing you are missing is protein.Protein, surprisingly, can be found in lots of things -- nuts, eggs, beans, fish. Since you won't have any of these things, here's a hint:Beer has protein. The only problem with this is that a bottle contains only about 1 gram of protein and the human body requires 30-40 grams daily.So, if you want to be healthy, start drinking first thing in the morning.And then there is one kind of food I cannot recommend highly enough -- squishies (things like peanut butter and mayonnaise are squishies). Although modern science has yet to discover this, there is probably an entire day's worth of nutrition in one tablespoon of a squishy.They also have great adhesive qualities, sticking any two foods together, except soup.Also in the pursuit of nourishment, you may consider alternative methods. Some of the most torturous things about living as a bachelor in an apartment building are the dinner smells that waft through the halls. Use them to your advantage. Open all the vents in your apartment and the front door. Now sit on the couch, inhaling and exhaling deeply. Employing the same principle as second-hand smoke, you should be able to eventually inhale an entire meal. A variation on this trick is to simply look at food. My girlfriend swears this makes her fat.The next survival method I recommend is fasting. Not only is it cost-effective, but an additional bonus to fasting is that it is a way to achieve spirituality. A friend of mine tried this and not only did he reach enlightenment, but he had enough money left over to buy a beer cooler.You'll figure out the finer points of single cuisine in time. For now, follow these directions and you, too, can get by on the condiments you find on any diner counter.Times will get tough. You may wince at the thought of eating another Top Ramen sandwich, but just repeat this mantra: "I am living on my own. I am my own boss. I can take care of myself." And then head over to your parents' house for dinner.

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