Desert madness manifests itself in many ways. Some bury themselves neck deep in the sand and drool. Others lose the ability to internally narrate. In our cozy group of four, however, desert madness took the form of wild and, at times irresponsible innovation in the s’more field, urged on in particular by one go-getter we’ll call Stew.
Stew is an active young man of about 22, and though I had only met him briefly before our trip, by the end of it I knew two important things about Stew: he’s hungry, and he never settles for second best. Whereas I always leap at the chance to settle, Stew refuses to even look at the second tier of life.
This is a man that used to drink multi-thousand calorie protein shakes before bed in high school in order to put on weight. Wait! Can you hear that? It’s the gooey sound of millions of dieting men and women exploding from rage. Eighty percent of his conversation revolved around things he had once eaten, liked to eat, or was planning on eating very soon. While listening to his culinary fantasies, one was also drawn into his passion and shown an eatable world of which only geniuses and madmen could conceive.
Since we are real, red-blooded Americans, each night we would crack open a couple bags of marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate, and graham crackers and get our s’more on. The first night passed quite lamely, featuring the usual discussion about how we like to roast our mallows: charred or golden brown and melted all the way through, etc. And just when I had accepted this level of normality, Stew remembered there was an unopened jar of peanut butter sitting on the sand. He hatched a plan, and then the magic began.
The next three nights were a kaleidoscope of different, almost unimaginable combinations of peanut butter, chocolate, marshmallow, twinkies, jam, and both roasted and unroasted banana.
Stew would be silent, and then burst out with a statement like, “What if wrapped this twinkie in foil with chocolate and peanut butter and then roasted it? You know what? Yes! I’m going to do it. Yes.” Never have I seen such a go-getter. There was no delay between the formation of his food wishes and their realization. In one night he ate nigh on 10 twinkies, all prepared different ways. It was a wonder and a blessing to behold. Were I a business person, I would hire Stew for any job that I had, especially if it involved him walking around without his shirt on or grabbing pushups on the go, two things he also excelled at
I once even heard him utter the words: “I’m going to impregnate this marshmallow with chocolate and then roast it.” This is the kind of literary and functional innovation that has made America great. Thank you, Stew. You make me proud to be an American.