Don’t take a lifeboat to Thanksgiving dinner

When I ask thin people the “Death Row question” — what they’d request if they knew it was their last meal on Earth — most come up with very specific answers that would fit on a normal-sized dinner plate.

A real prison "Death Row meal request," re-enacted and photographed by James Reynolds and posted on this blog:

My dad, though, took more of an ala carte approach, loading up his imaginary plate with a seemingly endless array of favorite individual dishes, including three different desserts. He wanted one last taste of everything he liked, and the more he pondered the question, the more things he thought of.

If I were a prison warden, I’d call this “the lifeboat strategy”: Prisoners who seek to put off the inevitable as long as possible by orchestrating a meal that goes on and on and on.

On Death row, the lifeboat mindset is somewhat understandable — though you’d likely go out with either gastrointestinal distress or a nagging feeling of incompletion.

But you don’t want to take a lifeboat to Thanksgiving dinner. Especially if you’ve got more than one of those suckers to attend.

This is not, most likely, your last meal on Earth. If you don’t taste every single dessert in the lineup, there’s always next year. Or even the next day.

That pecan pie probably won’t be gone a few hours from now. And it would taste a lot better after a game of touch football.

Just remember: The more often you take a lifeboat to dinner, the more likely you are to miss out on even tastier dishes somewhere down the road.

Every year you cut off your life contains 365 uneaten dinners — including at least one Thanksgiving feast just like this one.

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