Last fall the U.S. Food and Drug Administration got a bit irked at a bakery that claimed “love” in the list of ingredients in its granola. The agency ruled that “human emotion cannot be listed as ingredients in baked goods.” This news blurb inspired me to write the following bit of flash fiction:
Melba was so mad she could spit. The friggin’ FDA had done it again, messing with her business! They’d made her pay for all the hash twinkees and Maryjane coconut snowballs she’d sold back in the 70s, but since her release from prison, Melba felt her efforts to go straight had been admirable. But no! They just wouldn’t leave her alone. Now they said she couldn’t put love in her muffins! Guess that meant she’d have to take the bitterness out of her sour patch lemon bars, and the pettiness from her petit fours. It would pain her to take the restraint from her vegan stroganoff and the self righteousness from her kale and chickpea stew. But when she was forced to leave the passion from her sausage and spinach three cheese lasagne, well, that would just tip the scale. Without the passion, a hunk of white flour pasta, beef tallow and melted cheese was nothing more than a cholesterol nightmare. It was only the passion that was inspiring her restaurant patrons to get up in the morning to make art, raise children, and serve the community. Once again the FDA was proving to be very short-sighted.
Well, Melba decided, she had to do something with all this anger that was bubbling up in her solar plexus. She got out her rolling pin and a big bunch of rhubarb.