No YOU Shut Up And Drive
Janis Hirsch illustration

Eating in the Car: Food always tastes better on wheels

By Janis Hirsch

Alice Waters says food tastes best when it’s fresh from the garden. Julia Child thought it wasn’t worth eating unless you used every pot in the house and cooked it in duck fat. Or what about those crazies who think that unless you’ve personally wrestled your dinner to the ground, skinned it alive and eaten a few of its organs tartare, it’s not worth eating?

They’re all wrong.

The very best way to maximize food enjoyment is to eating in the car, preferably on your way out of the grocery store parking lot. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’ll taste a thousand times better if you’re shoveling it in while dodging runaway carts in the parking lot. I’m always amazed when I watch a man take his groceries out of his shopping cart and put them in his trunk where they can’t be reached. How were these people raised?

I’m not saying I put my grocery bags on the passenger seat next to me. Where’s the sport in that? I – and all women, let’s face it – put the grocery bags on the back seat because I’m not hungry, I can absolutely wait the ten minutes until I’m home and besides, I just had the car washed. So I put my groceries on the back seat because God forbid I stop short, I can catch the eggs before they break. Even when I haven’t bought eggs. But the simple act of putting my Prius in reverse changes everything.

Reverse = must eat now.

I realize some women may rifle through their bags as they load them into the car so that the most snack-a-licious of them is in front and on top. That to me is a rookie move. I like to wait until I’m backing out, then I twist my right arm to such an unnatural angle that if a guy found himself in this position, he’d hack his arm off with a pocketknife.

Once I’ve got my Cirque du Soleil arm behind me, I flail around in the various bags trying to feel my way to heaven. And because my arm is so twisted, I begin to lose feeling in my fingers making it really hard to distinguish between a box of low-salt saltines and a plastic take-out container of cold sesame noodles.

When I land on the low-salt saltines – which should probably be called “tines” don’t you think? — the challenge then is opening them while trying to get across three lanes of traffic into the left turn lane. And forget the “easy open” tabs; they require my reading glasses and, oh yeah, a PhD in Applied Engineering. Which is why I pretty much rip the box (any box) down the middle like a bear eating a lobster.

I once saw a woman leaving the supermarket while attacking a can of tuna with a Bic pen. A tip o’ the hat, my friend.

Share This:

7 Responses to “Eating in the Car: Food always tastes better on wheels”

  1. ilona saari says:

    LOL – for me it’s Reduced Fat Cheez-Its! I think opening the box, then the slippery wax papery bag they’re in while driving your car should be an Olympic event. I’m sure I’d get the gold.

  2. Maris Clement says:

    That Janis is one funny woman. She’s bringing a long hidden truth into daylight. C’mon, who among us hasn’t indulged in a little car eating. IT would be difficult to count the number of Twix bar wrappers at the bottom of my purse. All f them eaten gleefully while driving, they’re very neat.

  3. marta gardner says:

    I totally needed Janis’ apron/rain slicker trick when I succumbed to a Haagen Dazs ice cream bar driving down the 5 through the Central Valley in August.

  4. gemma corfield says:

    I was crying with laughter. In my Ford Hybrid Escape I get the food stuck down the sides of the seat and the central console on a little ledge that must have been designed as the crumb catcher …. a month later you spot a wizened edamame pod (“hmm wonder if that’s still good”). In my previous car, a Lincoln Aviator, I would constantly loose cds, pens, usb drives, hair scrunchies, money etc down that rubber opening by the gear stick, never to be found again. I would always wonder when one lost item would cause an electrical short and zap me in the seat! And what about the times when the lid of your homemade smoothie or coffee cup comes off and
    liquid pours all over you, down that bottomless hole and down between the legs, puddling on the seat … and you don’t have any wipes! You verbalized so perfectly what we all go through … and that part about dusting off the crumbs on arrival – chances are, if you remember your chest, you’ll forget the ones in your hair and on your face! I think my most challenging car feast was a baked potato with broccoli and melted cheese that I ate with my fingers, while driving (of this I’m not proud).
    Priceless, well done Janice!

  5. Janis,
    Keep the humor coming. Hilarious article and fun website. I see myself in many descriptions-especially the coffee dribbler. I wonder how the woman eating tuna with a bic pen got the can open in her car. Clever girl.

  6. D.G.Fulford says:

    Ms. Hirsch,
    Have you ever tasted the chocolate chip scones from Trader Joe’s? They come three to a pack ( a stack ) in a plastic bag . An adhesive white band clamps the bag closed. Removing this band should only be done in a surgical setting, as it has been taught by generations of adhesive white bands hold on tight and nevah, nevah , nevah let go. I operate anyway, in a hospital white PT Cruiser, and generally get to the scones ( trapped miners) by the time I hit the main road home. ALLLL gonnnne. A driving / eating tip? Buy three bags. You’ll have the best weekend of your life.

    I enjoy your blog muchly and can’t wait to see more…

  7. Laurie Armstrong says:

    Back in my wilder days, I managed to pour Diet Coke from the jug into my Big Gulp cup while smoking a cigarette (not ‘ny more) and driving my Pinto down Highway 99. Ah, good times.

Leave a Comment