Bite Me: Food in Popular Culture

By Fabio Parasecoli | Go to book overview
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Of Breasts and Beasts
Vampires and Other Voracious Monsters

It is the very nature of this world that all things are devoured and time is a mouth as
bloody as any other.

Rice 2000: 292

Everything which is eaten is the food of power

Canetti 1984: 219

Imagine to find yourself traveling at the end of the universe, and to realize suddenly that you are starving. Where would you go? It is definitely not an easy situation.

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and
recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as
the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the
question How can we eat? The second by the question Why do we eat? And the third by
the question Where shall we eat? (Adams 1995: 215)

This predicament is the premise of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980), the second book in the series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, whose first installment has been turned into a movie in 2005 by Garth Jennings with a screenplay by Adams himself. Zaphod Beeblebrox, the twoheaded, three-armed president of the Galaxy, decides to take Arthur Dent, the only survivor from Earth, and the rest of his crew for a quick bite at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. What ensues deserves to be quoted extensively.

A large dairy animal approached Zaphod Beeblebrox's table, a large fat meaty quadruped
of the bovine type with large watery eyes, small horns and what might almost have been
and ingratiating smile on its lips.

“Good evening,” it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, “I am the main Dish
of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?” It harrumphed and gurgled a it,
wriggled its hind quarters into a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at

“Something off the shoulder perhaps?” suggested the animal. “Braised in a white wine


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Bite Me: Food in Popular Culture


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