by Nic Olson

The greatest loss of my young life.

It wasn’t when I lost my second favourite hat of all time in Wascana Park. It wasn’t when the Riders lost the Grey Cup in 2009. It wasn’t when my highschool soccer team got silver in provincials. It wasn’t when my best Korean friend who lost his fingers moved back to Korea to join the army.

R.I.P. PacMan Pie.

There was a piece of aluminum foil over his face. Before revealing PacMan’s skin disease, I lifted him up in the kitchen like a trophy in excitement for the greatest piece of pie I would ever eat. Like it was the greatest victory I’d ever had. Within seconds it became the greatest loss.

It was yesterday after supper. I went for a slice of pie only to find it was completely rooted with mould. When this happens with other foods I usually cut of the odd coloured spots and fork my way around to the freshest spots, manoeuvring around once founded fuzz and living bacteria creatures. When my bread goes mouldy I cut the mould spots out and eat a sandwich with a hole through the middle. I call them ‘Flavour Windows’. I heard somewhere that even if you cut off the visible mouldy spots, you are still going to be eating the mould, because the roots reach invisibly through the food. It is like popping the heads off of dandelions to make your backyard look better. Makes sense to me.

But I didn’t eat the pie this time. I couldn’t. There were too many foreign colours. Food that is fully mouldy is beyond my iron stomach’s abilities thus far, but I am bound to beat it with practice, and living as a poor man is the best practice. Train the gag reflex not to jump with mouldy bites or strands of hair in food and I’ll be able to eat like a goat; tin cans and old tires. Lots of fibre.

I had to have someone else throw out the pie. My eyes were moistening looking at half of a pie gone to waste. I will never be able to stomach the waste of food, especially not my last pie that I toiled over for hours. Especially not my friend.

Here is a photo of a good time we had together before his death. For obvious reasons I called him PacMan.

R.I.P. PacMan Pie.