In this planet of burgers and chicken dumplings, there are majorly two types of tummies.
One is the big tummy that can hold at least ten slices of pizza at a time, and the other is the small tummy – the one that belongs to your friend who always lets you have their share of the medium sized seafood platter. But like the underdog Swedish folk band that never draws your attention, there is another kind of tummy that is often ignored and not appreciated enough – the hoarder's tummy. People with such tummies are called food hoarders, and the only difference between them and the nice cow that lives in your village home is that hoarders can't store their food in their stomachs for later enjoyment. Instead, they hoard food in their pockets, purses and even under carpets.
As a newbie in the world of food hoarding, I'm still learning how to master the art of catching food and keeping them safe. Here's an account of one of my luckiest days as a food hoarder:
I wake up to Nirvana's Big Cheese and look at the burger shaped calendar to realise I have a social event to attend. To me, a social event means bigger bags, tastier food and too many good pictures to upload. Excited, I climb out of my bed, wear nice clothes and take a bite of the apple I left on the wardrobe last night.
I walk over to where I hang my bags and carefully choose the one with many pockets and chains. I secretly pat myself on the back for having such convenient and spacious bags which I can use to carry as many edible and non-edible things as I want.
I forgot to have breakfast but thank God for the muffins and bananas I got last night from Pinky's house. The social event starts at 9:30 am. Restlessly staring at all the people cursing the traffic jam that I too am stuck in, I bite on the muffin and pray to reach on time. What if I miss out on the early morning refreshments at the event? I carefully put the half eaten muffin in my bag as my backup, just in case.
Nope, I did not miss out on the refreshments. They gave us an orange, a sandwich and a juice pack. I had the sandwich and the juice but I saved the orange in my bag. It's always good to have a fruit after dinner.
The social event is going great and people are taking pictures and talking about big things and giant ideas. My professor told me to take as much as I can from this event and make use of it in my personal life. So, I can't wait to see what food items I can take with me during lunch time. After all, I have to follow my professor's advice.
I can't believe they set up a buffet. How will I carry a piece of Ilish in my bag? Or that crème caramel? Or even that chicken roast smothered in grilled onions and perfumed ghee? With a saddened heart, I fill my plate with each of the items on the buffet. There were around 25 items and I take two of each. I might not be able to hoard food this time but by all means, I will taste each of them.
There was a dry kebab on the menu. At the end of lunch, I looked at the person sitting next to me and said, “Oh I have eaten so much, what should I do with this?” He smiled and replied, “Why don't you just put it in that bag of yours? Could you please keep mine too? I'll take it from you after the event.”
I think I've just found my tummy mate.
My tummy mate and I sat side by side and enjoyed the rest of the wonderful social event. They promised they would let us out for a biscuit and tea break in an hour. We are both hoping that the biscuit would come in a small packet so that my tummy mate can keep it in his pocket and I can stuff two of them in my bag.
The event has ended. To our contentment, they provided us with packets of chips, biscuits and even candies during tea break. I took as many candies as I could when no one was looking. My tummy mate and I promised to keep in touch and said goodbye to each other. But as soon as I reached home with a heavy and full bag hanging on my shoulder, I received a call from him. “Hey, I forgot to take that kebab I kept in your bag this afternoon. Could you give it to me if I meet you in an hour?” – he said.
And in that moment I realised, whatever our hoarding tummies are made of, his and mine are the same.
Mashiat Lamisa is often seen frowning at the sight of people who dislike poetry and tomatoes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org