It began a while back, during my grocery trips. In one of the latter isles, there were two shelves of SPAM, markedly different to anything else on the row because of its dark blue can and, of course, the word SPAM pointing out to you as if it had been cloned and put into a bad horror film. You know the kind: small village, freaky children, axes to the back. Just swap out children and put cans of SPAM in it and you've got a flick. Anyhow, to tell you the truth, it looked as if no one actually bought the SPAM, since the shelves had a rather unchanging look to them. Still, the first couple of times I noticed--I can be horribly absent minded and easily distracted, so it took me some time to notice that there was SPAM--I found it funny how it never changed; but after the humour there was, as I went back, a strange pull, magnetic, really, to the cans, and it came with the desire to buy one. Still, for the longest time, I figured I didn't need to buy it, though the can was certainly starting to look inviting. Hypnotic, even. Blue. It was very blue. When was the last time I'd bought a blue can of meat? But I'd had SPAM before. It was an awful meat like product in a can that was kept in fallout shelters and eaten after you had eaten all the people in the shelter with you, and perhaps your limbs.
It'd been a while and that can was very blue.
Another week would pass, and the cans were there, still, silent, and blue.
Seriously, though, I said as I stood in front of it, had I eaten it? Could I remember the taste? Was there a taste? It wouldn't end up like devon, would it?
(As a kid I'd had a bad experience on a school camp with devon. I can't eat it still. My friends, who were on that camp with me, can't eat devon either. In fact, for all I know, the manufacturing of devon had to stop due to that one camp, which destroyed such an awful lunch meat for a generation.)
Either way, I did what we all know I was going to do, and bought it.
I had half expected the can to be covered in dust when I pulled it out, but it wasn't. It lacked--somewhat curiously--a used by date, but I had gone as far to pick it up, so all I had to do now was pay for it, and take it home. Despite myself, I did this, and when I mentioned it to my friends, they stared at me. SPAM, they would say, as if I had dropped the final bit of culture I had left. Undeterred, I tried to convince others to eat some, in fact, but I was threatened, ignored, and once told about something called Squirrel Puke. Obviously, I was on my own when it came to the meat like product in a can. Fair enough. I didn't need them anyhow. In fact, I discovered that there were a lot of SPAM related recipes out there, and I was tempted to go wild with it, but I figured that I'd do it the way you're supposed too and eat it as it came out of the can. That, incidentally, was as a solid rectangle of pink meat that did not look particularly appetising.
Indeed, it was not.
It was quite awful, actually.
SPAM, I decided, was not meant to be eaten raw. Unless you were lost in the desert, perhaps, and you had to hunt wildlife to get buy, and after you'd killed the vultures all that was left was cans of SPAM, then you'd take it, rip off the lid, and pull out that chunk of meat like product.
Still, I was adamant, so I fried up the pan, and threw it down.
Cooked, SPAM tastes a little like sausages and bacon mixed together, and isn't that bad, I decided. At least, until I had the after taste of it in my mouth for a day and no amount of brushing could quite get rid of it...