Hope you all are having a wonderful day. Another challenge from the Daily Post. Here’s the description: “Are you ready to spin a good origin tale? This week, we ask you to invent (or reinvent) a creation myth.” And here’s the link to the post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/in-the-beginning/
Challenge accepted! Let’s kick it! >:)
The Legend of Spam Musubi
Waves crashed behind him as he made his way out of the water and onto the sandy shore. The sun beat down on his ‘brows, with thin streams of perspiration trickling down the back of his neck. He was tired, he was famished. He hadn’t eaten in over forty-eight hours. All of his rations had been thrown overboard by the storm the night before, and so he had absolutely nothing.
His legs gave out and he fell, face first into the gritty sand. He could feel his heart palpitating erratically; the hunger was taking its toll. With the last of his energy that he could muster, he lifted his head and saw…seaweed.
Seaweed. He could make something out of that. Or he could just take it and munch out it, right here, right now and not give a damn that it wasn’t sanitary. He was so hungry. Slowly and shakily, he lifted his arm and closed his hands around a sample of the algae.
He heard the crunch of graveled sand nearby. Footsteps. He lifted his head further; it was a woman. She looked about his age, and in her arms she was carrying a bag of rice. He wanted to say something, but his voice failed him- he was just too weak.
“Are you okay, mister?” And when he could no longer handle it and let his face fall back into the sand, she dropped the bag of rice on the ground and rushed over to help him up. She grabbed the rice with the other arm as she used the other to support him. She walked slowly as he took tender, shuffling steps, away from the beach, away from the water.
The woman brought him to her house and ordered him to sit down at the table. She poured him a cup of tea and went to prepare the rice for cooking.
“What brings you here?” she asked, sitting down across from him after she finished with the rice.
He took a sip of tea, making a face as the hot water scalded his lips. He put the cup back down on the table.
“I have been at sea for three months, shipwrecked for forty-eight hours. I was sailing to a nearby ship for work as a cook, but the storm caught me and left me boat-less. All of my valuables were lost on that boat.”
“What did you lose?” she asked, curious.
“My rations, everything,” he sighed, rubbing his temples with his palms. He shook his head. “Things were going so well before then…alas, no.”
Silence. The rice was ready. The woman got up and tended to the rice. She scooped some into two bowls, came back, and handed one of them to the man. He thanked her, and took a bite. Suddenly, he had an idea: he took the seaweed that he had been holding in his hand all of this time and added it to the rice. He took another bite. Delicious.
The lady looked at him quizzically.
“Is that from the ocean?” He nodded. She smiled, amused. He offered her some; she took it. She took a bite, and her eyes widened; she nodded in approval.
“You know what else can make this better?” she asked him.
And by some cosmic revelation, they spoke simultaneously:
What started out as a bowl of oddly-mixed ingredients soon became the talk of the town. The man and the woman began a business together, selling this dish from the window of the latter’s kitchen, day after day. The townspeople purchased and savored the melodic blend of salty, umami, carb-loaded goodness.
Then one day, the man was rushing out from the bathroom and into the kitchen, having overslept and needed to prep the food for the upcoming rush hour that day. The woman had cleaned the floors the day before, and so the man without warning slipped and fell smack-dab on top of the ingredients that the lady had so neatly laid out for him. She ran into the kitchen after hearing the commotion.
“Are you okay?!” she cried, helping him up from the mess. He had some rice bits stuck to his clothes and face.
“I’m good,” he replied, and noticed the now-mashed ingredients on the ground. He picked some of it up and, tentatively, took a bite. Slowly, he smiled and turned to his friend.
“I think I found a way to do away with bowls!” he proclaimed. The lady smiled; she knew exactly what he was thinking.
And thus spam musubi was born. This unassuming dish, consisting of only but a few ingredients, has become one of the most famous and celebrated dishes of Hawaiian cuisine, spreading to the rest of America and the world. All hail, King Spam!
– The Finicky Cynic