In my dream I am entering a temple. Its ornate facCade and tall spires give me hope. I will find enlightenment here. I push open the massive door and enter. The door clangs shut behind me. I am in a dimly lit room with high windows that prevent the sunlight from reaching me. Despite the heat outside it is cool here. A security guard approaches. The temple has become a prison.
The guard tells me to surrender my pens and put my briefcase in a locker. I sit at a table. Guards and security cameras watch me constantly to prevent escape or theft. I realize that I am hungry. A young woman hands me a menu. The prison is now a restaurant.
"What do you want?" the waitress asks. The menu she hands me does not list food items, only the names of food creators—General Mills, Vlasic Foods International, Kraft Foods, Hormel. "May I suggest something local?" She pulls down a menu for Touch of the Bayou, Inc. It lists a series of categories, including the Bayou Magic brand. "Bring me some Bayou Magic, please," I politely request.
Soon a cart arrives laden with several boxes. My food must be inside. I open one box at a time—correspondence, reports, financial ledgers. In the last box are recipes. Gumbo. Crawfish étouffé. Jambalaya.
The waitress recommends Gumbo. She brings me a box filled with okra, cayenne peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and other primary sources of nutrition. After all this, I still have to cook my own meal.