Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2004 / 22 Teves, 5764
Cheap eats in college? Use your noodle
If you are what you eat, we should probably slap a sticker on our
son that says, "Cook three minutes and stir occasionally."
He just moved home from college to begin a seven-month internship
and brought the entire contents of his apartment with him. The bulk of his
earthly possessions consist of Ramen noodles. We have enough Ramen
in our garage to bulk up a heavily populated Third World nation
The package boasts that "ramen noodles are versatile." Indeed they
are. College students have been known to use Ramen noodles for breakfast,
lunch, dinner, shampoo and conditioner.
If you have not experienced the culinary delight, imagine a box of
legal size envelopes shredded lengthwise (box included), curled and then
simmered in boiling water. Now add a lethal dose of MSG and you have the
full Top Ramen experience.
"So, you really like this stuff, huh?" I ask, lugging the third
box-full of pork flavored noodles into the garage.
"They're OK, but mainly they're cheap."
Ramen noodles are very cheap, which is why almost every college
student lives on them at some time or another. This is part of the college
education process. Learning how to be a poor college student prepares one
for graduating from college, taking an entry level job and becoming a poor
Ramen noodles are a poor man's bread and butter, or in this case,
wheat and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.. Ramen noodles were
advertised in a circular this week at 12 packs for a dollar. The thing is,
we don't need any more bargains on ramen noodles. What we need is a ramen
noodle buy-back program.
Naturally, since I drilled the kid on good nutrition as a child,
ramen noodles weren't the only thing he brought back from campus. He also
brought back two cans of generic hot chocolate mix and two large jars of
That loud rumble you just heard emanating from the earth's core
was the food pyramid crashing to pieces.
As far as household furnishings go, he hauled home a couch and a
bed. I took one look at the couch and kindly suggested we donate it to a
charity. He kindly reminded me that he bought the couch himself (a monetary
exchange valued at 100 packs of artificial chicken flavored Ramen). He
also said that it would be extremely difficult to find another just like it.
He had me there. I would be very surprised if I was able to walk
into a department store and find a bright green sofa with seriously frayed
cushions and a 20-year-old musty scent.
The garage is so jam-packed that all three cars must now sit in
the driveway. All we need now are those little colored plastic flags
snapping in the wind and signs in the vehicle windshields offering $2,000
rebates, 36-month warranties and a one-year supply
of artificial chicken flavored Ramen.
On rare occasions when the garage door is open, it makes for a
terrible sight from the street. The last time the door was up, the doorbell
rang and there stood a couple of kids in their early twenties, their arms
full of ramen noodles. They asked if I wanted to check them out or direct
them to a U-scan.
I smiled and said they could buy from me directly. "They're a buck
a pack," I said. There's more than one way to pay for that college tuition.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
© 2001, Lori Borgman
JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
01/02/04: 2003 boasted a cast of colorful characters
12/19/03: Hours at the stove, moments at the table
12/12/03: The way they dress, "boxers or briefs?" isn't a question
12/05/03: Hey, hey, we're the monkeys (or close enough)
11/26/03: Hardship? We don't know the meaning
11/21/03: Good kids! Wonder who raised them
11/14/03: Safety first, even when danger has passed
10/24/03: NFL fan learns to handle heightened sensations
10/03/03: Chipping away at misunderstood lists
09/26/03: Boundaries disappear, society pays the price
09/19/03: Easy (bike) rider
09/12/03: Got Mom?
09/05/03: S'Mores Maker threatens all we hold dear (and gooey)
07/25/03: Private journals, public records
07/25/03: Star appears bright-eyed, bushy-tailed
07/18/03: Girls pool talents for commercial success
07/11/03: Summer; the living is easy
07/03/03: Terrible twos make terrific workout
06/27/03: Emergency a matter of definition
06/13/03: A Father's Day roast for Mother Goose
06/05/03: Good examples of bad parenting
05/23/03: Faulty equations on the love calculator
05/16/03: Busted for Oreos!
05/09/03: Mom plus shipping equals excitement
05/02/03: Mom shudders at thought of the m-a-l-l
04/21/03: Mother Confessions
04/11/03: Husband snoring: Hit or mist
04/04/03: Flip flops hashed at the lunch table
03/28/03: Bare facts on protesters
03/21/03: Madonna: Like an Author
03/17/03: Mom develops rapport with son's answering machine
03/07/03: The call for courage
02/28/03: My relationship with Mister Rogers
01/31/03: Mom pushes memories out the door
01/24/03: Picture this! Human 'beans'
01/10/03: Password, please!
12/31/02: Who it was a good year for
12/06/02: Radio show guarantees family-size audience
12/02/02: High-seas adventure would enlist few takers today
11/15/02: Frozen turkey makes cook chicken out
11/15/02: What's going on with "going out?"
11/01/02: The crazy mind of middle-age
10/25/02: Relationship rooted in willow talk
10/18/02: The challenge of being spontaneous
10/11/02: No wheels, no keys, no problem?
10/04/02: Lessons of a childhood survivor --- my children's
09/20/02: "Cutting the Cord" to the Tube
09/13/02: Over there
08/30/02: The Last One Left
08/23/02: Rare sighting made on the patio
08/16/02: Kids get reality paycheck
08/08/02: We look like this . . . no, Kidman!
08/02/02: We should be a nation of 'nuts'!
07/26/02: Hold your applause --- please!
07/19/02: Greed and Mints on the Pillows
07/12/02: Remodeling: Blueprint for Disaster
07/08/02: The Botox wrinkle
06/28/02: One perfect day
06/21/02: Flush with excitement
06/14/02: The Ways a Father Says "I Love You"
06/07/02: Garage Sale Treasures
05/31/02: No Pudgy Hour at the gym
05/19/02: Ozzy, if you come for dinner, bring change
05/19/02: Instant Messaging and LOL
05/10/02: Some mothers get something more
05/03/02: I Nudge, Therefore I Am
04/25/02: Motherhood is seasonal work
04/19/02: Paper trail to college
04/12/02: What to cook or not to cook
03/31/02: Mom and Dad Break Curfew
03/22/02: Introducing P.P.M. (Partners Per Month)
03/15/02: Birth of a Pothole
03/08/02: When Enron Momma gets mad
03/01/02: Little hope for bookaholic
02/22/02: Wrestling with prejudice
02/15/02: Say What?
02/08/02: Kitchen intelligence
02/01/02: Age-old words
01/25/02: Abortion: Switching Sides
01/18/02: Kids, take note
01/11/02: The heart-stopper e-mail
01/04/02: The slightly sunny side of 2001
12/28/01: The Way Things Work
11/30/01: The Leftover Shuffle begins
11/27/01: Glasses bring age into focus
11/16/01: A different portion of Thanks
11/09/01: The Next Stage of Parenting
11/01/01: Of boys and patriotism
10/26/01: College Son the Invisible Man
10/19/01: Out of the closet ... and into the school
10/12/01: A Parent's Guide to Dating
10/05/01: "Taking Care of You"
09/28/01: Time indivisible
09/24/01: Refueling capitalism
09/14/01: A time to mourn
09/07/01: Lack of modesty stirs the troops
08/31/01: Scholarship search an education
08/24/01: The test for parents
08/17/01: Immodest proposals
08/10/01: Trying to R-r-r-re-re-relax
08/03/01: It may be shabby and chic, but it ain't cheap
07/20/01: Bride showered with sage advice
07/13/01: Baby Bear Finds Driving "Just Right"
07/06/01: Pale at the Thought of Bronze
06/29/01: A Dog's Best Friend
06/22/01: Rethinking fatherhood
06/14/01 Don't forget to lock the door
06/07/01 How grandma punishes her kids
06/01/01 Hearing voices
05/25/01 Cyborgs for Better or Worse
05/18/01 The death of Common Sense