In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, MREs—meals ready to eat, reserved usually for our fighting men and women—were handed out to survivors. However hungry, New Orleanians, blessed with some of the world's greatest restaurants, must have been appalled. This must have come as a kind of unnecessary second blow. We received an MRE fromWeekly contributor and Slidell, Louisiana, resident Paul Brennan. He writes:
"If you open the pack, you'll find it has everything you could possibly want, from a chemical pack to heat the entre to a moist towelette for afterwards, everything you could possibly want except something worth eating.
"Consider the entre: Veggie Burger. Veggie Burger? It positively reeks of patchouli oil. Forget gays in the military: somewhere deep in the Pentagon's kitchens is a secret cell of hippies. Veggie Burger, indeed. This is a military meal! Shouldn't something have been slaughtered, shouldn't blood have been spilled? Clearly, this ain't kosher. Actually, it might be—though I'm not sure the anal-retentive holy men behind Leviticus ever contemplated the acceptability of Cheez Whiz. And there is Cheez Whiz within—military-grade Cheez Whiz.
"One note of caution: if this pack contains a brownie, do not attempt to eat it. Avoid prolonged contact with the brownie, and make sure to dispose of the brownie in a secure receptacle, where it can do no harm to others. The U.S. military has many stellar accomplishments to its credit—achieving air supremacy over countries that have no air force, providing props for Jerry Bruckheimer movies, etc. But for all its mighty resources and skill at doling out no-bid, cost-plus contracts, the military has not mastered the brownie."