I'm gonna let you in on something: I'm broke. Not the kind of broke where I'll be gurneyed to Skid Row, but the kind of broke where I force myself to eat Wonder Bread and Carl Buddig lunch meat every day just to afford weekend dinner with friends. (Since when did $20 become the new $10?)
It's not all that bad though. It compels me to look through my food pantry more often. Tonight I found a can of Hello Kitty ramen, something I bought in Tokyo last year. The beauty of it is that it requires no heating. You eat it as-is, in room temperature. I haven't checked the facts but I bet you can take this can with you into the next millennium. The noodles are made of konnyaku -- also known as konjak, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, elephant yam, according to Wikipedia -- which has a firm, jelly texture so they never get soggy. There's also a few slices of bamboo shoot which probably stay "fresh" because the soup broth is thick with oil. (Think Exxon Valdese.) Yeah, sounds pretty gnarly, but it started selling in Japan to meet the demand of all those people too busy for real food. Just imagine those fanatic online gamers too caught up to leave their rooms, not even for a bathroom break. (I knew someone who ended up peeing in a jar, but I'll save that story for another time.)
So yeah, I've had better ramen. I slurped up a few noodles and then put it back in the fridge. I'll check up on it in a few weeks but I'm guessing it'll look the same as when I first opened it. What I probably should've done is put it in my earthquake emergency kit. Aside from being a great alternative to powdered mashed potatoes I bet it'd make an excellent cold-compress.