Snacks I Found

By Chris Sartinsky

Chris Sartinsky is a writer in the northeastern United States. One time he ate a nearly-full pasta dish of pudding at the dining hall because they were out of bowls, but it was too much.

I found maybe like 50 bags of blue corn chips on a big wooden pallet in the woods behind the highway rest area. I find a lot of snacks there. I think sometimes trucks are making deliveries and a box falls off the cart or whatever and a couple days later it’s still there when I’m walking through the woods to buy a Big Mac or use the big rest area toilets that never clog and flush as if with anger.

I don’t know anyone who likes blue corn chips except my friend Scott, who’s allergic to just about everything else, including whey, which is on a lot of things even when it’s not listed in the ingredients because, I’m told, they use it to lubricate the machines. So I brought the blue corn chips to his place. They were basically totally crushed to powder, but Scott said thanks, he’d sprinkle it on his salads.

I found a bunch of snack cakes in the same woods once. Off brand, Ringle Dingles or Dongle Boys or something, but they’re usually just as good as the real ones, and cheaper because they’re made from low ­quality ingredients like sugar sludge, which is the bad part of sugar that falls off conveyor belts in sugar factories. Most of the snack bags were still vacuum­ sealed, so they were fine, and the ones that were punctured had been coated in an interesting green slime, so I took those home too. I snacked on them for a while until the slime from the slime­ ones spread to a house plant and then to my sink, and a verdant green tangle of vines began growing out of my pipes and I had to throw the rest of the cakes out.

I found a sack of baby carrots down near the gravel yard by the Little League field. A big sack, three or four feet tall, too wide to get my arms around and too heavy to carry. I bungeed a wagon to the back of my old bike and pedaled them home. I stored them outside next to a broken air conditioner unit that was leaking Freon, which I thought would maybe keep them chilled. But in the morning I discovered a bunch of critters had chewed through the bag and gnawed on most of the carrots.

I grabbed my dad’s old shotgun out of the shed and filled a bucket with shells and ran back out and fired and reloaded and fired until the bucket was empty, and until the critters stopped moving and squeaking and eating my carrots. Red and black syrup from the critters pooled at the bottom of the sack and mixed with the splintery orange mush of the shotgun ­obliterated carrots. I threw the whole mess into the creek. A couple of critter parts had fallen out and lay astride the blackening trail that led from the AC unit to the water, but I left them there, as a warning.

I don’t know why I get so upset when critters get into my snacks, especially when it’s snacks I found for free. I just think it is wrong of them to take what belongs to man. Evil was born in the Garden of Eden, when Adam let a critter nibble on snacks from his trees, and as the Bible says, “it’s been all downhill from there!” God blamed Adam for that, of course, but it’s God who is to blame for me living in this humid place with its swarms of gnats and hordes of critters and toilets clogged with thorny vines that grow to the ceiling, and God will always take the side of the critters, because He was born a skunk.