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An Outraged Diner Emails the In-Vitro Café

Beaker meat with face of Marcel DuChampsFrom:
Subject: Suing your restaurant

Dear Proprietor,

My wife and I managed to get a table at the grand opening of your establishment last night, and we regret our effort.

We are both conscientious eaters, so the idea of dining on in-vitro meat that was grown in a lab appealed to us. We believe that no creature should be slaughtered for our own pleasure, so we have not eaten meat for years. In short, we were thrilled to hear about your new enterprise and we wanted to support it. Even the high price tag and “mysterious” nature of your menu could not put us off.

We were not even dissuaded by having to sign a non-disclosure agreement before dining.

The menu — which I will get back to in a minute — was quite delightful.


The celebrity-named dishes were whimsical and amusing. I was quite tickled by your dish called Six Cream Cheese of Kevin Bacon, ostensibly an entrée with lots of cream cheese and mock bacon, while my wife was charmed by Lady Gaga’s Crazy Legs — some kind of ersatz chicken drumstick recipe.

That was, until we learned these were not, in fact, Frankenpork and tank poultry we were eating, but the cloned meat of the actual celebrities themselves.

You seemed quick shocked when a number of your clientele regurgitated their Muscles from Brussels (I now understand that was not a typo), or their Jack Lemmon Meringue Pie, or whatever they had ordered from your ill-conceived and possibly illegal menu.

You should have expected it.

I will concede my Angel Hair Pasta, Con Angelina Jolie was delicious. I thought I was ordering a kitschy-sounding entrée, and I did not believe for a minute I would actually be consuming the meat from said actress. Yes, she was delicious, not only in the visual sense, but also to the taste. There was a lingering sweetness to the dish, and you did something quite remarkable with the sauce. But that is beside the point; I was tricked into eating another human being!

I’m sure there will be a certain segment of the population that will enjoy consuming their favorite celebrities, and not just in the metaphorical sense that we do now. In fact, given our culture’s obsession with fame, I predict your enterprise will be quite successful. And this is to say nothing of the deviant souls who will spice up their night out with the ultimate taboo, without the fear of legal repercussions.

You, however, can look forward to a prolonged entanglement in the courts.

Even though your menu does not serve actual human flesh, but rather, tissue grown in a lab, it is still, in the opinion of my wife, myself and my attorneys, cannibalism. How you ever managed to get the local health authority to allow anthropophagy in a licensed establishment, I will never know, but rest assured, this issue is one of the avenues my legal team will be pursuing.

And though he is infamous, I don’t know what you were thinking when you put the Hitler Fusion Stir Fry on your misguided bill of fare.

That, sir, is just offensive!


P.S. We left before I had a chance to try the Marcel DuChamp Banana Flambé, but I am curious, how does one cook a Dadaist for dessert?


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Alltop loves a little frankenpork. Originally published by Defenestration Literary Magazine, 2010.