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From Pascal to Augustine

Have you snacked on a good book lately?

While browsing a bookstore, a parable came to mind. I was on my way to eat at a friend's house, a gourmet cook of nouvelle cuisine: she made exquisite food, beautifully presented, but usually not enough for my appetite. Those delicious little servings mocked me.

I had missed lunch that day and was ravenous as I made my way to her new address. The directions weren't clear, and I was having a hard time finding the house.

Famished and lost, I kept driving by a hot-dog stand. The aroma had the same effect on me that the sirens of the Greek myth had on the hapless sailors in their waters. I didn't merely want a hot dog, I needed a hot dog. I reasoned, she never serves enough food anyway. Why not have a snack to hold me over until I get there?

I stopped. But what to order? The menu was huge. I settled on a regular hot dog, a kraut dog, and a chili dog. They really aren't very big, after all. And what's a hot dog without french fries? A day without the sun, oatmeal raisin cookies without cold milk! ...

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