Foodies, Frogs, & Flying

Did you know the average person spends 32,098 hours eating? That's about 5 percent of your life!

When you spend that much time eating, you might as well enjoy it — that's why I'm a foodie.

I don't eat just because I'm hungry; I eat because of my pure love for food. It's practically my hobby! But I'm also very lucky, because food is also my job.

The Frogman elder's webbed fingers met my palm like a wet towel smacking to the floor. We shook hands as he spoke: "So glad that you finally decided to visit here, Mr. Morrison." He peeled his hand off of mine and squinted up at me. "Our business is always excited for new visitors, and that newspaper you're writin' for is sure to bring more in, hmm? What is it, The Peculiar Post? Gosh, we'll make sure you walk out of here with a full belly!"

"Yes, of course." I nonchalantly wiped the slime clinging to my palm on my pant leg. Such a shame; all they wanted was the publicity. Critics should bring hopes for improvement — not more business.

"So," he said as we shrank down to the size of fleas. "The meal should be ready. And trust me — it'll be a good one!"

Everyone always said that. I smiled anyway — following him through the mossy set of double-doors. "I'm sure it will. So, what are we going to be eating today?" I asked as the Frogman and I sat down at a wooden table.

"Only the best dish we have to offer…" They paused for a moment, signaling to another Frogman behind them who quickly scampered out, set down two plates, and left. "Boiled caterpillar!"

I looked down at my plate to see a large fuzzy caterpillar that had been overturned and sliced in half. Its insides were a strange olive-green mush, which had been peppered with different seasonings and herbs.

"Oh my," I whispered, gulping. "Could I, uh, have a drink? My throat is a bit dry, I apologize."

"Ah, of course." The Frogman elder next to me set down his spoon and signaled to the waiter again, who quickly bought out two cups full of a cloudy, green fluid for us.

Against my better judgment, I took a sip. It was strange, a bit herbal — like a tea — but also… plain? "Oh, this drink is- uh- is really interesting, what is it?"

"Swamp water — without all the harmful things, of course," the Frogman replied.

I looked down at the murky drink in my cup. It couldn't be that bad for me if it tasted good, right?


Glancing back over to the Frogman, I saw them take their spoon, scrape it against the inside of their caterpillar, and scoop out its green insides. They admired it for a moment before licking their utensil clean and going in for more.

How the fuck could they eat that!? A caterpillar's insides, for godsakes! Caterpillars—

"Oh? You haven't eaten any of your food yet, Mr. Morrison. Something bothering you?"

Dammit. I snatched up my spoon, my hands shaking as I smiled and jabbed it into the bug. "Nope, I'm alright!"

The Frogman squinted at me before going back to eating.

Letting out a sigh of relief, I looked down at the caterpillar and pulled my spoon out. A bit of green mush clung onto it.

I could do this. I'd eaten much stranger things before, like cheese made from a wendigo's milk! But at least that looked normal…

To hell with it! I was going to enjoy this meal. So in spite of myself, I mentally prepared for the worst and stuck the spoon into my mouth.

Food In The Anomalous Community by Edwin Morrison
Volume 1

Today, at The Prosperous Frog, I ate one of the most compelling dishes I've ever had: boiled caterpillar.

The bug was presented to me on a simple clay plate in two halves — nothing too fancy. For being priced at four dollars, there was enough food that I could have ordered that dish to share with a friend and still had enough for leftovers. Accompanied by a cup of safe-to-drink swamp water, the meal was a stunning example of Frogman culture.

My only mistake was that I did not take a bite right away, for I was a bit repulsed by the concept of eating a giant caterpillar. Of course, it isn't every day that a human eats a bug. However, do not let that deter you, for it was an absolutely delicious meal.

The buttery, mashed potato-like flavor of the caterpillar made way for a complex and compelling aftertaste. Leafy, yet savory, it was an absolute rollercoaster of a dish, one that left me with little to nothing on my plate afterwards, all because I ignored my aforementioned repulsion.

But following the meal, I learned something quite interesting. The Frogman elder told me that years ago, their family did not eat caterpillar. Chefs worked mainly with 'exquisite' bugs, such as butterflies and ladybugs, and nobody would dare go near caterpillar. But one startup chef did. He opened a restaurant — The Prosperous Frog — that worked to incorporate caterpillars into the Frogman diet.

It was not well-accepted at first, instead reduced to 'that restaurant for Frogman commoners.' But the chef was happy, for he still got to cook.

As his restaurant grew, however, it began to attract attention. Tourists and critics such as I began to dine at The Prosperous Frog, and then they spread word of the new and mouthwatering culinary concoction: caterpillars. And suddenly, Frogman culture exploded. Much as lobster went from a poverty food to an exquisite dish in the US, caterpillars were suddenly in high demand from all social groups. While chefs have attempted to put their own spins on the dish, the boiled classic still sticks out amongst the crowd.

Still standing today, The Prosperous Frog is a stunning mark on Frogman culture, and a symbol that anyone can bring change.

I rate The Prosperous Frog 9.5/10, and I will definitely be coming back for more.

P.S. Take care if you have motion sickness; the entrance requires some rapid shrinking.

I typed out my last few words just as the airport's loudspeaker above me began to crackle on. "Gate 4B boarding for Portland, Oregon." Tucking away my laptop, I walked over to the gate and showed the attendant my boarding pass, who scanned it before waving me through.

This next destination was going to be quite interesting. I'd finally be able to learn about those Ways that everyone always talks about!

After rolling my luggage into the plane and stowing it above my seat, I sat back, relaxed, and got ready for my free refreshments. They are the best part of planes, after all.

P.P.S. The best plane snack (at least on United Airlines flights) is definitely the stroopwafels. I will defend this fact until the day I die.

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