Here’s a bit of background:
I originally wrote this as part of my application to NYU’s film school. They wanted a story about gluttony. I sent them a story about giant hamburgers in a Texas BBQ joint. I don’t know what they thought of it, but after choking in my interview, they wait-listed me and then accepted me a few months later. By that time, I was working in the Austin film scene and leaving to rack up huge student loan debts wasn’t so appealing anymore. When I finally did go to grad school at UT, I rewrote the story into its present state for a writing seminar. The teacher, a serious and talented writer named Zulfikar Ghose, asked me to read this to the class at the end of one meeting. I read it, wondering why he had selected this one. By the end, everyone was laughing and Ghose was in tears from laughing so hard. Over the next few semesters, it wasn’t uncommon to be approached by people who were in that class and would laugh when they saw me and reminisce about the day I made Ghose cry.