Hook Goo (Hook) – Belinkie
Peter Banning, née Pan, has only three days to recapture his lost youth and innocence. And at the end of his first day, after being subjected to a humiliating training montage and tossed out of a giant Wile E. Coyote-style slingshot, he’s still a grumpy old grownup. Now all he wants is a good meal. But it turns out that the Lost Boys survive entirely on imaginary food. They chow down from empty plates, while Peter watches miserably.
And then, a breakthrough! Peter’s rival Rufio starts tossing insults across the table. And reluctantly, the old man is goaded into responding. (Although I’m not sure how being a “near-sighted gynecologist” is an insult.) Peter gets more and more into the schoolyard name-calling, and eventually picks up an empty wooden spoon and gleefully flicks it in Rufio’s direction. To everyone’s surprise, Rufio is hit by something I will call Hook Goo.
I think it’s important to note that at no point do we see anyone consume the Hook Goo. They eat everything else on the table, but the Goo is only thrown. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s there for. The Lost Boys are living embodiments of Fun, and Imagination, and above all, Play. I bet they never have a meal without a food fight, and so naturally their table is liberally stocked with the perfect ammunition. The Goo is sticky and thick, so it clings to your target. It is brightly-colored, so it stands out against their earth tone clothes. It is, literally, the best food fighting food one can imagine.
One could even argue that technically, it doesn’t belong on this list, since we have no proof it’s edible. But if the Goo is not, in fact, a food, than what happens in Hook is not, in fact, a food fight. And that scene is one of the main examples in Wikipedia’s “Food fight” entry. And Wikpedia is never wrong. So logically, the Goo must be a food, as well as an excellent way to melt away a disillusioning adulthood and jumpstart your inner child. Bangarang.
“Drink Me/Eat Me” (Alice In Wonderland) – McNeil
From The Matrix to Jefferson Airplane to the tattoos on that girl you liked in high school drama class, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland may be one of the most influential works of literature of the last 150 years.
How interesting, then, that the book’s first chapter ends with a simple message: Drinking makes you smaller, cake makes you bigger. The first heroine that most girls in the English-speaking world discovered begins her magical adventure with questions of body image and alcohol consumption.
Having reached the bottom of the rabbit hole, Alice finds herself in a dismal hall full of locked doors, looking through a tiny portal into a magical garden she is too big to reach. “How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains.” But she can’t. She’s too fat. What to do?
Fortunately, there’s a bottle on hand, and instead of nutritional information, the label simply says “Drink me.”
“Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
“‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice,” having polished off this masterpiece of mixology. Alice drinks, and immediately looses a ton of weight. Had she not forgotten her keys (a common issue with those who drink anything put before them), she would have been the perfect size to waltz right into Paradise. So Mr. Carroll offers us this moral: drinking = tiny = getting what you want.
Drinking may be the answer to life’s problems, but Mr. Carroll has another equation for his young readers. Alice finds another helpfully labeled item, “a very small cake, on which the words ‘EAT ME’ were beautifully marked in currants.” We’re talking about a tiny bite of dessert here, a dessert made with fruit, no less, and yet upon eating it, Alice immediately balloons to a gargantuan size, crying “‘Good-bye, feet!’ (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight).”
And at her new massive size, Alice begins to cry gallons of tears which form a pool in which she nearly drowns. You can see this reenacted on any episode of The Biggest Loser.
Cake = becoming giant = drowning in your own tears. Is there any wonder that anorexia affects hundreds of thousands of women in America?
So Mr. Carroll’s magic foodstuffs, perhaps the first fictional food encountered by many children (at least before Harry Potter), tell us that drinking will make us happy while eating food will kill us. Mr. Carroll is, in every way, responsible for this: