In recent months I have developed a food routine that combines nutrition, convenience, and extreme cheapness. I buy these boxes of pre-cooked frozen brown rice at Trader Joes. The rice comes in little baggies that you just pop in the microwave for 3 minutes. Dump on some black beans, throw in some cheese and a little hot sauce, and you got yourself a stew goin'.

Nevermind the ominous, rumbling thunderheads of gas this diet produces�beans and rice are really good for you!

Unfortunately, these brown rice boxes are so popular that Trader Joes is incapable of keeping them in stock. They've been missing from the shelves for weeks now, and I've been forced to switch to flax pasta and eating out way too often. Which, I have to admit, does make me feel less like a P.O.W, but it's also pretty draining on the pocketbook. Dammit, I can't afford to not live like a P.O.W!

So, I called Trader Joes and had them reserve a bunch of these rice rations for me, if they ever do come back into stock. I hunkered down on my floor and gnawed on a chicken bone for days. And then�.

Today! Today Trader Joes called me to let me know that a shipment has come in! A shipment of rice has arrived!

I swatted the flies out of my face, threw on my loincloth, and ran barefoot to Trader Joes, where I stood in front of the doors leaping up and down and waving my arms and shouting until they tossed the rice down to me from their trucks.

Food! I have food! Perhaps I will survive the winter afterall!

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