I assume a very low percentage of the readers of this column are on death row and so don’t have to come up with a menu for their last meal but, believe it or not, I have given it a lot of thought.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never spent one day in jail in my entire life – well, that’s not entirely true. I was put in jail on a third-grade field trip that was intended to scare me and my fellow juvenile delinquents into going straight.

I don’t know the rules as to what a condemned person gets to order, but I’m assuming it’s like everything else the government does – and the sky is no limit.

For appetizers, I’d like a platter of olives, sweet pickles and salami accompanied by a selection of barbecued linguica and sausage the Swiss/Italian ranchers in my area serve at their brandings. I’d also like a big silver dish of cold jumbo shrimp like the ones I once devoured at The Broker in Denver.

Another appetizer on my menu would be chips and salsa from the Mexican food restaurant on the east end of Gallup, New Mexico. I apologize for not remembering the name, but just ask the locals. They’ll know. And while they’re at it, have them send along a combo plate of a beef taco, beef enchilada with rice and beans along with a basket of their hot sopapillas with honey.


If you don’t know what a sopapilla is, you’ve missed one of the great delicacies in the world. In New Mexico, of course they’re going to want to know if I want red or green chile on my food, so just say “Christmas,” which is how New Mexicans order both red and green.

Now to some serious eating. I want a platter of chicken fried steak covered in white gravy, but it has to come from Texas, preferably from the cafe at the Producers Auction Market in San Angelo. This will be the only “chicken” served at my last meal. And what would a chicken fried steak be without the accompanying mashed potatoes, biscuits with real butter and green snap beans?

I want to wash it all down with a barrel of iced tea, Texas tea, which I’ve found to be far superior to any other. I got hooked on this nectar of the gods in Texas as a young man, and ever since it’s what I’ve used to toast great victories and wash down life’s troubles.

If my wife is still speaking to me, I’d want one of her filet mignons, broccoli with cheese sauce and a long loaf of bread dipped in real butter and liberally assaulted with garlic salt (Note to wife: This would be a good place to hide a hacksaw blade.)

To ensure I get my daily dose of protein, I’d also want a hamburger, preferably one with all the fixin’s from In-N-Out Burger or Fudruckers. If they aren’t near, I suppose I could settle for a Wendy’s cheeseburger. And a supersize portion of french fries, preferably from McDonald’s, thank you very much.

No doubt I’ll leave behind a friend or two who would air-freight me a heaping portion of Santa Maria-style barbecue with green salad topped with a heaping portion of Thousand Island dressing. (What do I care about carbohydrates?) I’d also want a dinner of fresh trout caught in a High Sierra lake with hush puppies on the side.

It would be preferable if I could actually catch the trout myself.

I’d top off my feast with a pan of berry cobbler, made by Joan Hardy, topped with a scoop (or two) of homemade vanilla ice cream. I’d want the cobbler served hot and the ice cream so cold it would give me a brain freeze and a good excuse to eat it slowly. Very slowly, as I’d be in no big hurry.

What a way to go!

Naturally, I’d have the world’s biggest case of indigestion and would normally top off my last meal with a jar of Maalox.

I’m assuming that won’t be necessary in this instance.  end mark