Reflections on Liquid Food and the Invention of Soupoline

Raph al Guul

He’s having the soup. I’m sorry, I should specify; Dan is having the soup. The guy who is having the soup is called Dan. That’s his name. Sorry. I’m having the cheesecake, mainly because I like that word. I don’t particularly like cheese, though I don’t dislike it, either. I just wanted to seize the opportunity to tell the waiter “I’d like the cheesecake, please.” Dan went “I’m having the soup,” and now he’s having the soup; the one they just call “the soup”.

Liquid food – genius! Dan is having the soup because there is no accurate way of describing what he’s actually doing with it. We know that you eat carrots and you drink beer. We even know that you sometimes lick ice cream and you snort cocaine. But soup… you just have it. Some people claim that the consumption of soup is an act of eating. Yet, Dan is not eating his. What he is doing looks suspiciously familiar. I have seen this before, yet something is off. It looks like Dan is drinking the soup. But that’s impossible – we all know that. Soup is not a beverage.

Then again, you could drink gasoline; that’s not a beverage, either. I wonder what it would be called if you’d pour the gas into a plate and transport small portions of the resulting “dish” to your mouth by the use of a spoon. “He’s drinking gas with a spoon.” – “He’s eating gasoline in a weird fashion.” – “He’s poisoning himself.” If someone were to actually do this, I bet people would come up with a term for it. Gasoup or soupoline would be the obvious candidates. And then people could say “Oh, they’re having the soupoline.”

And liquid food would continue to be had, it would continue to be indescribably consumed. I would imagine that there is a truly sad story behind the invention of soup; poor people who didn’t have any solid food, deciding to have some of their beverages in a fashion that can no longer be categorized as drinking. Those people could very well have been in too miserable a situation to recognize the gravity and genius of their invention. And they passed on their ignorance; Dan is having soup and he hardly even realizes it. He’s having it like it’s no big deal. But it is. This deal is quite oversized.

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