Opening a can of TMNT Pasta from 1991.

I don’t know why I’m even bothering with an intro. You’re just gonna skip ahead to the rotten pasta. Hey, I don’t blame you. I’d do the same.


Behold, a sealed can of Chef Boyardee’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pasta, from 1991. Well, a formerly sealed can… DUH NUH NUH NUH NUHHHHH.

I have big collection of still-sealed Chef Boyardee cans, and I’m normally happy to leave them that way. But this one… this one was different. The gloppy pasta had clearly mutated, perhaps as a clever nod to the lean green fighting machines.

When I shook the can, I heard what sounded like a golf ball. Know that scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas, where Lucy keeps jingling her bootleg tip jar? This was the Frankenstein version of it.

The clinks and clanks pleaded for further inspection. I’ll never hear the song of the Sirens, yet I feel I already have.


The obvious and only response was to open the can. I was careful to use our “utility” can opener, which never goes near cans of still-edible things, and in fact isn’t even allowed in our kitchen. Or maybe this whole paragraph is a gigantic lie, and I just don’t want you to know that our everyday can opener is so unbelievably filthy.


The contents were strangely beautiful. Like a 2nd grade science fair project about gravitational collapse.

What was once 15 ounces of pasta had transformed into 3 ounces of concentrated rust. Visible traces of Ninja Turtles were frozen in action poses, like the Romans after Vesuvius blew.

I’ve opened cans of Chef Boyardee pasta that were even older than this one, but the damage had never been so severe. My best guess is that ol’ Boyardee used an extra acidic recipe on TMNT Pasta, which slowly ate through the aluminum to allow oxygen to seep in. Motherfucker so did that on purpose.


Performing an autopsy was easier said than done. I was eventually able to split the nugget in half, but it took a LOT of sawing.

To my surprise, the mass looked even more decrepit on the inside, vaguely resembling the charred remains of Aunt Beru.

As I stood outside trying to dissect 25 year old pasta with a half-broken steak knife, the associated shame was tempered by an odd sense of pride. This was a horrible waste of time by every objective measure, yet something that nobody else on the planet could’ve possibly been doing at that precise moment.

Conventional triumphs are beyond people like me, so we aim for uniquity. Were it not for the wild Snorlax that appeared in my neighbor’s bushes on Monday morning, this would be the highlight of my week.


Yes, I’m keeping it. Rare things are always treasures, even if they’re totally gross.

Anyway, that was my day. How was yours?