Enjoy your lavish 38-cent lunch…move along…

June 6, 2008

spices-140.jpgThis story puzzles me. A rich 80-year-old widow spent thousands of dollars on a “feast” for 100,000 people, hoping it would please the gods and open the doors of heaven for her. Our story says she spent $37,500 on the lunches.

For starters, there’s the math. It looks to me like she dropped a measly 38 cents per person. Hard to believe that counts as a feast, much less justifies the word “lavish” that local officials used to describe it.

Then there’s the theology. When you’re outside heaven trying to get in, you want a better argument than just, ”Well, I recently bought lunch. Especially in light of that 38-cents figure, which didn’t allow for many hot hors d’oeuvres, festive cocktails or molten double-chocolate desserts.

This gesture could work against her. If some of her lunch guests get to heaven ahead of her, they’ll be all like, “We sure hope the food here is better that what we got from that old widow-lady! We never want to see her again!”

feast-300.jpgApparently not the same meal… Spices are kept in containers during the making of a traditional Kashmiri feast in a 2007 file photo.   REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli

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9 comments

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Sounds like sound math to me! If I were among her pantheon of gods, my first question would be, “So what’s for dinner?”

No one is going to question your math ability, but I do feel you are missing a very important fact. We are talking food cost here, which is a great deal different from saying “.38 per person”. Also, we are talking about India here. Most dishes are going to be big meals that feed alot of people at one time, we are not talking about a fast food chain that gives an individual burger, fries, and a coke. .38 cents per person in food costs is not that far of a stretch for something that will be ‘lavish’ for the impoverished.

Posted by james | Report as abusive

I don’t understand what’s so “puzzling” about any of this.

“For starters, there’s the math.”

1. $37,500 goes much further in India.
2. Buying in MAJOR bulk = MAJOR savings.
3. Most of the world survives on less than $1/day.

“Then, there’s the theology.”

Er, *whose* theology? “Heaven?” I HIGHLY doubt this woman is a Christian. She is most likely a Hindu. Hindus do not believe in “Heaven” in the Judeo-Christian sense. They do, however, believe in Nirvana, reached via many reincarnations. In order to progress along the path toward Nirvana, one must accumulate merit. Feeding the poor is a time-honored means of accumulating merit.

I think that about covers it.

Posted by Nesta J. | Report as abusive

Should we propose an introduction of the widow to Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Might save Maricopa county a few pennies!

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

In response to some of the math wizs in this forum:

Before the smart ass comment about the math, you should get a real perspective of the world.

38 cents is about 16 rupees in India. And if you consider the economies of scale of feeding 100K people, this money will give a sumptuous meal in rural India.

You can bet that the quality of food will be much better than your typical 500 cent meal at McD in the US.

Finally, what makes you think that you are qualified enough to question someones beliefs?

Even if you ignore the motive behind the deed, 100K people is a large number of people to benifit that ANY religion would say it is a worthy cause.

How many strangers in your whole life have you fed ?

Finally, dont forget that the number system (not only the zero) you use orginated in India.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

All I know is the Whoopie Goldberg can better contain garlic powder.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

As long as Cook-aid is not on the menu.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

So I’m sensing that this lunch gave everyone the energy they needed to make their own dinner?

Heck, I could probably feed 100,000 vegetarians with $37,500 in Canada. Beans and rice are a lot cheaper than meat, and spices in bulk are incredibly cheap.

This woman did good.

Posted by Charlene | Report as abusive