If you are a regular Burnt My Fingers reader, you’ve surely asked yourself this question at one time or another: Is it okay to eat in the car? Of course, we’re not talking about a handful of chips or nuts, but that bahn mi sandwich or sack of lengua tacos you planned to spread out on a table at home but it smells so good, right now.
Although I tear into most foods with atavistic vigor, I try to bring a little brainpower to bear on this conundrum. Instant gratification is great: I’m the kid that always chose one cookie now vs two cookies later in the Emotional Intelligence exercise. (If they weren’t so good you had to have them immediately, why would you want them?)
But I often like to adjust my foodstuffs once I get them home—add condiments, and so on. And it’s a more profound eating experience when you can concentrate on the food and not be distracted by the whizzing cars to your left and right and ahead and behind you (which you’re supposed to be paying attention to, actually). And the biggest concern of all: I might spill something on the floor and thus not get to eat the ultimate morsel of the meal.
I have a practical friend, an art director, who solved that last problem when she was spending many hours on the road visiting clients in Southern California. She put a great big honking beach towel in her car. Spread it out before you drive and all crumbs will be caught for examination at the next stoplight. And as a bonus, you don’t get grease stains on your pants or skirt—something that’s important to some people, though perhaps not to us.