This piece is from yesterday's Critic's Notebook :
The pretend eaters who amused me the most, though, were the skinny men and women who had developed a whole theatrical routine — a pantomime of gluttony — to obscure their asceticism. It wasn’t enough for them to be thin; they had to pretend that it was a fluke of metabolism, magical and effortless.
My friend A. was like that. I told her that we were going to a new steakhouse in Brooklyn.
“Steak!” she exulted. “Excellent! You’re too good to me!”
Reading the menu, she homed in on what promised to be the heftiest cut of beef: “Can we get the porterhouse for two? Oh please, oh please! And the fries? I’m dying to try the fries.”
We got the porterhouse, we got the fries, she loaded up her plate, and then she commenced such frantic knife and fork movements that a veritable cloud of dust rose around her — I was reminded of a Road Runner cartoon.When the dust settled 15 minutes later, I took a close look at her plate, and almost nothing was missing. The food had just been reconstituted and rearranged, a Picasso of its former self.