business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Sometimes, a story just shouts out to be converted to an "Eye-Opener."

Like the piece yesterday in the Daily Beast about new anecdotal evidence that men and woman actually do have different eating habits.

It seems that women on death row, when they have to choose their last meal, are far more likely to include fruits and vegetables in their chosen menu than men.

"The last meal is a strange cultural custom and a hell of a one-two punch for any prisoner," the story says. "First, the state makes a rare display of generosity, often procuring a mélange of favorite items for the prisoner from various restaurants. Then it insists on a syringe for dessert.

"But as archaic a practice as it is, the last meal provides us with a fascinating glimpse into the appetites of the world’s most dangerous people, women included. Last meals reveal gendered differences in culinary indulgence that persist even in the face of death. It’s no secret that men and women eat differently, but it is remarkable how true they stay to their habits with just one meal left to savor."

In fact, "two of the 15 women who have been executed in the last 40 years have even selected meals entirely composed of fruits and veggies."


"Christina Marie Riggs, executed in Arkansas in 2000 for the murder of her two children, feasted on a supreme pizza but also asked for a salad and pickled okra. Teresa Lewis, executed in Virginia in 2010 for murdering her husband and stepson, ate two fried chicken breasts, but didn’t forget to request sweet peas on the side.

"You might think that women on death row would finally throw caution to the wind in the hours preceding death. Not so."

Compare that to a couple of men: "Gary Carl Simmons Jr. - who was executed in 2012 after dismembering a man in 1996 - ordered a Pizza Hut supreme deep dish pizza, a family size bag of Doritos, two large strawberry milkshakes, two cherry Cokes, a super-sized order of McDonald’s fries, and two pints of strawberry ice cream, along with sides of parmesan cheese, nacho cheese, ranch dressing, and a side of jalapeños." Or David Thomas Dawson, executed in Montana in 2006 for murdering three out of four members of a family in their motel room, who "requested two double cheeseburgers, two orders of fries, a half-gallon of vanilla fudge ripple ice cream, and two bottles of Dr Pepper."

As I said, an Eye-Opener.
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