I had never tried Ramen Noodles until Gladiolus from Final Fantasy XV told me to. I’d spent weeks hanging with my homies in that car. There may not have been any room in that meat mobile for a fifth in body, but I was that fifth in spirit. We were a crew.
So when Gladiolus decided to interrupt our save-the-world quest to enlist me in his side quest to create the perfect Cup Noodles, I figured it must be pretty important.
Lo and behold, it was. Doors beckoned, windows opened, birds sang. Ramen became a goal. Something I needed to experience. Up until that point Ramen was just a word that I acknowledged but had no actual concept of. Like ethereal. Still not sure what ethereal means, but I’ll get it one day.
There’s something humanizing about facing down a bison of a man with a mullet and an eight-pack poorly hidden behind a deliberately unbuttoned shirt while he talks endlessly about the positive qualities of Cup Noodles. But Gladiolus was not a talking head. He took the time to ask me what my favorite part was. Shrimp, Meat, Veggies. I’m not a heathen, I chose shrimp. Gladiolus agreed with me. And don’t bother telling me he agrees no matter what you choose, because you’re a liar. He agreed with me.
If Cup Noodles has the power to win that guy over. Fuck, take me too. Cup Noodles must be the key to an ethereal living (am I using that right?). And you mean to tell me Cup Noodles is just one of many companies that mass produce microwaveable ramen? As in I have about 15 others to look forward too?
Cup Noodles kind of sucks, honestly. I did this whole organic living and turns out Gladiolus was dead wrong about Cup Noodles having good ingredients. Because they don’t. But I would never have gotten this far if his chin strap hadn’t started waggling about the qualities of ramen. I have a favorite ramen place now. South Slope Ramen. So fucking good. And when it arrives, you better believe I’m asking my wife what her favorite part is. I’m kind of getting a mullet too, so we’re getting there.
Josh Sippie: I’m the Director of Publishing Guidance at Gotham Writers. My work has appeared in McSweeney’s, I have an ongoing Fiction series (about Yoda!) at Hobart and a forthcoming humor column at Points in Case.