Big and Getting Smaller

We go to the movies and buy popcorn in a container that could double as a trash can. A six-ounce “small” drink has grown to 64 ounces — enough to fill a small wading pool. A sandwich is stacked as high as the New York telephone directory. A bowl of pasta could be used as a bath for the baby. A “decent” size serving of mashed potatoes is one that has a crater of gravy deep enough to nestle in both buttocks. A serving of fish in a restaurant can cost as much as the monthly utilities bill. A steak can weigh 36 (or even more) ounces. It is so huge you could sit at one end of it and carve it from the other.

Big, of course, is the natural swing away from small. Small was a fad (mercifully now faded,) during which vegetables were miniaturized. Suddenly we were confronted with one-bite cauliflowers, one-chew artichokes, turnips, once as large as a small pumpkin shrank to the size of a green grape, (seedless,) eggplants dwindled to the contour of an index finger and zucchini grew so small it appeared for a while as though it may disappear entirely or simple be pained on the plate as part of the pattern.