… Several of us sit in the cafeteria around a luncheon table, eating overdone, tasteless stew. “What do you think this is made of?” Someone asks. “Venison,” I say. “Pigeon,” says Betsy. “Don’t be silly,” says one of the counselors “there is a hell of a lot cheaper meat to be found around here.” All of us laugh, guffaw, splutter, and slap each other on the arms. It is the funniest thing we have heard in years…
“Get a hold of yourself, ladies,” Rachel says. “This is unseemly.” She is right, of course, but all of us laugh again.
“I think it’s a Greek dish,” says Teresa, laughing so hard that tears begin to roll down her face and we can barely understand her. “It’s fetustu.” There is no containing any of us now. “There is mincemeat pie for dessert,” someone shouts. “And that isn’t tomato juice you’re drinking,” adds somebody else. Most of us are doubled over. The air is filled with the shrieks, and gasps, and gurgles. My sides begin to ache.
— Magda Denes, author of In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital
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