Nineteen clicks of the mouse, the electronic brandishing of a credit card, thirteen dollars of my savings. A box of communion wafers was on its way to my apartment. Five days later, it arrived: five hundred whole-wheat discs emblazoned with a cross, packed like bags of Lay’s into two puffed plastic sacks. The size of a half-dollar, an eighth of an inch thick. My roommate, a lapsed but confirmed Catholic, couldn’t get enough of them, inhaling one after the other as if to bring some junk-food jingle to life. Analogies to Styrofoam notwithstanding, they are a low-fat snack. (In Quebec, they have even been marketed that way; prior to consecration, the host is only bread.) I watched him toss the wafers back like popcorn—the unrealized body of Christ, purchased on the Internet.
For those who've never had the pleasure, think semi-dissolvable, gummy cardboard that adheres to the roof of your mouth.