I am sad because one of the happiest things on the internet has stolen something from me.
Nom. You’ve read it, seen it in cartoons and on posters of cute animals eating. Usually it’s repeated a few times: nom nom nom nom.
(photo via lolpix.com)
You can’t throw an everything bagel on Twitter without hitting it two or three times.
But for years, Nom has meant something else to me and what seems like too few others.
In Stephen R Donaldson’s book “The One Tree,” a creature called a sandgorgon is introduced. Sandgorgons are creatures of unending rage. They are built for destruction and are fueled by eons of frenzied anger. Trapped in mystic, desert prison, sandgorgons can only be released from their confinement if they are summoned by someone calling their name. Once summoned, they must kill the person who said their name. This is witnessed when a warrior character is forced to say the name of a sandgorgon and then is pummeled to death. Once the summoner is killed, the sandgorgon is pulled back into its prison.
Later, in a move most tremendous, the main character who is stuck in a prison cell deep in the heart of a fortress, summons a sandgorgon with the name he heard earlier. The sandgorgon batters his way through the walls to confront the one who summoned him. A battle rages and our hero, using wild magic, is able to defeat the sandgorgon without killing him. The sandgorgon realizes that he is now free and bows to our hero with respect.
This sandgorgon’s name is Nom.
When the hero Thomas Covenant said that name, I got chills. It was so unexpected and brilliant. And now... it's been wasted. Nom nom nom.
The only good feeling I get when seeing people say “nom nom nom” is thinking about them being pulverized to squishy muck by a raging creature that disappears back into the nothing once the deed is done.