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|Everybody Eats Something|
Mar. 26th, 2011 at 7:21 pm
I was in the Costco in Lewiston, Idaho one time, and I saw a lady with a shirt that said, “Stupid raisins! Stay out of my cookies!” and I thought “How great is that?” because all this time I thought I was the only person in the world who hates raisins in cookies, and now I know I’m not alone. Thank you, lady from Lewiston Costco.
I have simple tastes. For years I ate mostly Big Macs. In college I ate mostly pizza — warm for dinner, cold for breakfast and lunch, because cold pizza is the breakfast of champions. Unfortunately, living with other people (like a spouse and kids) means never eating the same thing more than once a day. Shoot, sometimes I don’t even get to eat the same thing more than once a week. It has taken some time to get used to.
Frequently, what I eat depends on where I am. When I’m driving, I eat Pringles, because they don’t make my fingers oily and that way the knobs on the radio don’t get all crappy. When I’m sitting around the house, I eat a standard potato chip like Lays or Cape Cod kettle-type chips. I don’t eat at work, because it’s distracting.
Mostly, I just eat what is served. When I serve myself, I tend to eat over the sink, and my wife hates that. It also bugs her when she asks me what I want for dinner, and I tell her “anything is great.” In fairness to her, answers like “anything is great” make it difficult to keep a shopping list. Honestly, though, I’d just as soon have a bowl of breakfast cereal as anything. I love breakfast cereal.
When my wife’s mother got sick, my wife and kids spent the summer with her out west, leaving me alone for eight weeks. The first few mornings I made myself real breakfasts with real food, like eggs or bacon or grits or toast or oatmeal. Then I started running out of ingredients, so I opened up a Costco-sized box of Cheez-Its. When those ran out, I ate all the PowerBars. When those ran out, I found some water crackers. After those ran out, I rummaged through the house and found a lone box of Chicken in a Biscuit. There’s no better box of crackers to find on accident than Chicken in a Biscuit, because there’s nothing like thinking you’re totally bereft of crackers and then finding a bonus box of Chicken in a Biscuit, and then you think to yourself, “Aaaahhhhhh. It’s been soooooo long since I’ve had Chicken in a Biscuit.” But I finished those, too. And there I was. I’d eaten every cracker in the house. I was even out of Diet Coke.
So finally I broke down, went to the store, and bought more Cheez-Its. Nothing but Cheez-Its. Well, Cheez-Its and Diet Coke, because anything worth eating is worth chasing with Diet Coke. It came to more than $300 for Cheez-Its and Diet Coke — what turned out to be nearly enough Cheez-Its and Diet Coke to tide me over until my wife got home. I lost 10 pounds that summer.
Crackers are the most underrated food on earth. They’re practically a miracle food. In particular, the White Cheddar Cheez-Its are exquisite, like a gourmet cracker.
I developed a strong love for mustard when I was a teenager. We were completely stoned, and we went to this burger joint where there was self-serve mustard — brown mustard, not the sissy yellow stuff. So there I was hunched over the mustard machine, squirting it onto my burger and looking at everyone in the restaurant thinking, “They can totally tell that I’m stoned.” And I just doused my burger in mustard. The result was magical, absolutely magical. I was in awe the rest of the night, so that when we stopped for gas, I was thinking, “That gas station attendant can totally tell that I’m stoned, and damn, that was one amazing burger.” Ever since that night nearly 25 years ago, I’ve loved mustard. Gulden’s is my favorite brand of mustard.
Sometimes, the condiments are the best part of the food.
My brother-in-law has a t-shirt that says, “I put ketchup on my ketchup,” and I don’t think that it’s possible for shirt to communicate a more profound truth than that. Ketchup is so amazing that if I could start my own religion, we’d serve ketchup for the dead, so that our ancestors born before the invention of ketchup could enjoy the glorious splendor of a good ketchup. And we’d serve ketchup for the sacrament, because there’s just no substitute for the tangy, full-bodied flavor of a good ketchup.