Culinary Masochism


Will someone please tell me why we persistently pistol-whip ourselves with food? As far as I know, we collectively still maintain some degree of free will, but when faced with a tasty morsel of a beloved foodstuff we turn into slobbering fools incapable of saying “no.” Lest you think this is another diatribe of yours truly barking against the wind, nope, I’m definitely one of the biggest culprits in this crime against our digestive tract.

              For me, it’s spicy food. You give me a nice big plate of Mexican food (or Tex Mex, for there is a difference), add a splash of hot sauce and I’m a happy man. Sure, I’m going to receive a cease and desist letter from my stomach and a strongly worded letter from my esophagus, but to me it’s all worth it. Maybe after my frantic run to Taco Bell for some “Fire” sauce, I’ll stop by a nice Thai restaurant. They’ve got a dish called Drunken Noodles that has a hotness rating somewhere between “Mildly Incapacitating” and “Where Do You Want to Be Buried?” That’s my kind of food!

Others enjoy a seemingly unquenchable thirst for sweet foods. Be it foods with an ungodly amount of sugar in the ingredient list, a cement truck filled with gummi bears, or your good ‘ol standby: chocolate. We all know too much of the stuff will make us fat (oh, sorry…overweight, obese, likely-to-be-pushed-into-the-sea-by-Greenpeace-if-discovered-on-a-beach), but that doesn’t keep some from shoving as much of the sweet foodstuffs into their mouths as humanely possible. We all know where it ends…normally gripping out stomach tightly, chowing down on some Tums and asking out spouse for help and getting only the shaking of her head.

              Then there is, of course, the drinking…oh the drinking. I’m not addressing those with a serious and diagnosed disease called Alcoholism: rather I’m talking about those that only occasionally goes a “wee bit” too far in terms of their intake. Why? You’ve had a bad day, you’ve had a good day, your team won, your team lost, the weather is awful, the weather is great, etc. You have a few drinks, things start to look pretty good to you, and you are convinced that not only is that red head over there smiling at you and has been since you’ve arrived, but she’s the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen. The next morning you discover that you took home a Ronald McDonald life-size cardboard cut-out and you smell of filet-o-fish and regret…oh the regret.

So why do we treat ourselves with such contempt? Simple…we enjoy it. Sure, we can go too far and end up making mistakes that hopefully aren’t too serious. Whether deciding that the name “Ghost Pepper” is merely baseless boasting, combining a chocolate eclair with a bacon doughnut sounds like a scrumptious idea, or having a few pops and pledging your eternal love to an inanimate object with a suspect seafood foodstuff, sometimes part of life is making a poor choice even knowing the consequences.

              Besides, responsible actions make for the worst stories.

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