Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things I Know: Gluttony

Brian Moon asked, "what's the largest thing you've ever eaten?" And for some reason I've decided to answer.

As I have thought about the question and tried to remember the Single Largest Meal I Ever Ate, I have realized that my history of binge-eating is more diffuse and horrifying than can be reduced to any single instance.

Some of my earliest memories center on bouts of gluttony: times when my father would return home with McDonald's food for the entire family -- two parents and five kids -- and I would finish off my own substantial serving before pillaging whatever scraps others had left behind (or merely unguarded); times when I would go to the grocery store in the morning, and by dinner time of the same day, would have finished off entire boxes of cereal and assorted candy bars, all washed down with prodigious amounts of over-sugared Kool-Aid; enormous Halloween candy hauls that never even made it back home, let alone to November; how learning to make my own Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (with whole milk and true butter, mind you, this being the 1970s) freed me to go through entire boxes of it on my own schedule.

And then I became a pre-teen and teenager, at which point the overeating really got going: whole pizzas with multiple toppings; meals consisting of two foot-long chili cheese coneys, fries, and gigantic soft drink from Sonic. I would astound and appall onlookers by casually going through an entire package of cheese franks, plus buns and toppings -- often chili.

I could go on, but this is surely enough self-abasement for now.

I ate unholy quantities of meat in my adolescent years, so maybe I'm a vegetarian now because I've already eaten enough meat for three or four normal human lifetimes.

I don't eat that way any more, but I still contend daily with an inner teenager yearning to eat more.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I recall a contest we held whenever shredded-beef sandwiches were served at high school lunch. Consumption of eight was usually what it took to contend; sometimes double-figures was required to achieve victory and the accompanying gastrointestinal incident. Considering we only had 20 minutes for lunch and the staff would only allow you to take 3 or 4at a time so you had to get up and get more, this required intake rates that would scare a starving labrador.

I am still capable of consuming hard-shell tacos in quantities that cause people to (further) question my character. I also have had to stop buying Little Debbie Swiss Rolls because I will eat an entire box at a time.