He whistled loudly as they approached the grocery store.
“What song are you whistling, Daddy?” H- begged.
“My Favorite Things,” he answered.
“Oh,” she said, not familiar with the tune.
“All aboard!” he called, signaling it was time for her to hop on the front of the cart if she was going to.
He watched and heard her begin an open mouth hum as she attempted to demonstrate her own Christmas spirit notwithstanding a deficit in whistling ability. Chuckling, he pushed the cart into the store and began searching for beautiful women whom he could make smile with the assistance of his little helper.
“I said humming to town,” H- said, laughing innocently as congestion in the baking aisle halted their progress.
“What’s that?” he asked.
H- then proceeded to hum the chorus of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Afterward she again giggled and said, “I said humming!”
Squinting and with a cocked head, he looked at her in disbelief and thought, “Surely she knows when she hums no one hears the words?”
“Oh yeah?” he quickly said before the moment passed.
Progressing now to the cereal aisle, another repeat of the chorus was followed by, “That time I said coming.” More humming and another laughing explanation. “I said humming again!”
“Man, I can’t believe they don’t have any corn flakes.”
“Santa is probably humming to the reindeer as they pull his sleigh,” she said thoughtfully, unconcerned with the moment’s dilemma.
“What?” he asked, rising from the crouched position where he had just verified the awful truth that he’d have to get creative to make the cookies.
“I said,” she labored, “Santa is probably humming to the reindeer.”
“A wordsmith is born,” he thought smiling, unable to hide his pride.
But what is it?
Not just bread and cheese and sauce, no. This meal fit for God himself is so much more.
It is the sound of the loveliest doorbell. It is the acceptable apology for the mealtime “oops!” It is the welcoming party when the vacation ends.
It is the taste of summertime birthdays. It is the texture of picking which movie to watch first. It is the height of soda can towers.
It is the singing clock’s twelve chimes reminding all that Friday is gone. It is the placing of a small hand into a big one. It is the compromise between parents and children.
It is soda’s groom.
It is breakfast. It is lunch. It is dinner. It is the substance of every moment in between.
It is nourishment. And as nourishment, it is life itself.
Is it worthy of worship, this pizza?
Yes. An unapologetic, unabashed, unable to understand yes.
At first, like everyone, he was only slightly annoyed. As time ticked on, however, his curiosity grew. What made them such positive people? After all, they could no longer eat bread.
He couldn’t live without bread. Really, he couldn’t–he had checked. Right on the Hot-n-Ready box it listed bread as an ingredient. What could he possibly eat instead of pizza on weekends? Next he lifted the stack of pizza boxes off the top of the trash can to retrieve the wrapping on his most recent McDouble; sure enough, the material encasing the all-beef patties and cheese was bread. Even if he was able to find a pizza substitute, there is no way he could give-up his lunch and dinner staple. Not finding ‘bread’ on his Canadian Hunter whiskey bottle, he thought he was in luck. Nope. Mr. Google decreed that ‘rye’ was another word for ‘bread’.
Flustered, he shouted to the night, “How do they do it?” He couldn’t figure how the new wave of gluten-free eaters were able to stay so positive when life had handed them such a lemon. Then it hit him. Gluten itself must contain the answer. “What even was gluten?” he wondered. On his way to discovering its chemical signature he deduced the simple truth: Gluten must contain a healthy amount of realism. It had to.
Yep, life made sense again. Until now, he had found himself unable to make sense of the situation. He couldn’t believe that for the last year he had actually felt bad about himself when he was around glass-half-full gluten-free crowds. With his discovery, though, he could remorselessly return to his simplistic worldview. “Finally!” he exhaled, collapsing onto his couch.
Make no mistake, the afflicted’s resilience is remarkable. It’s just that now he knew it wasn’t difficult to be positive–what with an ingredient lacking.
(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)
“I really shouldn’t eat this, what with it containing 12 grams of saturated fat. Oh well, I’ll put in extra time at the gym tonight,” he said scarfing down the burger.
“I know. I really went overboard last weekend on the late night snacking. I think I ate two entire bags of chips and salsa,” she replied in kind.
They continued this way for the duration of the time it took for them to wolf down other foods they shouldn’t eat because of words and numbers on the packaging. I know because I was eating with them. You see, they were my friends. I hadn’t seen them in such a long time, and I had finally made time to grab a bite to catch up with them. By the time the food–if we can even call it that anymore–was finished, I was able to ask, “So how’s life? What have you been up to?”
“It’s good. Really good. Oh, but look at the time. I really need to get going if I’m going to make it to the restaurant on time after work tonight. I really need to stop eating out so much,” she said.
Instruction for How To Ruin Food
Step 1 – Believe that there is any relationship between nutritional facts and self-discipline.
Step 2 – State the relationship.
Step 3 – Repeat Step 2 until time runs out.