Don’t you hate it when preachy people stick their index fingers in your face and tell you what to do? Well, that’s too bad, because that’s what I’m going to do right now. But I’m only doing it because I love you.
Have you noticed how the price of food keeps going up? How’s a prick like me supposed to stay fat? I worked hard to make these man-boobs. (Granted, I didn’t do much chewing, but I shoved a lot of food into the lowest hole in my face, and I’m not finished yet. As Yogi Berra and Lenny Kravitz would say, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”)
Now I might never be able to afford a jumbo-sized coffin or ride around in one of those electric-chairs-on-wheels they’ve got at Walmart, but I can have a good time trying. And God damn it to hell, so can you.
Last night when my wife Jina came home from her cheesy church, she told me we’re broke again. What the hell are we working for? We can’t even seem to break even. No wonder we want to break each other’s skull half the time. Maybe there are hidden CCTV’s planted in the walls of our apartment to record our shouting matches–it’s Big-Time Wrestling meets The Truman Show. She moaned that we shouldn’t have gone out for an early dinner with a friend of ours (which Jina insisted on paying for). We ate a pile of roasted pork off a plate, seasoned with grassy strips of cabbage, sliced garlic, and long, thin, un-spicy green peppers dipped in spicy-sweet red pepper paste. No wonder I’ve got stabbing pains in my chest again. My heart’s trying to thumb a ride to heaven.
It turns out that the cheapskate parents of the kids we teach haven’t coughed up the dough yet for their children’s English lessons, even though they were supposed to have paid us over two weeks ago. What are we, running a charity? Am I Mother Teresa in reverse-drag? Sheece, I know I’m ugly, but I didn’t realize I looked like a cross between Skeletor and Boris Karloff. Oh, excuse me for treading the right fore-hoof of your sacred cow; may she rest in pieces. Not to offend too many people, but going around spreading superstition and asking people to be fruitful and multiply seems counterproductive this late in the game. What are there, seven billion of us? What are we all supposed to eat–crumbs of concrete?
Anyway, who can afford to eat real food anymore? And why bother preserving your health when you live in a place where the air is so filthy the magpies and pigeons wear gas masks? Even the cockroaches are sick. You can see them wheezing on the street in the shade of parked cars like old dogs worn out from too much horsing around. The males can’t even get it up any more and impregnate their wives with a thousand micro-fetuses, or however many it is. Are cockroaches Catholic or something? Have they never heard of birth control? “Have you no decency, sir?”
Right now I’ve got a Sneakers bar that’s waiting in my backpack to be eaten. It’s a Korean knock-off of a famous American brand of candy bar with a similar name. Sometimes I like to buy Muffles potato chips, or else Shingles, at one of the million convenience stores that dot this glittering city. Nearly every day Jina and I eat some kind of mass-produced, processed “food,” such as chocolate-covered digestive biscuits or ice cream cones wrapped in paper or plastic–or else we splurge for Maskin’ Robins.
The other day she regaled the students with a treat by teaching the kids in all three classes how to make pizza. She spent hours chopping onions, tomatoes, black olives, and red and yellow peppers, and we carried baggies containing each in a much bigger bag, along with a bag of cheese, bags of dough (real dough, not money, although that would have been nice–but not to eat), a tiny container of cooked shrimp, two jars of tomato sauce, and a package of bacon to the bus stop, along with a roll of paper towels, plastic plates, and a large unopened tin of pineapples.
The children used cardboard rolling pins wrapped in cellophane Jina provided them with to flatten out the dough on strips of wax paper and painted the dough-disks with tomato sauce applied with a table spoon before sprinkling the pies with the rest of the ingredients, saving the cheese for last. We cooked them in a toaster oven, and let the students cut up their own private pies with scissors before eating them with relish (not literally).
I congratulated Jina afterwards and said the kids’ parents would probably appreciate it, especially if the children volunteered to make pizza at home themselves. In retrospect, that’s not apt to happen. They’ll be more likely to say: “Mom, could you make me a pizza? I need to watch TV.” “Okay, Junior. Oh, please remind me not to pay your English teachers again next week. Maybe they’ll do us a favor and starve to death.”
So, to wrap up, here are the most important reasons why you should eat junk food (which good pizza isn’t):
1. It’s cheap.
2. It tastes good.
3. It’s loaded with salt and sugar, which you like.
4. It saves you from having to prepare more nutritious meals for yourself.
5. It’s easier to find than real food, which you have to go to a busy, crowded supermarket to buy, or, if you’re annoyingly ambitious, grow in a garden and wait for for eons. Are you sure you want to do that? Who knows what’s in that soil? It may even be soiled.
6. It’s fun to eat because the packaging is colorful, the bag makes a welcoming noise when you rip it open, the wrappers of candy bars crinkle pleasantly in your hand when you crumple them up, and you can make lots of friends by sharing the items you’ve bought with strangers on the bus, on the subway, or in the street.
7. It’s wonderfully greasy, salty, or sweet.
You may be thinking, “But I want to live a long life. Junk food is terrible for your health.” Yeah, and I suppose smoking cigarettes gives you lung cancer. Lighten up and stop taking yourself so seriously. That’s what’s bad for your health. Besides, health is just an illusion anyway. How can anyone be healthy on a sick, dying planet? Chances are, you’re either going to die of a heart attack or cancer some day, so you might as well go for broke and fight fire with fire. Keep your body guessing about which one of the Grim Reaper’s cronies will win the race to take you down. Why not place bets with your friends? You might even win enough bread to cover your hospital bills.
By the way, this is not to encourage you to eat fast food. We’re talking junk food. Fast food companies already have enough money, and razing tropical rain forests to make unsustainable cattle ranches that add global warming methane to the atmosphere with billions of cow farts is just plain dumb.
Okay, so maybe eating junk food is too. What do I know? I never said I was God. I’m just trying to help you succumb to your basest impulses so you can join me in the gutter. Follow the wallowers with a Slurpy-induced burp! Fart with your heart! Guzzle gallons of glowing green goodness! Expand as you replace the land with your own personal grandeur!
It’s all there for you–and you–and you–and me–and all the rest of us helplessly-snapping Pac-Man working our way around the screaming screen of the brave new world, leaving the invaluable devastation of vituperative individual voodoo in our wake.
Or something like that.