It all started with an innocuous, little bag of Doritos. So long ago that it wasn’t Cool Ranch, or even Nacho. We’re talking Taco flavored Doritos. Old school.
With that bag I had met my Waterloo. From that point on I had an anthropomorphized Dorito on my back; I was a snackaholic.
I guess I knew the dangers. I read the tiny information on the snack bags. Now there is some real Joseph Goebbels level propaganda. 20 calories per serving. Number of servings in a bag, 87,000. I guess it is done so that Doritos executives can keep a clear conscience as they wade through the flabby throngs as they walk down the sidewalk to their triangle shaped penthouse offices.
And the name of bag sizes? The five-pound monster bag? Party Size. Now real snackaholics like me just take that as a challenge. A gauntlet tossed at the feet of our gustatorial honor. Party size? Heck. I like to party. That means that whole bag is going gulletward.
Boredom. A football game. Lunch. All are good times for chip time. And not always Doritos. Any chip will do in a carb storm. Heck – even the off-brand ruffled chips. The kind that instantly stain any paper they get near with like a pound of grease.
Add to that the best friend of all chips. Beer.
And I’m not talking the fancy kind of beer that requires a man bun for drinking. I am talking the rundown, cars on cinder blocks trailer park of beers. Natty Light. Or any of its many toothless beer cousins: PBR, Miller, Keystone.
I came to pair these draughts with chips of all kinds back in college, when they were all I could afford. So, they still taste like real beer to me.
Back in college, Doritos and Natty Light could be consumed in almost any quantity and bounce off of me like bullets off of Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton. Eat, drink, be merry. No weight gained.
But then, maybe around 40, entropy set in. Entropy. One of those kind of words you don’t even know what it means until it happens to you.
Doritos and Natty Light went from being my snack time friends to being my flabby masters. Their hold over me was dire, but also pleasant. Kind of like if Frodo had given the one ring to Galadriel. The Dorito might have just as well told me straight up, “All shall love me and despair!”
Dorito-drenched pounds piled on in their heaving masses, and before I knew it I was Homer Simpson with more hair.
I have been working of late to cast off the yoke of my ring bearer Dorito master. In so doing I have walked pretty much to Canada (all in circles in Town Square Park – wave at me if you see me).
Why should I do this, spurn my beloved Dorito so?
Well, I figured I needed to live longer. My children are teens, and I am, well, of indeterminate age. Carbon dating results expected soon.
Now, before you go getting all teary-eyed and sentimental about me wanting to live longer for my kids, I am doing this because I want that greatest gift of parenthood. Our final and winning paternal and maternal cards.
I want to be around as long as humanly possible to embarrass my children as my parents once embarrassed me. I have been saving up so many dad jokes for so long and am just waiting for the most inappropriate moment to launch my fearsome barrage. I have been honing my skills of opining on the most awkward of topics, and I’m just waiting on the right group setting for maximum firing effect. I have a hidden wardrobe of age-inappropriate clothes – especially pants that I plan on hiking up to my armpits. I want to talk loudly during movies; offer strangers advice in Home Depot. I want to tell passersby my political opinions, especially my ill-informed ones that are based solely on memes. I want to let all of my children’s friends know that I walked uphill to both school and home, and that their music is terrible.
I have to get healthy so I can reside on this planet long enough to make my beloved children squirm for as long as I possibly can.
Andy Wiest teaches history at the University of Southern Mississippi. Write: email@example.com.