THE SONIC BOOMER
Earth-shattering news: the latest health-related studies have determined that the best thing you can eat each day is fried potatoes, and lots of them. My dream has come true, at last! Stand by, Steak ’n Shake, I’m about to roll through your drive-through window for a triple order of those fabulous skinny fries you make.
That, of course, is a lie — not the French fry dream or the Steak ’n Shake dream or the drive-through-don’t-even-bother-getting-out-of-your-car dream — those are 100 percent real, but the part about fries being good for you is not. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. In fact, just about the worst thing you can eat is fried food, even vegetables.
I maintain that the innocent, little, hardworking potato is a vegetable, so I tried to take it out of the food pyramid’s starches category and cram it into fruits and vegetables, but the kale and broccoli were hysterically screaming at it to “Get out!” So, I had to send it back to starches in disgrace.
I don’t think it’s fair that the best-tasting stuff is always the bad stuff. A hot fudge sundae with two cookies wedged in alongside it now conjures up more guilt than most of the world’s religions. Wouldn’t it be great if all the foods we like best were suddenly the ones that were good for us?
Imagine waking up in the morning like it was the information-deprived 1950s. You’d think nothing of having two eggs, four strips of bacon, toast dripping with butter and jam, and a big, healthy glass of whole milk to start your day. “Almonds? What do they have to do with breakfast?” you’d ask. “Almond milk? Don’t make me laugh.”
At lunchtime, we’d go out with friends and order a club sandwich, the kind with a third piece of toast wedged in the middle for reasons even I do not understand. We’d have fries on the side, or at least potato salad, and (like the healthy, red-blooded American males of the 1960s) a couple of martinis to wash everything down. Then we’d go back to work making high-velocity jet engine parts or installing automotive seatbelts or caring for babies in the ICU or whatever.
By about 4 p.m., in offices and factories and warehouses throughout the land, breakfast and lunch have both worn off and flagging workers want to have a little snack before heading home for their main meal — supper. Thanks to vending machines (a $20 billion per year industry here in America alone), we’d binge on candy, cookies, chips and soda — guilt-free! In fact, in an ideal world, we’d be losing weight!
And we’d really get fit with the evening meal — something with plenty of noodles and cheese. A chunk of red meat on the side. A basket of warm bread. A sprig of parsley for accent greenery, certainly not to be eaten. A couple of glasses of wine for the adults, and chocolate milkshakes for the kiddies. With dessert to follow — cake with sugary frosting and a huge dollop of ice cream.
Immediately after dinner, we’d plop ourselves down in front of the TV for about an hour before we found ourselves hungry again. What better way to relieve the pangs of a barely digested casserole than a sugary soft drink with a bag of potato chips?
Before brushing our teeth, we’d ask ourselves — are we really done eating for the day? The answer would always be no, so we’d grab a Popsicle or a box of malted milk balls just to be sure our tummies were “topped off.”
When we awakened in the morning, ready to face our stack of pancakes with a side of ham, we’d have lost 10 pounds. Our big concern would be finding a carrot to replace, say, 290 calories. Oh, it would be a blissful world — a blissful, blissful world.