Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Day seven...Choices, choices, choices.

Today I was sitting at my favorite Chinese restaurant looking over the lunch specials.

It was all the same stuff you would expect. Beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, vegetables, and some new "Extra Healthy Choice" hooey involving "vegetarian meat options" made with soy, wheat, and seaweed.

Hmmm...no, I don't think so.

For some strange reason The Eagles were playing over the stereo system.

That made it easy for me.


"Chicken!!! "Hunan Style!!!!" Yes, I said it like that. It made the waitress jump. But I was excited. I had made my decision.


It was half decent, half bad, and very greasy. Kind of like an Elvis impersonator.

I would hazard to guess that Elvis loved Chinese food. It's so American.

For the last few years my family and I have opted to go to a Chinese buffet for our holiday meals. It's a lot of fun and it gave my Mom a break. I knew she could cook. She knew she could cook. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I mean when there's 5 different kinds of kinds of shrimp dishes (out of roughly 30 or so to begin with) why not knock back an extra 40 mg. of Zocor and let the cards fall where they may.

And we did.

We never looked at a menu. We knew what we wanted. We wanted an empty plate or three. A tabula rasa if you will, soon to be sweet, sour, brown, and sticky. The menu was our two hands and the chef was a voice in our heads working in tandem with a health inspector instructing our every move. "Don't get the mussels do you want to die?...don't get the sushi, who eats sushi in Southeastern Massachusetts?...but yes, oh yes, pile on the shrimp...pile on the shrimp." I don't care if the Chinese believe that not deveining it is a sign of good luck. It's very traditional.

Because you couldn't help but remember in the back of your head somewhere that thing you saw on the news about how if we keep harvesting shrimp and lobster like we have been, not too long from now it'll all be gone. So better get while the getting's good.

And so I sat and ate my Hunan Style Chicken and listened to the lilting melodies of Air Supply. It was, of course, the next logical choice to go to in the big CD changer in the sky. Um... I mean the one above the register.

I'll let the shrimp option fall to the wayside until I'm at the buffet again. I'll go with my Aunt in a few weeks to make up for the fact that because of my stupidity of choices, we didn't get to go this Christmas.

I might pile on the shrimp again. I may not even remember I wrote about it. If I keep doing this everyday as I plan, I may forget that it was a subject.

It'll be half decent, half bad, and very greasy.

The fact of the matter is I'll know this in advance. And I might still opt for it. Because if I don't get it now, someday soon it may not be a choice at all.

It's been the same with my addictions.

I know the stakes. I have for a while. I still chose to do it. My options were staring me in the face like so many shrimp dishes in so many steam tables in a former Ponderosa (you can't change that western building shape, not unless you shell out some bucks and those bucks are expected to be spent on King crab legs.) But I thought many times, If I don't take advantage of the clearly unhealthy option now, while I still have some liver/brain cells left, someday soon it may not be a choice at all.

And this is insanely stupid logic. In fact, it's not logic at all. It's just insanely stupid. And unlike butter shrimp, it is not delicious.

But the health inspector in my head which dissuaded me from choosing the mussels and sushi in the past has recently been given a new job complete with some new, powerful credentials and he's ready to use them. He's a lot more believable now and just a little louder. "Don't buy that litre of vodka, do you want to die? Do you want to let that last shred of hope for a better you snap in half like so many longevity noodles? But yes, oh yes, pile on the broccoli. Pile on the chicken. Pile on the cardio. And if your good, you can afford to have some ice cream."

And an occasional can of Coke.

It's not exactly the "Extra Healthy Choice" but it's better that what I have been piling on for the last 20 or so years. And today, thankfully, I still have a choice.

Part of me can't help but remember in the back of my head somewhere that thing I saw on the news about how if we keep destroying our health like we have been, not too long from now it'll all be gone. So better get while the getting's good.

And right now the getting is real good.

And right now I still have a choice.

"Chicken!!!" "Hunan Style!!!!"

Made you jump.




PS-Some may have been wondering what my fortune cookie said. This my friends, is not a joke.

It said.

Ahem...

"A modest man never talks of himself."

On that note, thank you everyone who over the last week has read this modest man talk of himself. As I have said, perspective is a precious commodity (don't look for it. I never said it until just now.) And, like hypertension, it's so hard to know when you have it.

Now I think I'll head to the supermarket. I'll buy some broccoli, apples, and granola. Then I'll weigh myself on their giant scale and check my blood pressure. Now that's a doctors visit we all can afford.

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

Deb said...

for me it's CHICKEN!!! SWEET N SOUR STYLE!!! hehe made ya jump back??

(and when i see ya *I* will take your Blood pressure a lot of those machines are not calibrated correctly so what reading they give could be off drastically)