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Musing: Mystery Munchies
Sitting in a desk chair typing on a computer doesn’t burn many calories. That’s a challenge since the second most popular procrastination technique for writers is snacking. The first, of course, is social media, which doesn’t bode well for weight loss either.
To combat this, I follow a strict regimen of exercise and diet. The exercise part is not overly difficult to accomplish since I have four furry critters who insist on their twice-daily dog walks. For motivation, a human trainer has nothing on a herd of Siberian Huskies bemoaning that I am an entire minute late getting out the door. If I try to ignore them, they just get louder. And louder. Until I surrender.
The diet is different. The dogs are enablers, if anything, because they will happily accompany me to the kitchen as often as I want to go. To their disappointment, though, my snacks consist mostly of carrots and hummus or fruit and cottage cheese. They find that boring. Truth be told, so do I some days, which is how I found myself rummaging through the pantry looking for something tastier.
To my astonishment, I stumbled across a treasure chest. A box. A metal box. Bright red. With Christmas decorations.
I broke the cellophane wrapping, lifted the lid, and spotted a cornucopia of Christmas chocolates, cookies, and candies. A veritable smorgasbord of unhealthy snacks. I drooled with excitement.
And then doubt hit. Was it leftover from this past Christmas? The one before? Or was it an archaeological find of an unknown Christmas past?
With my stomach rumbling, I searched for an expiration date. To my pleasure, I noted it was the current year. Unfortunately, it was dated May 31. Expired.
I know exactly what some of you are thinking. Okay, most of you. Probably all. What’s a few weeks when we’re talking sugary sweets?
Ah, but you’ve stumbled upon one of my phobias. I can’t stand expired products. Logically, I understand things do not magically go bad at midnight on the printed date. Emotionally, though, I’m convinced food poisoning awaits just one nibble away.
As I stood in the kitchen assessing my gastronomical risk level against my craving for a sugary snack, my Ever Patient Partner in Life came into the room, probably wondering why I had left my writing cave when I was supposed to be typing.
“What are you doing?”
Sigh. I felt like a truant student caught wandering the house without a hall pass. And with contraband in my hands. “Found these. Guess I have to throw them in the trash.”
A quizzical eyebrow raised. “Why?”
This is one of our differences. While I’m a firm believer that an expiration date is a line that no man should cross, EPPIL has a more flexible opinion. When I said it was nearly four whole weeks past the expiration, I received an exasperated sigh.
“You’d say that if they were a year old.”
“They’d be fine then, too. You know how many preservatives they add to those things?”
“That doesn’t sound particularly healthy.”
“They’re sweets. Healthy isn’t exactly the criteria.”
“I’ll prove it.” EPPIL took the box from my hands, extracted a cookie, and bit. The results were horrific. Foam forming around lips. A horrid gagging sound. The thud of a body collapsing to the ground. Convulsions.
Oh, wait. That’s the dreaded writer’s imagination at work. What actually happened was EPPIL swallowed, declared it fit for consumption, and exited the room.
So I stood alone with an open box of treats in my hands. The debate raged in my head. Eat the expired food? Toss it in the trash?
Then the answer came to me. The sight of a bag of carrots might have influenced my decision. I ate a cookie.
And I’ve lived to tell the tale.
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Gratuitous Dog Photo: The Siberian Side-Eye
The look I receive when I say something that doesn’t quite meet Siberian Husky approval standards.
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Until Next Monday
May all your food be fresh and your snacks tasty.
If you have questions or thoughts, drop them in the comments below.
See you next Monday.
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