Sunday, February 13, 2011

Apocalyptic Breakfast Foods

I recently took a trip to the supermarket that turned into a terrifying window on our nation's eating habits. Sure the freezer aisle has always had a selection of scary foods, things you wouldn't even want to leave out in your trash for fear of killing the local raccoons with complete pancreatic shutdown. But lately it seems to have... worsened. And for some reason the most downright scary foods are the ones that begin the day. I began taking pictures with my cellphone. I felt like that guy screaming in the back of a truck full of pods at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

If anyone is out there, please... please. Help me put an end to this.

Bagel-fuls: You need to stop buying foods where everything you want to spread on them is already squirted into the middle of the food, probably with some kind of caulking gun-style device. That moment where you have to go get the knife from the drawer and a jar of jam from the fridge is crucial. It's the moment you begin to think about portion control and whether or not you're really all that hungry. It's the last moment before the madness takes over and you wake up on the floor of your kitchen from a cream cheese-induced coma and the dog is licking the bottom of your feet and whining, because her stomach hurts and she can't stop. Jesus, just slow down.

Griddlecake Sandwiches: Listen very carefully: A pancake is its own separate breakfast food. Yes, it's flat and it has flour in it. But that doesn't mean you can just slap anything -- peanut butter, deli meat, cheese steak -- between two pancakes and call it a sandwich. If they had pancakes in Biblical times this seems like it would have been specifically prohibited in Leviticus.

Confetti Pancakes: Does this even look like food? It seems to belong to the same category of quasi-food as that multi-colored stuff in fruitcakes. You might find a GI Joe head in there.

Strawberry Granola Real Fruit Pizza: Obviously it's not pizza. But they use the term, because "pizza" is subliminal code for "bad decision food." Once you've told yourself you're going to have pizza, you have also agreed that maybe a box of wings and ranch sauce are okay too, along with those cinnamon abominations that Domino's makes, and then you do Jager shots, and soon the strippers arrive, and by the time the cops break things up you have done things that can't be undone. In the South, this usually also involves handguns and a shirtless visit to your common law wife, with whom you're having problems.

Okay, fair enough. Just... don't begin the day like this.

Country Breakfast Casserole: The teenage kid who stocks the shelves tucked this in at the bottom rack, where you can't get a good look at it. Even he knew it was bad. If he had more time he would have hidden it away like they did in that last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It seems to have a mixture of everything you'd have for breakfast in rural America: eggs, sausage, hash browns, toast, some crushed-up Marlboros. And if you split it six ways, and then spend the day working in a field it's probably fine. But if you zap-fry this in your microwave, eat the whole thing, and then drive to your cubicle job you're going to have a blocked neck artery and blood spraying out your nose by 10 am.

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