November 15, 2011

I Will Eat All The Chocolate

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If chocolate contained alcohol, I would be drunk every day of the week (do not say Kahlua to me). If there were a job that paid in chocolate coins, I would give serious thought to taking it. If chocolate were a band, I would be the groupie blowing the drummer behind the tour bus. If I could eat chocolate all day every day without dying of malnutrition/diabetes, my pantry contents would be pretty homogenous. If the CEO of Hershey’s, Mr. Hershey, announced that global chocolate supplies had run out, I would guzzle an ice-cold glass of Drano, and then, just for good measure, set myself on fire. There are members of my own family I would replace with chocolate replicas—that’s not true (is it true? (It might be true…)).

As a toddler, so I am told, my diet consisted of healthy foods like broccoli, green beans, pineapple, peas, and other such unpalatable toxic plant poison. All these disgusting nonfoods were consumed without complaint, were even requested—the mind reels in disbelief. Why would that happen? Why would I do that? Ignorance. Then one day, my dad was driving me somewhere, and he reached in the little sleeve in the car door and pulled out a handful of sweet tarts. As I ate these sweet tarts, a light flicked on in my mind. The clouds parted, and a great epiphany washed over me: there is a secret world of foods that taste delicious. Sweet tarts led to dinosaur shaped sugar cookies. Dinosaur shaped sugar cookies led to M&M cookies. M&M cookies led to chocolate, and that is where my palate stopped expanding.

If you hand me a papaya, I will not be able to identify it. I will say, “This is an object.” Then you’ll ask me to be more specific, and I’ll say, “This is a dragonfruit,” because that is a Sobe beverage flavor, and it has fruit in the name. I cannot distinguish the different types of apple—granny smith, fuji, red delicious, etc. My level of dietary ignorance is so great as to instill fear and terror. When I meet vegetarians, they become physically enraged and want to beat me up for being so dumb. They say, “You are everything that is wrong with America!” and I say, “I know,” and they say, “You need to stop existing!” and I say, “I know,” and they say, “You should kill yourself!” and I say, “Why do you think I only eat candy?”

My mom recently sent me a package in the mail. Here are its contents: a giant plastic ant, an eyeball, Hershey’s Bliss Hot White Chocolate, mini marshmallows, a Ziploc bag of Reese’s Pieces. In the dead of night, I suddenly come awake, and I pull my Ziploc bag of Reese’s Pieces out from its secret spot under the bed. Curled in a fetal position, nestled in darkness, I gobble the Reese’s Pieces while furiously checking Twitter. My descent into madness is so steep as to be in free-fall.

Last Halloween, I trick-or-treated. Alone. I dressed as Death with a skull mask, a graduation gown, and a scythe because, I reasoned, if someone encountered a grown man dressed as the Grim Reaper asking for candy, they would rather give up a couple jolly ranchers than be potentially reaped. Small children crowded around my ankles as I approached people’s front doors—this did not deter me. An old lady refused to dispense the goods; she told me “I don’t know exactly how old you are, but it’s time you buy your own damn candy”—this did not deter me. By the end of the night, I’d gathered a reasonably impressive haul, and that’s all that matters.

Sometimes I feel that having chocolate is more satisfying than eating chocolate. I hoard it like a meth junkie, like there are dark forces gathering to seize my precious chocolate inventory. If you come to my house, every cabinet, drawer, nook, and cranny has chocolate hidden somewhere in it. Open the cabinet under the stove, pull aside the blender, the enormous fruit bowl, the strainers—a bag of Hershey’s miniatures. Open the cabinet over the kitchen counter, pull aside the bowls and plates—chocolate brownies. Go into the dining room, take the key out of the bottom cabinet, use it to open the top cabinet—a stockpile of chocolate bunnies and peanut butter filled eggs. If I discover there’s no chocolate available, I will begin pacing back and forth, increasingly panicked, repeating, “Jesus Christ,” over and over until I throw up.

I once lived with a fat roommate—oh how I loathed Fat Roommate, snatcher of snickers, robber of Reese’s, embezzler of M&Ms. Each time I discovered Fat Roommate’s larceny, I’d call a roommate assembly, start out reasonable, and then slowly degenerate into a full throttle fit of shouting and dramatic hand gestures. He would shrug his shoulders and assert the possibility that visitors ate it, or, more likely, I myself gobbled the goodies in a moment of such mad chocolate lust, my mind repressed any memory of the incident to protect my self-esteem. That’s the problem with Fat Roommates—without a forensic investigation, when sugary goodies go missing and no one confesses to the theft, there’s no way to verify the culprit.

It’s a wonder my blood isn’t made of chocolate. It’s a wonder I don’t perpetually bleed chocolate from the eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s a wonder my organs haven’t shut down. But, you know, whatever—I’m healthy. I think. I take multivitamins and sometimes I eat bean burritos. To be honest, I’m eating chocolate right now, a Hershey’s miniature. I’m eating chocolate while writing about chocolate. It’s like the snake eating its own nougat filled tail. Nom nom nom. TC mark

image – John Loo

Brad Pike

Brad Pike is a writer and performer in Chicago. His writing has been featured on The Sixth Wall, Thought Catalog, The …

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