Hand to Mouth

misadventures in eating

The love that dares not speak its name.

with 3 comments

Everybody has a dirty little secret. You try to hide the evidence, crumpling up your paper trail and rubbing the back of your hand across your mouth and try not to make eye contact when somebody catches you in the act. It’s filthy; it’s shameful; it’s something you don’t talk about in public.

My personal Waterloo is Cheetos — there’s something about their hydrogenated, neon-orange cheese monstrousness that is utterly irresistable to me. (Only crunchy Cheetos need apply.) Every time I walk past a vending machine I’m drawn as if by gravitational force to stare into its scarred, plexiglass casing and stare longingly at the Cheetos. They’re disgusting. I know what’s in them — I mean, I had to look up a lot of the words that seemed to be multi-syllabic translations for the term Weird Science Shit That Should Not Be Going Into Your Stomach — and I know that what is in them should not be in me, and yet. I’m not joking, if I played Dungeons and Dragons and wore a cape, I’d be this guy, basically.

I can’t even pass it off as a comfort food; I was never allowed to eat them as a child and I didn’t really start to gorge myself to embarrassment until my freshman year of college (no comments from the peanut gallery about the freshman fifteen, please), when Cheetos and Diet Cherry Coke were my lifebood throughout second semester exams, when I couldn’t be assed to leave my dorm unless it was to fail an exam in the burning heat of a North Carolina May.

Your first hit is 90 cents, the rest are…okay, also 90 cents at the UNC Vending Machines of Shanking Your Wallet, but you’ll keep hurting yourself, tucking into tiny, crinkling cellophane bags with a deranged cheetah on the cover sporting lame, outdated sunglasses.

And even though I love the Cheetos with a love that is pure and fierce and true, I will continue to hang my head and avoid eye contact; the chances of eating Cheetos as a food group becoming socially-acceptable is pretty slim anyway — but doing it while reading a copy of Jeffrey Steingarten’s The Man Who Ate Everything doesn’t have a chance in hell.


Written by lshen

October 2, 2006 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Cheetos make me gag, for which a small part of me is glad and the rest, thankful. ;o) Not that I don’t have my own secret shames, of course. Nothing brings back memories of all-night dorm study sessions like Iced Cherry Pop-Tarts and Diet Mountain Dew…


    October 3, 2006 at 5:49 am

  2. I truly believe that Cheetos are the most embarrassing of the vending machine snack foods. When I buy them at work — and I swear to God, I rarely buy them — I end up doing this weird dance back to my desk where I try to keep them out of sight by holding the bag behind my back, then shifting it to the front when someone’s behind me, then to my left side, then my right…you get the idea, all so no one will catch me. And then at my desk I’ll poor them out on a napkin and throw away the bag right away.

    The worst part is that I end up paranoid about Cheeto-mouth and Cheeto-fingers for the rest of the day, no matter how many times I check in a mirror.


    October 4, 2006 at 7:21 am

  3. This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

    My Home Improvement Guide

    August 17, 2007 at 4:21 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: