Food Schizophrenia: Living in the “Real World”

I don’t live alone eating fabulous little organic snacks, with my re-useable eco-friendly grocery bag, from a health food store, wearing all-hemp clothing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

I drive carpool in my SUV, and wore an Abercrombie t-shirt today, and forgot my re-useable bags so I stuffed groceries, unbagged, in my purse. And then, today, I worked the Snack Shack at my son’s baseball game. Serving hot dogs. Every varsity parent has to do a turn.

I really did that.

I stood at the end of the table covered with candy and stuff, fetching people Gatorade and hot chocolate and candy bars, signing a box of Green Smoothies Diet books in between customers, all while trying to see the baseball game. (Moms. We’re multi-taskers. We learn to live in snippets. You never really get to focus on anything.)

If you don’t think I took some heat for schlepping hot dogs, from the parents who were there who know me well, think again.

Jeff said, as he walked past, “People will wonder why the snack shack didn’t make any money today!”

Not true. The snack shack made a killing. I kept my thoughts of “Would you like Blue Dye Number 1 for Attention Deficit Disorder, or Red #40 for anaphylactic shock?” to myself. Instead I said, “Blue Gatorade or Purple?” I might think the thought, “Only a dollar for carcinogenic nitrites in a bun!” but what came out of my mouth was, “Would you like catsup and mustard on that?”

Someone said, “Are the hot dogs really really good?” I confess to saying, “I really don’t know. I haven’t had one since 1987.” (A mental censor stopped this thought from coming out of my mouth: “You mean ground chicken beaks and feathers?”)

Jeff also called me five minutes after he left and said, “You need to take a photo of you working in the snack shack. And send it to me.” So I did. Here it is for your enjoyment.

Right before I’d left for the game, I got a group email from my son’s church leader about the activity this week. He said, “It’s at 6 a.m., but don’t worry, because afterwards, we’ll feed the kids donuts and drop them off at school.” (He’s a DENTIST.)

I kept my mouth shut at the baseball game. But I confess that, to the church leader, I wrote an email saying that the activity requires that I have to choose between his physical health and his spiritual health. (I haven’t made up my mind whether to send him or not, but really? Donuts? If I ate a donut for breakfast, I’d feel sick for hours. Lard, white flour, sugar—that’s all it is.)

A father at the game asked what I was doing, signing books. His son, Scooter, is rather worshipped at Timp High School, and his older son Rhett led the baseball team a few years ago to a state championship. He thought my signing nutrition books while manning the candy table was a riot. He showed me his bag of caramel rice cakes and asked me if they qualified to clear my high bar.

I told him, “If you look at this table, I bet you can’t guess what my pick for WORST snack is.”

Here, I’ll tell you the options and you can guess. Laffy Taffy, Snickers, Hershey’s Chocolate, 3 Musketeers, Red Vines, Roasted Peanuts, Salted Nut Bar, Spitz Sunflower Seeds, Fruit Snacks.

He said, “Well, it’s not the peanuts.”


He guessed Laffy Taffy. Nope. (It’s awful, of course, but there’s even worse.)

It’s the Spitz Sunflower Seeds (Dill or Barbecue flavor). They’re full of MSG, a deadly neurotoxin. I’d take sugar, over that substance, any day.

My second-worst may also be a surprise to you. It’s fruit snacks. First ingredient, high fructose corn syrup. The very worst refined sweetener there is. (This is actually a ridiculous contest because all of those candies have corn syrup, Laffy Taffy has those awful food dyes….it’s a contest between terrible and awful.)