The Hellhole

Thursday, November 06, 2008

This post is inspired by Z, who wrote a post about food cravings - getting on a kick and eating one food over and over. I know that for Mr. Nancy, that's pretty much standard operating procedure; he not only can eat the same thing meal after meal and not get bored, but seems to prefer it that way. [Nancy, feel free to expound upon this statement!] I tend to get bored eating the same thing over and over at every meal - a dinner and two lunches in a row is pretty much my limit on leftovers, even if it's something I quite like. Alan falls somewhere in between; he's had spaghetti for dinner every night this week but I got bored after two. He also goes on kicks where he eats the same breakfast every day for months before switching to another staple.

I've had a hard time ever since our bout of food poisoning in early October - nothing sounds appealing to me, I can't think of anything I want to eat, even when I do choose something I don't want it once it's in front of me. I still cook, like with the spaghetti, but once it's on the plate before me I'm uninterested. I eat a few bites, because one has to eat and Alan fusses at me, but I don't really want it.

The last two nights while Alan's enjoyed spaghetti (with Pecorino Romano and not Parmesan style cheese-resembling topping, if you read my last post) for dinner, I've eaten a toasted bagel smeared with cream cheese and topped with crispy bacon. I realize there are ALL SORTS of things wrong with that, eating pig meat for one, mixing meat and dairy for another, and doing both on top of a traditional Jewish bread but hey! I'm Catholic! I'll break any dietary laws I like! Ha-HA! Er, Saturday through Thursday anyway. (I'm kidding, I realize that's not even a sin anymore.)

Alan fussed about that, too, saying it wasn't enough for dinner but I didn't want anything, not a thing in the house appealed to me, and at least I knew the aroma of lovely, lovely bacon would be enough to entice me to finish it - because personally, no matter how hungry I am or am not, even if I haven't been thinking of or craving any of them, there are three things I cannot smell without wanting at least a small taste: bacon, coffee, popcorn.

"This is a great dinner! All the food groups are represented!" I argued to Alan.

"Oh really?" he asked. "And what might those be?"

"Well, um, grains and cereals in the bread, and cream cheese for dairy, and bacon is meat."

"I think you left out one or two there."

"FRUIT!" I declared, triumphantly brandishing my glass of wine. "Grapes are fruit."

"Uh-HUH," he said, rather unconvinced. "Well, you're watching Alton Brown and there are vegetables behind him on the television, so I suppose you'll be arguing next about how that TOTALLY counts."

(I think we've been together too long.)

It can work the opposite way, too - besides weeks-long food cravings, food aversions can occur. I'm not referring to foods you always hated and never wanted to eat but you know how if you get sick, even if a virus and not the food itself is responsible, whatever food you last ate you NEVER want again - or at least not for a long time. One example is the Combo, an innocent snack food. A long time ago in a college far, far away (well, actually only 200 miles away but Lucas's version sounded better) Alan and Mr. Nancy drank a wild-weekend-on-Coruscant's-worth of beer between them and Alan subsequently (or maybe simultaneously, I wasn't there - Sandy, were you???) consumed an entire bag of Combos. History is unclear as to whether the Combos were shared with Mr. Nancy, my eyewitness claiming that he has trouble recalling, but it did NOT end well. Alan says, over my shoulder, in LOL-cat speak, "DID NOT WANT!!!" Alan can't stand Combos to this day, and doesn't even like to see/smell them.

In the interest of fairness, I'm no angel either although my worst experience wasn't exactly food. When I was (ahem!) a couple of years under the legal drinking age, I got "to' up from the flo' up" as my friend Bevy would say, on peppermint schnapps. Result: I couldn't brush my teeth with anything but baking soda for, like, the next three weeks because the minty flavor of my toothpaste brought back horrible, horrible memories.

So - I'd love to hear your food tales. Are there things you could never stop eating? Things you ate and wish you never had? Things you not only never want to eat, but never want to see, smell or think of again? And especially, are there hilarious circumstances surrounding any of the above???


  • Combos - still DO NOT WANT, 25 years later.

    By Blogger Alan, at 9:58 PM  

  • Beans. They were forced on me as a child, and I still cannot stand the texture.

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 10:52 PM  

  • Beans, beans, the musical --

    oh wait, I've said too much...

    By Blogger Helly, at 11:14 PM  

  • Beets...I cannot bear to smell beets any more. When I was pregnant with you, I wanted beets! (Who knows why..I'd never eaten them before!) I put 'em in my salads, served them as side dishes with my regular southern veggies, etc. No alcohol involved in that one, though.

    I am sure you recall the famous 'my daddy made me eat liver' story. No alcohol there, either as I was only about 5 or so...

    After a really adventuresome evening at Underground Atlanta, I hurled popcorn (yep, good ol' popcorn - that's all I'd eaten!) for about 45 minutes down the side of the highway...couldn't bear to smell it for years! Lots of alcohol with that one...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 AM  

  • My story begins, as so many of them often do, on a New Year's Eve.

    I was in Athens, going to a New Year's Eve party with several friends. It was being thrown at a hotel downtown, because several people from the online MUD that most of us played were in town visiting.

    I brought with me a full bottle of Bacardi dark rum and two 2-liters of Coke (rum and Coke being my drink of choice at the time). I had not eaten all day, but I trusted to my (extremely high) tolerance for alcohol to keep me upright and sane.

    I should not have done that.

    Over the course of the evening, I killed the entire bottle of rum, plus (I think) both the 2-liters. I'm not sure because my memory after about 9:00 that night is extremely hazy. From eyewitness accounts, however, it was reported that I:

    1. Drank at least five strong rum-and-cokes in about two minutes at one point;

    2. Held forth with wit and verve on several completely nonsensical topics but extremely entertaining topics, until the massive intake finally dulled me to the point where I started slurring my speech;

    3. Got so drunk that I couldn't stand properly, went to the bathroom and ripped the towel rack off the wall attempting to use it as a handrest;

    4. Passed out in the closet (??) for a couple hours, where I sat there drooling on myself;

    5. Never threw up, to everyone else's astonishment; they put a trash bucket near me but I never filled it, although I would wake up occasionally to spit into it.

    The following day (and several days after) I paid for it. About three minutes after waking up, I threw up. Took a shower and threw up while showering, twice. Tried to eat some crackers and 7-Up; those came back up. Lay down for a nap; threw up twice more.

    Et cetera. For the next TWO DAYS I was not able to keep down any sustenance of any kind at all. Being stupid, I hid the extent of my distress from my parents (who I'd gone home to visit over the next couple days); they probably would have taken me to the hospital if they'd known. Two days later, I was finally able to eat and drink again.

    This was the first time I had ever been sick from drinking. It was also the last time. Apparently I don't do anything at all by half measures.

    To this day I cannot abide even the scent of rum; it triggers my gag reflex almost immediately. This is a shame, as I hear a lot of good mixed drinks are made with rum. Not for me.

    [[The Oracle would like to know if you've got any drinking stories of your own.]]


    By Anonymous Phil C., at 3:34 PM  

  • Mark can neither confirm nor deny the Combos story. Apparently drinking and consuming junk food were such every day occurrences that the incident didn't stand out for him.

    The last time I got horribly sick to my stomach, I was eating macadamia nuts just before everything went downhill. I'm sure the nuts had nothing to do with my illness, but my brain made the association anyway, and I have an aversion to them now.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 8:53 PM  

  • Me too I couldn't tell you if I was there. We drank a lot in college, so gods know how many brain cells I managed to damage.

    Once, I took a whole week off of work just to goof off at home (this was when I lived in Atlanta). That Friday after getting off work, I ate chinese take-out and it was sesame chicken. I loved loved loved sesame chicken. Well came down with food poisoning Saturday and was not able to keep anything down until Wednesday. I survived on ice chips and in all reality I should have gone to the hospital. Needless to say sesame chicken seems revolting to me now.


    By Blogger Topcat, at 9:43 AM  

  • Wow, all these people drinking excessively in college...I had no idea...

    By Blogger Helly, at 10:47 AM  

  • Blech, all these drinking stories are making me feel sick. There are more drinking stories here than the times I've been really drunk. I can think of twice - once in Hawaii (cuz I was 18 and I was legal, although the getting sick part had to do with smoking pot & drinking - for some reason, the duo makes for instant sickness for me) and once when I lived in Pacifica and my ex and I split a bottle of sake, then feeling really good, split another bottle. Then, I didn't feel so good. However, once I finished, uh, getting rid of the excess sake, I felt perfectly fine. It was weird.

    I can barely drink anymore, for no reason that I can think of, but more than one drink makes me feel kind of sick.

    Oh, to answer the question - I get bored with food and twice in a row is usually my limit. I was hooked on PB&J on Hawaiian Bread for a while though.

    My brother won't eat some sort of chocolate (wow, a memory that I've had for 30 years is suddenly gone) ice-cream anymore. He was stoned in high school, got the munchies and ate like a gallon of it.

    By Anonymous Flippy, at 6:30 AM  

  • Sorry it's taken me so long to come over here... But to answer your question, yes, I totally get food aversions too.

    First to come to mind, from your own stories, is Rum. Ah, Frosh year of college. NOT a good memory there.

    Others have been... spinach. Anything that I've eaten and bitten down on something hard that shouldn't have been there (ie green beans with an uncooked bean in them, veggies that still have sand/grit on them - which I don't quite get, how does that happen when the veggies have been COOKED?!?!, etc), when I've eaten too much rice and my stomach feels like it might explode...

    Things I could always eat? Bread. And more bread. :)

    By Blogger Z, at 11:21 AM  

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