I come home from work last night, and my brother has ordered Pizza. Papa John's Pizza. One with Ham and spinach, and no tomato sauce (which is his... he's got Acid Reflux so bad that he had to buy three different trumpets in high school/college because the acid in his saliva ate through the front part of it.) And one with pepperoni and bacon. Now, first of all, the bacon on most pizzas is burnt and hard and gets in my teeth. Secondly, the tomato sauce is either shoveled on there or not present at all, the crust is rubbery, and the cheese is dry. But my mom and brother like it, cause it's "not as greasy as Pizza Hut's pizza."
Which is true. And aside from the garlic-butter-ultrafattening-itssogood sauce they put with each pizza, Papa John's pizzas are inferior to most other pizzas, including the ones you get for a dollar at the grocery store. Pizza Huts pizza's have the ideal amount of tomato sauce, ultra greasy cheese and pepperoni, piping hot cheesy goodness. And I'll gladly exchange adding the garlic butter for the moistness of PH's pizzas any day, and we're not even talking about the stuffed crust or the Triple-decker pizza that they really need to bring back. And I feel so sorry for the myriads of college students at Georgia College in Milledgeville who have had to use PJ's pizza for their meetings because PH doesn't deliver down there.
Okay, I'm gonna complain about my own company right now. So corporate people can listen in, or tune out, I don't care. Went to the cafe yesterday, looking for something sweet, and found Seattle's Best Ovensong Chocolate Chip cookies. Looked really good, so I bought one, took it downstairs, and warmed it up. The chocolate tasted much like plastic, and the cookie was sub-par. Why, oh Why did they switch from the amazing cookies they had before. Their White Chocolate cookie from the beginning of Seattle's Best Cafe, warmed up, was the best cookie I've ever tasted. It leaves the current cookies tasting like dust. So Borders, or Seattle's Best, if you're reading this, please go back to the old cookies, and you can charge whatever you want for them and I'll gladly buy them. The best things are always discontinued.
I was recently talking to a friend about Shoney's, whose declining sales and closing stores have effectively brought an end to American food restaurants in America. And for good reason, the quality of the food has declined, and the customer service has gone down. But there's something to be said for eating comfort food, good old American food, when nothing else will do. I crave Shoney's salad bar occasionally. I miss the breakfast bar with the strawberry shortcake and the french toast sticks and the eggs with the cheese sauce. And the Shoney's brownie ice cream dessert is something only to be outdone by Applebee's brownie ice cream sundae. So good! But I guess the time to eat American food is gone, replaced by Chinese or Italian or Mexican or whatever, most of which have been Americanized and disguised as such.
Finally, you can read all of that and listen to my arteries clog, but you also have to realize that food is one of the pleasures in this world I enjoy, and that society has not tabooed in one form or another.
Capitalism urges it, even as they promote diet plans to combat against it. Go to any magazine rack and pick up Ladies' Home Journal, and you'll find, in big letters, the latest greatest diet plan inside, pictured along side some amazing looking chocolate cream something or another.
Religion uses food in every measure of their faith. Even Jesus ate before he was crucified. The Methodists probably get more converts through good cooking than good preaching, and who hasn't wanted to drink a little more of Jesus' blood or eat more of the body of Christ (oyster crackers) during the Lord's Supper when all we want to do is sing the Doxology and run over to the Olive Garden and beat the lines.
Even our own brains, where Seratonin is raised by most any food, needs food to regulate mood and energy levels. And why is it that sweet tastes so good after salty?
In fact, and this is getting down to the point, that most pleasures that our world provides is ultimately going to cause pain, sickness, or death. If we're talking about wine, or sex, or food, or thrills of excitement and danger, each has the ability to kill us in one way or another. And that's not a depressing point to make. Bob Dylan sang, "He not being born is busy dying," and James Taylor chimed in, "The secret of Life is enjoying the passage of time." So, yes, the things we take pleasure, vices, if you will, will probably end up putting us in our graves, but who wants to live a long and miserable life? We should find our joys in life and treasure them, whether they be a good cheesecake or a precious loved one. And not worry about the problems that come down the road. It sounds Epicurean, and to some extent, it does. But if we add the self-regulation that a good, moral mind must exert on itself, then such vices are kept in balance, and we can enjoy life while acknowledging that we must die at some point. So let me have my greasy Pizza Hut pizza, and my moist White Chocolate chip cookie, and snuggle with one I love, because death is always not far away, and I would rather die knowing the sweetness of life, rather than the bitterness of trying to outmaneuver the grave.