Almost every Friday our team goes out to lunch and we eat mostly things that will reduce the amount of time we spend on Earth. Big, fat, burgers with bacon and cheese on them, Philly cheesesteaks, gooey pizza with every meat that can find a seat on the greasy circle of mozzarella and marinara, all accompanied by the dynamic duo of duodenal distress: onion rings and fries.
The result is packing on the pounds until one’s pants pop in a desperate act of surrender, and the blood pressure cuff doesn’t bother to inflate as a show of contempt for our disgusting dietary habits.
But this week I began an earnest attempt to reverse the growth of my gross gut and strain on my bathroom scale by bringing a healthy lunch to work each day and avoiding the vending machine and any contents within called Kit Kat, Snickers or Twix. The real test would be this Friday’s lunch out with the gang, and I passed…but I’m here to tell you it came at a price.
I chose “Sesame Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps” from the restaurant’s “healthy choices” menu. I now realize that’s a euphemism for “disgusting and sloppy foods less desperate people avoid.”
My meal came with a little crock of something resembling, uh, nothing I’ve ever seen before. There were little stringy things, tiny chunks of chicken, shredded carrots, some tiny red squares that may either be red peppers, tomatoes or the scab from the server’s pimples, all swimming in what I’m guessing is a soy sauce the color of a palomino’s pubis. I only know that color because I grew up near Belmont Racetrack and rode my bike around the paddocks.
Accompanying this mess was another little crock with six tiny lettuce leaves. Ostensibly the idea was to spoon the gook in the first crock into a lettuce leaf, fold it up and eat it. Nice idea. Poor execution. The lettuce leaves were about the size of a Spanish doubloon and could not possibly be folded once they were stuffed with a spoonful of chickenstringystuffcarrotredsquaressoysaucemush. I folded it as much as I could and attempted to quickly push the thing into my mouth only to have half the stuffing leak out the other side causing a tributary of the River of Soy to run down my arm.
Annoyed, but hungry as hell, I shoved the leaf and whatever contents were left within, into my pie hole. I tried this again with the next lettuce leaf and again, the stuff squirted out the other end, threatening to emblazon my lunch partner to my right with the Brown Badge of Bad Luck. He was not amused and threatened to shove the remains of his absolutely delicious looking burger up my personal lettuce wrap.
When I had exhausted all six lettuce leaves, I still had half a crock of crap left and nothing to stuff it in. You can imagine my relief when my only alternative was to finish it with an actual fork, but by then the idea of eating healthy had completely lost its charm.
I was tempted to order a nice, big plate of tater tots and wash it down with a pint of Guinness. But I resisted. I’d come this far in a week, there was no way I was gonna blow it. Afterall, there’s always next Friday. .at Steak n’ Shake…they have a very nice salad menu. I think I just made myself laugh.