Opinion: Food for thought


I’m in a lot of trouble. I tried to sneak in the back door without my wife seeing me, but I got caught with you-know-what on my breath: salami.

Yes, I had been out carousing. At Kroger. Since COVID-19 started, my wife prefers that we not go into stores, but instead pick up our food orders curbside. I’m sorry, but you can’t indulge yourself in guilty delights on a computer screen, so … I put on my N95 mask and silently slipped out the door. Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it?

I returned home with a bagful of goodies. I’ve devised many clever places to hide questionable food choices. I once got caught hiding a Johnsonville sausage link in an empty lamp socket.

“What is that?” she asked.

“It’s a 40-brat bulb,” I told her.

Back to my attempted covert entry into the house. Mary Ellen eyed each item as I unloaded my bag onto the counter:

Muffins: “Are they gluten free? How much added sugar?”

Eggs: “Did you look at the expiration date? Did you check to see if any of them were cracked? These are not from cage-free farms. And they’re cheaper at Costco. Brown eggs don’t go with the new fridge.”

French bread: “It’s just going to go bad. You never finish it. It gets hard as a rock overnight because you don’t seal the package. After three days, the birds won’t even eat it.”

Pistachio nuts: “Why did you buy those? You know we’re just going to eat them. Almonds are better for us.”

Milk: “A quart? It’s so much cheaper by the gallon. And how many grown men still drink chocolate milk?”

Cheese dip: “That reminds me, did you remember to pick up your Lipitor?”

My wife doesn’t have food cravings like I do. If Mary Ellen turned to me one night and said, “I have this hankering for a pastrami sandwich and a half sour pickle,” well, I can tell you right now, I’d want to check her photo ID before we spent the rest of the night together.

Last week, I was yearning for a jumbo shrimp cocktail. By the time I got to the store, I had lost that desire and opted instead for a bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos. That poor nutritional choice required finding the perfect hiding place at home to avoid my wife’s disapproving eye. I can never use the space under the back deck. The raccoons know exactly what I’m up to.

Truth is, I get a kick out of the game of Hide and Eat. I recently stashed a chocolate chip cookie under my pillow. That night, just after we turned off our bedroom TV, Mary Ellen made me promise to think about laying off of bad food. I told her I’d sleep on it.