In keeping with the solemn time of year (Passover Good Friday, taxes, hockey playoffs) I thought I'd talk about junk food. It is, I discovered last night, another universal conversation topic. Certain themes seem to recur at so many different age groups that they are almost never out of fashion. Sex, flatulence, crazy families, dogs and cats ... and jujubes. (If you like alliteration in your lists, how about: petting, pooping, parents, pets, potato chips.)
I remember junk food discussions in university, when we compared the staying power of various flavours of Pringles. One friend built complex structures out of the empty tubes. He said the work focussed his mind on the essay at hand. For some reason people are delighted to let you know about their secret craving for ridiculous and unnecessary products. Last night I stared as a sophisticated and well-dressed woman told me that she would crawl through slime for a Big Mac. No kidding, I said. Slime? She nodded.
I find enthusiasm compelling. I love hearing about things that other people care deeply about -- even if I don't care about them myself. One guy was so into caramel-centered chocolates that he was almost rude to the woman who preferred cream centers. He cared. It was the same with another woman and crullers. Funny and fascinating to watch the passion in her face. It was as though she was talking about a secret lover.
And of course she was. That's the point. We know they're bad for us. But, oh, aren't they wonderful. And saying the name -- just saying it aloud -- is both release and affirmation. It makes us feel good. Toblerone (actually Toblerone doesn't work for me). Salted peanuts. Yes, there we are. And again. Ah, salted peanuts. Yes, yes, yes.
And now I feel like a cigarette.
Quickie: if Chrismukkah is the winter mixed-faith holiday, what's the spring one? Easach? Pester? Just wondering. Passover the chocolate eggs, would you?