Monday, November 1, 2010

The Charlie Sheen of Eating

Right now, Red Cross helicopters are probably circling the Greater Champaign-Urbana area dropping food rations to desperate undergrads. The reason: Hurricane Arley blew into town for a few days and while I was there, I ate everything in a 30-mile radius. Like, literally everything. Even things that were only borderline edible; (I'm looking at you, three-year-old candy corn!)

Over the weekend, I went on a 36-hour food bender, terrifying the locals and cutting a swath of destruction that can probably be seen from outerspace. Here is a tally of some of the damage:
  • Double-stuffed Oreos for breakfast! For breakfast! Instead of actual food!
  • Delicious Black Dog beef brisket with fries!
  • Marshmallows the size of a baby's head courtesy of my awesome friend Karo!
  • Candy corn and various other holiday-themed morsels of corn-syrup-and-food-colouring-based goodness!
  • Pumpkin-spice frozen yogurt with graham cracker crumbs (for a pumpkin pie-like mouth feel, because I am a Michelin-starred chef when it comes to fro-yo sundae construction) and yogurt chips (for crunch and because I freaking love yogurt chips even though I'm 95% sure they are made entirely of wax)!
  • Jimmy John's sandwiches at 3 a.m.! Freaky fast, freaky nostalgia-inducing!
  • Erin McQ's delicious chicken pot pie and apple pie. The vegetables cancel out the pie crust and make it nutritious!
  • A tailgating breakfast consisting of bacon-and-egg tortillas and mini cupcakes!
  • My weight's worth of fun-sized Halloween candy. Fun fact: American "fun sized" chocolate bars are twice as large as Canadian "fun sized" chocolate bars. End result: double the fun. Also: double the diabetes!
I am like the Charlie Sheen of eating, (well, except for the hooker locked in the bathroom part). The end result of this Bender of Deliciousness: I will be making a much bigger splash into the deep water aerobics pool than usual. Watch out, elderly ladies! I've picked up a little more gravity since the last time we met, but it won't slow me down.

As you can tell from the excessive use of exclamation points in this post, I am still coming down off a sugar high. I am also coming down off the high of being around people who enjoy my company despite knowing full well what a ridiculous human being I can be. It's not that I don't have friends in Vancouver. I do. There is, however, a difference between having a handful of friends (even if they are good friends!) and having an actual social life. I miss the Wednesday-night Project Runway "reading group" and random dinner-and-DVD nights and going to concerts with more than one person and sitting at a bar/restaurant with a full table of people whose company you enjoy on a regular basis and just walking into a room where a few dozen people say, "Hey, Arley!" as opposed to giving me Vancouver hipster side eye.

Okay, enough with the emo-ness. One of these days I will figure out the answer to the question of how someone meets people without the built-in friend machine known as school/ wheelchair basketball. Until then, however, I have recharged my social-skill batteries by seeing dozens of awesome people in a very short amount of time with very little sleep. Thanks to everyone who hung out with me/ ate or drank with me/ drove me to the airport despite the fact that Indianapolis is apparently changing its entire highway infrastructure at once.

My little weekend jaunt was also a good lesson in how to travel post-hip-replacement. The day I flew to Champaign, the TSA had instituted a brand new pat-down policy, which is just like the old pat-down policy but with 75% more groping. Usually, airport security patdowns go something like this:

Security guard: Can you empty out your pocket?
Me: There's nothing in my pocket. My hip replacement is setting off your metal detector.
Security guard: You're awfully young to have a hip replacement.
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Security guard: My grandma had a hip replacement a few years ago. She just loves it! She went skiing in Aspen! Now, I am just going to check in your pocket.
Me: Okay, but you've already checked there and it's just the metal of my hip replacement.
Security guard: What about your back pocket? There seems to be something in this back pocket. Perhaps you have some coins in there that you forgot to empty out.
Me: Do you not understand that someone chopped off the ball of my femoral head, sanded away my socket and replaced both with medical-grade cobalt chrome, and that these devices are implanted under my skin roughly equidistance between both my front and back pockets and are therefore setting off the metal detector wand in both places?
Security guard: I am not a doctor and therefore am not required as part of my job training to use common sense. Is there a reason why the area around your left hip is hot?
Me: Yes. I have a very small nuclear rector stored under my skin making tiny, tiny doses of plutonium. No, actually it's this thing called inflammation. Because. I. Had. A. Hip. Replacement.

Now, however, the conversations are a little different:

Security guard: Let me guess: you tore your ACL playing volleyball.
Me: No, I had a hip replacement.
Security guard: Oh. I guess that's better than a torn ACL. I heard they really hurt!
Me: ....
Security guard: *looking awkward* So, I just have to let you know that they brought in a new protocol for security pat-downs effective today.
Me: Oh yeah...
Security guard: *while awkwardly snapping on rubber gloves and avoiding my gaze* Yes, I am required by these new protocols to notify you in advance of some of the changes. For example, I will be placing one hand on your inner thigh and one hand on the outside of your hip and pressing inwards until I feel firm resistance. I am also required to check the waistband of your pants. I must also inform you that when I am inspecting a sensitive area, I will be using the back of my hand.
Me: Are you required by these new protocols to buy me a drink first? Or maybe meet my parents? Because I feel that this relationship is going really fast.
Security guard: ..... ha...ha...
Me: .....
Security guard: These new protocols are designed to make all Americans safer.

So, you're welcome Americans! In the interest of public safety, I allowed some chick to run her hands along my inner thigh not once, but twice. I also let her run the back of my hand under my boobs, which apparently is not harassment since she used the back of her hand and not the front.

You know that the new regulations are invasive when the security personnel, who are often made up of people who get pleasure out of being the worst part of someone's day, are made uncomfortable by it. I guess, however, that they probably have it worse off than I do, since can you imagine trying to find "firm resistance" on the inner thigh of a 90-year-old man? How would you know which was wrinkly old man thigh flesh and which was wrinkly old man ball sack?! (Too far? Too far).

This, however, has given me a really great new pickup line. One of these days, I am going to go up to some guy and put the back of my hand on his crotch, then say, "It's not sexual harassment! I used the back of my hand! Homeland security demands it!" I'm groping for America.