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Yes, I gave the Peeps a party…and then I ate them!

I have a very good reason for not writing my Book Blog today.

I enjoyed a delicious lunch with a friend and came home and spent hours editing my latest novel.  I kept meaning to stop and write my blog, but before I got up from my chair the afternoon just got by me.  I’m a terrible liar…that’s not what happened at all.  The truth is I got myself into a little bit of a sugar-high followed by a giant sugar-crash.  And there you have it.  I’m sure you’re asking yourself…what kind of idiot eats that much sugar?  This one. 

Most adults cringe at the thought of biting into a sugary-neon-colored marshmallow Peep.  Not me.  I’ve been known to eat a whole box in one day.  All right, I confess, one box in one sitting.  That’s a whole lotta Peeps.  But, I stand by the squishy, mushy, sugary chicks and bunnies.  It’s like biting into a little piece of Heaven.

Here’s something fun to do with a bunny Peep.  When someone is talking, bite off one of the bunny’s ears.  When they stop talking, waiting for you to respond, turn the bunny toward them and say, “Ehhh?  What?”

It makes me laugh everytime I do it.  My husband only laughed the first two times.  Now he won’t say anything until I bite off its head ensuring I won’t sink to using the same joke numerous times in a row.  It really does make me laugh EVERY time.

More confession:  I have a terrible candy addiction, but my neurosis goes deeper than that.  It has to be a certain kind of candy for that particular time of year.  Let me explain.  It goes something like this:  At Easter I must have yellow chicks or bunnies (pink ones are not as good, butI’ll eat them if they’re in front of me).  Fall:  candy corn—all kinds of candy corn (they come in flavors now), Christmas:  cherry cordials.  In between all major holidays and in addition to the holiday candy…any kind of candy that can be found at the counter of the movie theater (i.e. Milk Duds, Twizzlers, Junior Mints etc.).  However, I simply cannot eat certain kinds of candy any other time of the year.  Candy Corn in the summer?  Preposterous!

 I admit it.  I am addicted and my dentist hates me.  No, really.  He does. 

So, you’ll never believe this:  I went to lunch at a health food store today.  Yep, me.  In a health food store.  Eating.  And here’s a real shocker: this was my third trip—and I have a punch-card to prove it. 

The first time (a couple of weeks ago) I was skeptical…or more like hesitant.  Okay, maybe I was horrified and repulsed at the thought, but I was with two friends who don’t ply their bodies with sugar and caffeine at unvarying intervals and constant inhuman levels, so I agreed.  I suppose no reasonable person exists on a diet of sugar and cheese.  Of course, I’m not a reasonable person and besides, I was outnumbered that day. 

I stepped up to the counter and studied the menu.  Shockingly, it looked pretty good to me.  Living in West Texas, I am almost certain this is the only restaurant in 200 miles that doesn’t have some sort of barbequed animal on its menu.  Be it pig or cow, you can get your fill pretty much anywhere–at Rite Aid, Joe’s Hardware or in a shack in front of the Little League park.  I once was in an expensive antique furniture store and upstairs, in the back…you guessed it.  You could get a pulled-pork sandwich and home fries.  In an upscale furniture store!

Here in the Lone Star State they serve BIG pieces of barbequed beast.  I mean plate-size portions.  If there is a little bit of room left on the ginormous plate, they might throw on a couple of green beans (with bacon), but those and any  other vegetables are really superfluous.  This is MEAT country.   I’ve eaten so much beef since we moved here that I’m beginning to moo instead of scoff and I’ve had enough pork to squeal at the slightest provocation.  Wait…to be fair, I think I did the squealing-thing before we moved out west.  I could almost swear I never moo’d before though.

So, there I am at the counter ready to order.  My friends go first and then it’s my turn.

“I’ll take the avocado stuffed with tuna salad.”

“Great.  And to drink?”

“Diet Coke?”

The two people behind the counter looked at me like I’d uttered sacrilege and I quickly said, “Kidding! Heh heh.  Kidding.”

I cringed when she said, “No diet Coke, but we have some organic sugar-free fruit-flavored soda water.”

WTF?  What on Earth would I do with that?  Put it in my hummingbird feeder?

“No, thanks.”

“Would you like water or tea?”  Now wait…this is not just tea, but, herbal, natural, no preservative, good-for-you-tea.  I, of course, chose the lesser of two evils—water.

I will admit right here.  The food was fantastic!  So much so…I went back!

On my second visit, I came armed.  I had a can of diet Coke in my purse.  All was right in the world.

I ordered another delicious stuffed avocado.  After our food was served, I dug around in my purse until I produced my prize—my delicious carmel-flavored chemical concoction.  Mmmmm….

Surprisingly, this restaurant is popular.  Why do I find it surprising?  Well, I wouldn’t if it were located pretty much anywhere else.  This place is like a little oasis in the desert for artistic-types. 

This restaurant does NOT have a sign out in front that says, “No Concealed Weapons” like some of the eating establishments around here.  (Apparently, you can’t conceal your weapons while in some restaruants, but it’s probably okay to bring your shotgun in and set on the counter or across the table.  They just don’t want to be surprised by your gun slinging.  I mean if it’s out in the open, then it’s fair game—you’ve been warned.)  But I digress….

This place is filled with people whom I’ve never seen walking around anywhere in this city.  It’s almost like the restaurant imported these people from California just to add ambiance to the earthy bistro—okay maybe not imported from California, but Austin, at least.

Customers—and by customers I mean those of the “natural persuasion” chatted amiably all around our table.  Then…


Never has the sound of a pop-top echoed through a building like it did when I opened my contraband can.  Every head turned my way as they attempted to spot the heathen who brought poison onto hallowed ground.  What heathen besmirched the sacred dining facility?

The server asked incredulously, “Did you bring in a Coke?”  I admit she said it with a smile.  One of those, “placate-the-weirdo” smiles.  (I get a lot of those for some reason.)

Turning red, I said, “Yes.  I’m sorry.”  At that moment, I really was sorry.  Sorry that I hadn’t opened my can outside before we came in.

“It’s all right.  Don’t worry about it,” she said.  Everyone went back to eating.  I have made some very good friends here because neither of them pretended not to know me.

But, the woman at the counter?  I knew by her expression that she pretty much wrote me off as a chemically-altered, caffeinated, preservative-laden cretin.  She wasn’t wrong in her assumption, either.  I’m surprised my body didn’t reject the organic-nature of my meal.

Today was my third visit.  I was with a different friend.  We were going to a museum and spontaneously stopped for lunch.  Damnit!  I didn’t have a diet Coke in my purse.  I’m beginning to think it may not be a bad idea to carry a spare.  But…I survived drinking the water and the food was once again fabulous.

I almost made it out without making a food faux pas until…

I opened up a big bag of red Cherry Sours candy from my purse (I always have candy in my purse—I’m like a grandmother—except my candy isn’t hidden under used tissue and sticky with hairs attached—most of the time, that is).

So, I open up my bag of death.  OMG!  Sugar and RED DYE.

We had the cutest young server who looked the part—I mean he could’ve come from Central Casting at Warner-Bros studio after the director found him in the actor-catalog-of-headshots under : cool, sensitive, hippie, tree-hugger poet/lyricist-type—with dimples. This kid could’ve been made to order—but what was he doing in West Texas?  Anyway…he thought eating the detrimental-to-all-living-creatures-candy was akin to signing my own death warrant. 

I popped three in my mouth.

“Did you know we sell organic, sugar-free taffy by the cash register?” he asked cringing as I happily chewed the delicious Red Dye #4 covered in sugar.

I passed on the taffy.  What’s the point of putting my body in shock?  It’s so used to the sugar-high, sugar-coma routine now.  And besides…sugar-free taffy?  Why not just pop an eraser in your mouth?  Ick.

Next time I go in (and there will be a next time) I’m bringing my diet Coke and a box of Peeps.  What can I say?  I’m a conformist in a non-conformist restaurant.

If you haven’t had a saffron marshmallow bunny in a long time, g’head, try one again.  You’ll enjoy it.  If your body hasn’t built up a resistance to large doses of sugar, don’t eat the whole box in one sitting.  It WILL put you in a sugar coma.  But, on the bright side, you’ll have a good 12 hours sleep–that is, after your spouse peels you off the ceiling from the sugar high.

And that is why I do not have a book blog today.