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Charlie Hatton
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A Pantry Too Far

Sometimes I think the sole purpose of multilevel houses and apartments is to discourage snacking.

Mostly, I have that thought at times like this, as I sit in the second-floor office daydreaming about the food sitting in the first-floor kitchen. I know that if I were nearer to that food — just a room or two away, perhaps — I’d be eating it. Constantly.

It’s almost midnight, and I know I really shouldn’t eat at this hour — but no one seems to have explained that to my stomach’s satisfaction. And if tasty snacks were within easy reach right now, I know who’d win that argument. I also know who’d end up with Chee-to dust caked on his face and fingers, wondering how his ‘midnight snack’ turned into a four-course meal and a two AM tummyache.

“I could have a severed arm, and I wouldn’t walk that far for a Band-Aid; I’m certainly not schlepping all that way for Cheez Whiz and Triscuits.”

Luckily for me, the food is tucked away safely in the kitchen — way the hell down a flight of stairs, through a hallway, and around the corner. And I’m a lazy old fart. I could have a severed arm, and I wouldn’t walk that far for a Band-Aid; I’m certainly not schlepping all that way for Cheez Whiz and Triscuits.

Which leads me to wonder — are people who live in ranch houses or small apartments generally fatter than the rest of us? I remember my first studio apartment, a few years back. It was tiny. You couldn’t get more than ten feet away from the fridge if you tried. And I was too poor to go out much, so all I really remember is watching TV, sleeping, and eating. Lots and lots of eating.

(Ramen noodles, mostly, which don’t really count as food, made from cardboard and defective drywall as they are. But there was mac ‘n’ cheese, too, which is probably packed with calories.

Oh, and beer. Lots and lots of beer. It was the only carb I could afford, and after a few of those, I’d forget that I hadn’t eaten meat or vegetables or fresh fruit in several weeks. That was nice.)

Maybe it’s just me; perhaps other people in single-floor housing have greater willpower. Mine’s virtually nonexistent, though. Occasionally, I’ll test myself by bringing a ‘stash’ up to the office. A bag of Doritos, maybe, or a jar of peanuts. And I’ll tell myself:

Nice and easy, now. Pace yourself, and these goodies will last you a few weeks, without the hassle of running to the kitchen every time.

Ten minutes later and the food’s gone. The only evidence left are empty, licked-clean containers and Planters-flavored belches. The guys from CSI wouldn’t even find traces of food. Gone.

So I know better than to stock myself a mini-fridge up here, or to ever move back into single-level housing. Me in a two-story house — old, lazy, and well-fed, but not morbidly obese. Me in a ranch home, or back in that studio? I’d have the fire department on speed dial, because they’d be winching my wedged-in carcass out of the bathtub every morning. Not a pretty visual.

In my current digs, though, there’s little chance of that sort of ballooning. My inertia is simply too great for a rumbly tummy to overcome. Tonight, for instance, I’m wrapping this up and going to bed, hunger pangs be damned. Those Chee-tos will just have to wait until we’re in the same neighborhood. I can lick that bag clean tomorrow.

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One Response to “A Pantry Too Far”

  1. Kristine says:

    I’m a compulsive eater…when someone brings Munchkins to work, it is almost impossible for me to eat less than 6. I chew gum and drink tea obsessively to keep myself from pigging out and I can’t keep snacky food in the house. :-(

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