Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Fatal Attraction

Ms. Dee, is it really necessary to put pounds of pastrami on your Reuben? Right, stupid question.

We all do things we shouldn't do. Some people compulsively steal, lie or take drugs. Others, like myself find themselves in unhealthy relationships.
I have an unhealthy love affair with the Reuben. And the worse thing is, I know the Reuben not only doesn't like me, but actually hates me with a burning, artery clogging passion. (And sometimes a tingling sensation on the left side of my body). It lets me know the depth of its hate every time I even catch a whiff of cured meat. In fact most people start searching for baby aspirin and a defibrillator when they start experiencing what I do every time I chow down on the heaping mass of succulent hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing stuck between two golden brown, butter soaked pieces of rye bread.

I'm full after about two bites and have the constant worry that my jaw may lock as I struggle to wrap my lips around the mountain of meat. Beads of perspiration begin to form about a minute after I start experiencing shortness of breath. When I'm just a few bites away from putting down the first half of the rube and the bread is all but disintegrated - fusing the sandwich into one greasy mass of goodness - the dizziness sets in. This is the moment that truly tests my meddle. Light headed, gasping for air and starring at the second half of the sandwich through blurred vision I know I have an uphill battle in front of me. Do I set the second half aside, set up base camp and go for the summit in the morning? Or do a forge ahead and finish the rube off right then then and there?
I'm not ashamed to admit that at times, I stand the sandwich up so the bread doesn't get too soggy on either side and it finds its way to my broiler at home before eventually making its way to my stomach. Other times, usually egged on like by my colleagues like I never left the junior high lunch room, I take a deep breath and go to work on the remnants of the rube. It reminds of me when my friends and I would create impossible challenges involving large quantities of food and a 30 second count down for Nate who couldn't turn town a challenge involving food.
I get a sense of the triumphant joy of accomplishing the impossible, the joy that Nate never felt but always went after, each time I finish a Dee's Reuben. It's a small victory in my day. That victory is short lived though as the dizziness gives way to fatigue. I end up feeling like a bear that has just spent months gorging in preparation for hibernation and all I want to do is find a warm dark place and sleep until winter ends. But Instead of sleep I jump start my heart with a near lethal dose of caffeine and head back to my computer.
So why do it? Like my friend Nate who could never beat the clock or Charlie Brown who always has the football snatched away at the last minute I go back the Reuben. I guess the most simple answer for this inexplicable and self destructive behavior (and coincidentally the reason why the bulk of Americans are obese) is simply because I can and it always seems like a good idea at the time. That, and damn Dee makes a good Reuben.

1 comment:

Pam said...

The romance writing is sooo good I want another chapter or a sequel...Perhaps featuring a philly cheesesteak with double meat or a mixed relationship like southern fried chicken and an artichoke heart getting together.......