Male addiction to Internet porn has gotten a lot of attention lately. Dr. Barry Pascal has—if not invented—discovered a little-known online threat that is just as insidious: virtual gluttony. (You can find Barry‘s comedy books for sale here.)
By BARRY PASCAL, Pharm.D.
Humorist, Satirist, and All-Around Nice Guy
For me, the most dangerous, diet-corrupting distraction device or item currently available on Earth is the Internet. How can that be, you ask? What about donut shops, frozen yogurt parlors, or the smell of French fries whenever you pass a fast food restaurant?
Well, those are certainly formidable, and we all know that it takes great conviction and determination to drive past any of those locations. But all of those places are known danger traps or diet corrupters. You can start telling yourself as you approach—Keep driving!—Don’t Look!—Don’t smell! The Internet, on the other hand, is insidious, sneaky, and treacherous.
At a donut shop you can tell yourself you are only going to eat the “donut hole” and convince yourself that you will just throw away the “hole holder” (that fat, tasty, and decorative part that holds the hole in place). When you go into a frozen yogurt shop, if you are like me, you go in just to sample one and only on,e of the new flavors using one of those itsy-bitsy, tiny little tasting cups they give you. Sometimes, in my case, the flavors and the cold cause a form of temporary amnesia, and I wind up an hour later being escorted out of the joint by two cold-armed employees. Those are known dieting hazards and we are all aware of them.
But the Internet is sneaky. It has hidden surprises and enticements at every click, and each click builds on the previous click—before you know it, it has sucked you in. Without realizing it, you begin drooling and slobbering all over your keyboard, and the screen freezes on something so delicious you start rummaging through your morning trash for scraps. It happens, and it happens fast. Let me tell you what happened to me this morning—now that my computer is working again.
Shirley sent me an article from one of the news sites about a new mode of solar energy generation derived from microscopic photovoltaic cells imbedded in house paint. In the middle of the page was a link to an article on increased electricity generation from new natural gas sources. And at the bottom of the page was an innocuous little link to “Ingenious New Use of An American Favorite.”
That link transferred me to another site, “A Creative New Look,” which then took me to “You Won’t Believe It Until You Try it,” which directed me to “How To Make Your Own Bacon Weave Taco.” I hit my head on my desk as I got up off the floor. Bacon weave taco? I was obsessed—I couldn’t stop following the links.
You take 14 pieces of bacon and weave them together and then bake them at 400 degrees for… Well, at the end of the process you add to your taco-like woven bacon shell spicy seasoned shredded beef; sour cream; avocado; lettuce; tomato; and, of course, shredded cheese. My cursor started jumping around erratically, as I used a sponge to constantly wipe my computer mouse off —after I took it out of my mouth and stopped sucking on it.
It was too late now… I was hooked. I clicked on the Bacon Weave Quesadilla, and then the Bacon Weave Pizza, the Bacon Weave Burrito, and finally the Bacon Weave Hamburger and Cheese. The crispy woven bacon sheets replace the obviously fattening outer tortilla shells, pizza crusts, or sandwich rolls. Somewhere between the drool-catching keyboard freezing up and the saliva-logged mouse the computer froze up—stuck on the Bacon Weave Crusted Mac & Cheese Pie.
I had been working on a 1600 calorie per day diet, and I figured I had added 325 more calories just looking at the pictures. My guess was that the woven bacon taco was a day and a half’s worth of calories in one sitting. I was sweating, shaking, and having hot and cold flashes while staring in a trance at my frozen computer.
I had to do something. I had to calm myself down. What was I to do? My computer screen was marooned on an image full of bacon and cheese, and I was a wreck. I took off the plastic raincoat I was wearing to protect my clothes from the constant drooling, and got into my car and drove to the first donut shop I could find. I felt better just walking in. I wanted to watch my diet so I ordered one simple donut hole. Unfortunately, it came with that darned donut hole holder, and I had to eat the fattening holder first in order to get to the low-calorie hole.
I was now angry and upset that the Internet had ruined my diet—again. I got a cup of coffee to go and left. I was really proud of myself that I didn’t go into frozen yogurt emporium on the way home. Well, actually, I couldn’t get in. The three that I stopped at weren’t open at 7:30 in the morning.
About the Author: Barry Pascal, former North San Fernando Valley Honorary Mayor and former Honorary Sheriff, owned Northridge Pharmacy for 32 years and is now retired. He has written seven comedy books and writes a humorous column for the California Pharmacists Association Journal as well as the North Valley Community Connection. Barry has been concerned with his weight ever since the Department of Motor Vehicles added conditions to his driver’s license. Besides wearing glasses, he has to wear backup lights on his keister and make a beeping sound when walking backwards.
© Barry Pascal 2013