Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

candy cigarettes

This Weight Watchers Plan I follow to achieve my thinning-in-progress involves the counting of points. The actual formula is a bit complex, so I use an approximation device. A food with x calories is 1 point, while a gram of fat in a serving adds a point, and a gram of fiber in a serving subtracts a point. I eat something in the range of 28 points a day, with a 35-a-week margin of error. A bowl of raisin bran with non-fat milk comes to around 5, while turkey, new potatoes, steamed vegetables and a small cornbread at Boston Market come to around 10.

This program works so well for me because it reduces decision-making about food to a math problem.
I always think that more of life, and in particular more things in which people invest emotion, are fundamentally math problems. I was raised to believe that mathematic mastery was the key to authentic living,
although I proved my own inauthenticity in college during three grueling and barely-survived semesters of

I like to reduce the irreducible to the irrefutable through math, as an adult, in which my math training too scant to serve in science proves quite equal to the algebra, arithmetic and litigations of accounting issues in commercial litigation. I delight in finding concrete ways to express my choices through math, as if it made up for a multitude of derivation and integration sins of the past.

The math "smiles" on turkey, sushi, pho, grilled fish, and oatmeal. The math "frowns" on huge beef burritos, quarter pounders with cheese, and Hershey bars.

I find myself, therefore, scanning the back of labels of this product or that product at the convnience store, and even at the 99 cent store, findings the calorie, fat and fiber content, and doing match in my head.

Last night I found myself in a Garland convenience store, prior to heading over to the Salvation Army. I saw a package of candy cigarettes.

I have never actually smoked anything. As a result, I find that I am less passionately anti-smoking than those who smoked and quit. I wish I could say I possess some special virtue that makes me unwilling to smoke and unlikely to drink, but it's actually more a way of habitual living than any grand choice. People whom I hung out with saw smoking and, for that matter, partying in general, as a kind of undesirable submission to an unsatisfactory prevailing way of doing things. I'm always intrigued by people who revel too much in the squeaks of their clean, when their choices are not expressions of some virtue but merely acculturation.

When I was a kid, I loved to puff on candy cigarettes. They had powdered sugar on the end, so that when one blew on one end, candy "smoke" flew from the other end. They were simple, sweet sticks of fun.

Imagine my pleasure, therefore, when an entire of packet of candy cigarettes was only 60 calories, with zero fat. That's a mere one Weight Watchers point. I could eat a package of candy cigarettes at almost no cost.

I bought a package of Lucky Strikes, I mean, "Target: candy cigarettes, and tasted that sweet hit of sugary paleness, pleasant in every way. I know that in some quarters these creations are considered gateway drugs to
menthol madness. Indeed, they're not even called candy cigarettes anymore, but "candy sticks".

But for me, taking a puff of a candy cigarette is a relaxing break from the cares of the day, allowing me to ponder the big questions, like the reason why a Zero bar is actually fairly manageable, while a Butterfinger is out of the question. It's all a question of the math.

Teru--"Start (featuring Fumie)"
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