“Tea?” Barb asked.
“Thanks,” I said going over to select my tea while she laid out a small plate of celery sticks, organic flax crackers, and hummus. I took a few moments to look around her kitchen, and felt a twinge of envy. Every cooking tool I could think of was on display. Cookware hanging from the ceiling, a Veg-O-Matic Food Preparer, and a series of knifes marching in military formation across a magnetic strip above the oven. When she opened the refrigerator, I saw an over abundance of produce. Barb knew how to live.
Sipping my tea, my eyes came upon something I didn’t expect. A Pringles can. There was a can of Pringles peeking out from behind the Black & Decker TROS1500B Toaster Oven. I quickly looked around the room again. No, everything in this room screamed health and vitality. This Pringles can just didn’t fit. It was wrong. And it was hidden, like a ‘backdoor man’ in some backwoods movie.
It’s been almost two years since I’d cut out processed food. I’d gone organic. Organic veggies, organic fruits and organic meats. Hey, I’m no vegetarian, but I do want to be healthy. It’s easy to do as long as you never let the junk into your house.
That can of Pringles just winked at me.
The phone rang and Barb walked out of the kitchen, leaving me alone with the Pringles. Just one, I thought. Just one Pringle. Just one. I listened. Barb was still on the phone. I hurried over and opened the can. It felt good in my hand. We were meant to be together. There were just a few at the bottom. Maybe 13 left. I grabbed one and inhaled it. Oh, God, it was as good as I remembered.
I went over to check on Barb and she gave me the “Sorry, but I have to take this look.” I generously forgave her and rushed back over to the Pringle can. It was waiting for me, clearly it had been neglected. Just one more, just one. She’ll never notice. Shaking with desire, I opened the can and grabbed three of the Pringles and ate them while listening for Barb. My heart rushed up to meet the chewed Pringles as they slid down my throat.
I stood there dizzy, giving myself a pep talk. “That’s it. No more Pringles!” I went to look at Barb. Now she has her laptop out. Can’t she see what is going on right in front of her?
I looked at the Pringles. The Pringles looked at me. I looked at the Pringles. The Pringles looked at me. I looked at the Pringles and as it coyly beckoned me, I snatched the Pringles can, opened it up, grabbed the rest of the Pringles and shoved them all in my mouth. I crunched, swallowed and inhaled all at the same time, drowning in the salty, potatoey yumminess. Crumbs dribbled down my shirt as my chest heaved.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught my reflection in the Conair CVR-1000 Vertical Countertop Rotisserie, with touchpad, and swallowed the last bit while gazed in horror at myself.
I can’t be friends with someone who is so unhealthy that they allow Pringles into her house. Barb is a bad influence. I grabbed my bag and quietly let myself out the backdoor and as I let myself out of the backyard into the alley, I noticed a crumb still clinging to my shirt. I put that crumb in the palm of my hand, smiled in remembrance, and into my mouth went the last crumb of Pringle.