When I’m Tested for Diabetes My Blood Sample will be Red, White, and Blue

Sometimes things happen in this country that can only be described as “American.” When something is American it’s because it can only happen in America (more or less).  Buffets are American. PETA is American. Stores so humongous that the moniker “super market” doesn’t do it justice are American. Basically something is American if it involves absurd excess (buffets, epic stores), or anything that is made possible by absurd excess (PETA).

For example, could an impoverished African farmer comprehend anything in the above paragraph? He’s never going to see a buffet in his lifetime. Hell most Europeans think buffets are ridiculous. Meanwhile I get to choose which specialty buffet I want to eat at this weekend. Of course I’ll be patronizing a buffet because I’m super hungover from consuming an amount alcohol so large that the dollar equivalent would buy that African farmer food for a month.

PETA would be just as bizarre to him.  “Why am I not allowed to slit this goat’s neck exactly?” the farmer would ask an appalled PETA representative in a series of clicks. When you aren’t surrounded by modern excess, you obviously don’t have the luxury doing things like treating animals ethically. On the plus side you can stab livestock and not have to go to therapy for eight years. And let me assure you, telling them that it’s cool because people in 3rd world countries do it is not going to fly with Dr. Know-it-all.

Even the most socially conscious of us are guilty of an American moment or two.  Some people pride themselves on having as many of those moments as possible. Truthfully I can’t blame them, it rocks to be American. Living in the land of plenty is pretty awesome.  Whenever I think about American moments, I can’t help but go back to one of my own.

I was a senior in high school.  My private high school had a half day for selling lots of tickets for a raffle or something. Our reward was that in the afternoon we could attend a St. Louis Cardinals game. However if we didn’t feel like going we could do as we pleased. My friends and I intended to go to the game, but first we wanted to eat lunch, and before that we wanted to get stoned.

After smoking pot everyone met up at a Deli in South St. Louis called LeGrands. I ordered an Italian sub(1), grabbed a family sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos(2), and a liter of Mountain Dew(3).  That’s a formidable meal, probably 1,000 calories.  I took that beast down in ten minutes, easy. Craving dessert I went back into the deli (which was also a market) and bought a sleeve of Keebler Rainbow Cookies(4) and another liter of Mountain Dew(5) for the road.

As we drove to the game everyone in the car smoked again.  At some point in the ten minute drive someone decided the St. Louis Zoo would be a cooler destination than the baseball game. That ended up being a good call, because live exotic animals+weed=awesome. It’s no tripping in a snowstorm I’m sure, but still fun. When we arrived at the zoo I immediately bought some nachos(6). Soon after I followed those up with Dippin’ Dots(7).

After about ten minutes the group made its way to an exhibit called “The River’s Edge”, which at the time was brand new.  The coolest attraction in the exhibit is by far the hippo cages.  The cage is basically really thick glass that lets you view into the hippos’ pool, while the land is 6 inches above your eye level. To five stoned high school kids, this was the greatest thing that ever existed.  It was a beautiful day outside, and the hippos were feeling playful.

As there were no seats and our current state rendered us impossibly lethargic, we sat on the ground, faces pressed to the glass, mouths agape.  Being that this was the zoo on a weekday during school, almost every other spectator was a mother with small children.  The only way we would have received more dirty looks is if we had been jacking off to the hippos. Everyone knew what was going on.

There's no better appetizer to your fifth meal of the day than two Cheesy Gordita Crunches

I don’t know if we were there for twenty minutes or two hours, but eventually we toured the rest of the zoo and left around 3pm.  We all went back to our cars and headed our separate ways. I had a driving class coming up, as I had recently been in an accident (sober, don’t worry).  I went to the driving class and suffered through it, as bored as I had ever been.  During a break in the four hour class I grabbed a bag of Cheetos (8) and a can of Mountain Dew (9) from the vending machine. At this point I wasn’t high, I was just being a fatass.

After class I stopped by a Taco Bell near my house and smoked again, this time by myself. I was 18, don’t judge me.  Thinking I had missed dinner I went to the Taco Bell drive-thru and picked up two Cheesy Gordita Crunches(10,11) and drenched them in Fire Sauce.  They were amazing. When I arrived home I was greeted with the smell of something delicious.  My parents had waited for me to make dinner. What was for dinner? Ruebens(12,13)!! They were also amazing.

That day involved one of the most disgusting displays of an American diet not broadcast on the Travel Channel. It’s the perfect list: sub sandwich, sugary soda, name brand chips and cookies, cheaply made event food, snack food, Taco Bell, and a home cooked meal. Where else but America? Right? So the next time you feel like consuming 3,000 calories in half a day, gassing up your riding mower, or come within 500 yards of an amusement park, salute Old Glory.  She’s made it all possible. Oh and in case anyone is wondering I weigh 165 pounds. Feel free to hate me, that is after all the most common emotion that an American moment will illicit.

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