Life after Death by Chocolate

There are times in your life when you can’t help but be a glut. When you think, 'I can't possibly eat another mouthful or my stomach will explode, splattering everyone in the vicinity with semi-digested food particles'. But you still have that extra mouthful.

One of those times, for me, was at a restaurant called Death by Chocolate.

I know. The name should have warned me. It was basically saying that should I choose to dine with them, I could expect the main meal to come with a complementary eulogy, and the dessert to be accompanied by their finest selection of coffins.

But I still went. In fact knowing me, I would have had my nostrils pressed up against the restaurant window, eager to show the chef that there was a giant pig at the door who would really enjoy rolling around in their muddiest mud cake, if they would just let her in.

My little heart must have been beating its fists against my rib cage yelling, 'Get me the heck out of here! I'm not ready for stints! Do you hear me? If our life together has meant anything, DO NOT go into that restaurant!'

But I didn't hear it. Or if I did, I chose to ignore it. In the same way I ignored my liver, pancreas and other vital organs.

Little did I know, I was about to suffer from what a dietician might term a ‘chocolate mousse lobotomy’, where you eat so much of the gluttonous dessert, that your brain seizes up and all decision making tasks are relegated to your stomach.

Had I known about this strange affliction, I might have tried to prevent my tummy from taking over and running up a huge bill on my cholesterol account.  Because by the time my brain finally came to, my body had gone into a catastrophic meltdown. The only positive being that every other patron looked just as sickly and remorseful as me.

Looking back, I'd say that restaurant actually did me a favour, because instead of eyeballing dessert menus with a blatant disregard for the nation’s shortage of hospital beds, I started to approach them with a little more sense.

So in a way, I don't regret my decision to dine at a dessert only restaurant. At least it taught me that normal restaurants have savory meals for a reason and a little moderation never killed anyone. In fact, it's probably the reason I'm still alive today.

 

Text © Jessica Rosman 2015

 

The Unofficial Sugar Guide

Sometimes it’s hard to know if you are a full-blown sugar addict because there are very few guidelines on how many candy bars a person is permitted to cram in before their body is tipped over the edge.

Alcohol consumption, for instance, is far more straightforward, with charts, tables and all kinds of guilt-inducing paraphernalia that at least gives your brain and body set limits to work with.

Unless you happen to be an expert in the molecular structure of food particles, knowing how many Oreo cookies one can (if at all) safely consume, is still a bit wishy-washy.

So, in an effort to keep all those little potholed sweet teeth on the straight and narrow, I’ve come up with 6 telltale signs of a sugar fiend:

  1. If you wake up and there are chocolate-coloured smears all over your mouth, neck and pillow, and your cat is not yet old and decrepit enough to mistake your face for the kitty litter tray.

  2. If you only ever buy lip balms that have been enriched with cocoa, infused with butterscotch or contain traces of bubble-gum essence.

  3. If the idea of ‘food waste’ was not brought to your attention by a documentary on sustainable living but by witnessing a friend throw away a half-eaten Mars bar.

  4. If you do not have one childhood memory that isn’t somehow related to eating copious amounts of birthday cake.

  5. When you find there is chocolate under your fingernails, and thoughts of sickness and disease only enter your mind after you have licked out the bits and eaten them.

  6. When it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you stop addressing people by their first names, and instead, start calling everyone ‘sweetie’, 'honey' or 'cupcake'.  

It can be a depressing moment when you discover that an emotional meltdown can be tracked back to an extra large slice of cheesecake or that a night terror was fuelled by too much hot choccy before bed, but better you follow my guide and work these things out, before this sneaky little substance has managed to destroy your relationships, gut flora and mental state.

Text © Jessica Rosman

The Chemist Con

Believe it or not, there used to be a time when young children were allowed to walk to school by themselves. Thank goodness all the parents of the world came to their senses and stopped this highly dangerous activity.

When I say ‘highly dangerous’, I’m not talking about the risk that a child might be snatched while dawdling through the local park. I’m not even talking about the fact the poor kid might be flattened by a semi-trailer. No, there is something far more sinister that lurks in the local community: it’s called the ice cream shop.

It’s not just any ice cream shop either. Just like a kidnapper pretends to be your friend before they club you over the head, this ice cream shop tricks you into thinking that it is good for you, that it is healthier than all the other ice cream sellers. It pretends to be a chemist.

When I was little, a chemist was the place I went to get well. It was the place where things were made better. Whether it was scratches, punches or a brother’s bite to the neck, the chemist was the wonderful giant medicine cabinet that made all those ouchies go away. So it was only natural that when feeling sad, I would stop there on my way to school and scoff a triple choc sundae.

The problem is that whilst vitamins, medicines and Band-Aids do help you feel better, daily ice creams make your teeth rot. But when you are seven-years-old and losing a tooth is a daily occurrence, the last thing you're worried about are cavities.

My poor mum probably thought she was doing me a favour by encouraging me to walk to school. “Go out into the sunshine, get some fresh air,” she’d say. Little did she know that once outside, I’d make a beeline straight for the cavernous chemist, which had poor ventilation and smelt of old hand cream.

I’m sure that if the health experts tracked the obesity epidemic on a chart, they would find a sharp increase in numbers around the time doctors were encouraging families to walk more for their hearts.

Luckily, society has gone into overprotective mode since then, so that children don’t stand a chance at making themselves ill, the way I did. But still, it’s important to know that just because a chemist sells ice cream, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

 

Text © Jessica Rosman 2015

 

Grade A Idiot

It’s a wonder I have any teeth at all, considering I snacked my way through primary school. You might be wondering how I was able to do this, considering there were thirty or more children just waiting to snitch on me in class.

The answer is pockets, lots and lots of pockets.

It’s no coincidence that most candy bars and lolly bags are the exact size of a child’s pocket. It would have only taken one marketing executive with the brain the size of an M&M to work out that the most profitable product placement for any confectionary item was inside a child’s school uniform.

I may sound cynical now but trust me, as a child, I was blissfully unaware that by storing half-melted treats in my pocket, I was buying into one of the oldest confectionary scams in the book.

I crunched and crackled my way through every class, thinking I must be extra bright to have tricked my teachers for so long. I assumed they just thought I was the quiet, contemplative type; little did they know that I was unable to speak due to the fact I was harbouring a small platoon of chocolate soldiers inside my mouth.

Perhaps it was because I was only six-years-old at the time, or perhaps the sugar had already eroded large chunks of my brain, whatever the case, I had somehow convinced myself of this completely unfounded fact: if my mouth was closed when I was crunching lollies, no one would be able to hear me eating.

In any case, my little candy-munching scheme was brought to an end one afternoon when the teacher put down her book and said, “Could Miss Jessica Thompson please spit out whatever she is eating so that we might have a chance at hearing the words in this book.”

I’d been caught out and completely humiliated in front of the whole class! My cheeks, stuffed to the flaps with sugary cough drops, burned with shame.

I don’t remember snacking on so much candy during class after that, which is probably the reason I don’t have dentures now.

Anyway, it’s just another reason why being a sugar fiend can ruin your life, or at the very least, your dignity.


Text © Jessica Rosman 2015