After all these years, I’m going to have to come clean. They say it’s best to confess your problems so here it is: I am addicted. It is true, I am a sugar junkie.
It all started when I was little. This was before everyone said that sugar was so bad for you. At Halloween, people in my neighborhood would hand out candy bars the size of small automobiles. I would stagger home under the weight of all that candy, risking permanent back injuries. Then I would eat it in a week.
Life seemed so uncomplicated then.
It was only later in life I realized Halloween was merely the candy industry’s way to get you hooked. They are like the dope dealer on the corner — you know, “Hey, Bro, the first one’s free!” You just end up paying for it later.
I have consumed enough pop (that is soda to those of you who don’t have the honor of living in Ohio) to fill the Mississippi River. Yes, Coca Cola is the real thing. All others are imitations. People who say diet pop tastes like real pop are delusional. That is like saying liver tastes like filet mignon.
Besides, I have an aversion to sweeteners made in laboratories by geeks wearing white coats. I think all those chemicals have to be even worse for you than sugar.
For many years, Milky Ways were my go-to candy bars but really anything with chocolate in it would do. Yes, I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast. I put sugar on everything — grapefruit, toast, even cottage cheese.
As I got older I cut back some on the pure sugar. My wife and I even spent around six months once not eating any sugar at all. No chocolate, no candy, no processed sugar, no sugary drinks. This was not easy for me or for my wife — I really should protect her anonymity and not say anything about her addiction, but everyone calls her Candy. That should explain it.
Anyway, after six months we celebrated by getting two dark chocolate salted caramels from Winan’s. One bite was like going on an LSD trip. I almost passed out.
We didn’t go all the way off the wagon immediately, but eventually sugar worked its way back into our lives. When you have grandchildren, you have to take them to the ice cream store, right? When they were in town last summer we took them to every ice cream place within 50 miles. It was a close call whether they liked it more or we liked it more.
I guess I shouldn’t really worry. I could quit if I wanted to. A little bit can’t do any harm. After all, you have to live a little bit now and then.
Oh, I guess that is what all the addicts say.
I finally confronted this issue the other night. My wife wasn’t home for supper, so I did a little fish on the grill with some rice. Green tea to drink. It was a great meal until the very end when I thought, “Boy, a little chocolate would be good right now.”
So I went looking. No candy in the house. Not even any chocolate chips with the baking stuff. I looked in all my wife’s secret hiding places — no sugar! Finally, in the back of the cupboard I located an aging bag of caramel corn that looked to have been manufactured about the time Ohio became a state. I dug in. The popcorn was a little stale, but the outside still was plenty sweet. Sugar never goes bad.
As I was stuffing my face I realized I had a real problem. I don’t even like popcorn. Right then and there I decided it was time to take action — so I finished the caramel corn and decided I had better go cold turkey (do you call it cold chocolate?) with my addiction.
Well, maybe after the grandkids come in June. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them by missing out on the ice cream trips.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.