Salad Bars and Why Lettuce Can Jump Off A Cliff

Salad_barWhen they finally come up with the pill that will let us eat anything we want without gaining weight, lettuce can fuck right off.
Those weeds and lawn clippings shall never touch these lips again.

Because really, nobody actually likes leafy greens. You know how I know?  Because nobody gets stoned and goes “Dude… Leeeeettuuuuce…”  Waking up the next morning going, “What’s this receipt for 15 cobb salads with light Italian dressing?”

 
That’s why every salad bar has 800 other things besides greens. And you have the best intentions by getting the salad bar.  You’re doing something good for you!  You start with the lettuce.  You head for the big bowl of friendly looking iceberg lettuce.  All crunchy and cheerful looking.  Then you remember that blog post you read awhile back and the words “NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE” rumble through your brain.
 
So you release the iceberg tongs and stare down the bowl of shrubbery next to it.  And it’s all dark green with weird purple leaves in it.  All thin and wilty like a junkie super model.  And you remember that tip of “Don’t eat anything you can’t recognize the ingredients in.”   And you think, “I’m not a damn botanist and I don’t recognize any of this crap.”  But you steel your nerves and remind yourself that food is fuel… just as a waiter walks by carrying the biggest cheeseburger you’ve ever seen.  And you think, “Fuck.”
 
Now you’ve got your plate of things you’d kill if they grew in your yard.  And you get into the broccoli and tomatoes and snap peas and some sliced bell peppers.  And that old confidence is coming back.  Maybe you grab some diced ham and a little hard boiled egg to get some protein.  You feel like a health expert.  Oprah should give you your own nutrition show on TV.
 
And then you reach the dressing section.  You’re face to face with creamy ranch and some good chunky bleu cheese.  And your brain starts going nuts with “Fats, Carbs, Lactose, hot wings, french fries, ah!”  And nobody even looks twice at you because they’ve all been there.  So instead you reach for the ladle labeled “Light Italian”… and plunge it into the Ranch bucket.  
 
It’s a moment of weakness.  But you’ll forgive yourself later that night in your journal.
 
You’ve got a plate of vegetables and some weird greens that are quickly melting under the weight of the ranch dressing like the Wicked Witch of the West.  And you think to yourself, “Fucking pussy lettuce.”  Instead you’ve got something approaching a chunky green smoothie on your plate.  
 
You’ve arrived at the crouton part of that salad bar.  Croutons are pieces of stale bread, seasoned and baked to the density of a jawbreaker.  And yet they are awesome. But remembering your weak moment with the dressing you decide against them and grab some sunflower seeds instead.  And it feels like redemption.  
 
Turning the corner you spot the soup and figure you have enough wilted vegetables on your plate already.  But you do grab some crackers because… Then you turn the corner and it’s like a surprise party.  There’s potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad… All things that aren’t salad but still have the word salad in them which empowers you to scoot over the mush of soggy greens on your plate and pile heaping spoonfuls of happiness onto your plate.  
 
It’s like walking into a surprise orgy.  And nearly as creamy.
 
But wait! What’s this?  Chocolate pudding?  Tapioca pudding?  Whipped cream?  Ambrosia?  Why on God’s green Earth would they put these delightful foods right here and not have a trash can nearby to dump the mound of soggy yard clippings on your plate? 
 
So you walk right over to the busboys bin and throw all your hard work away, grab a new plate and grab generous helpings of all the sweet goodness plus two strawberries because they’re good for you and you’re eating healthy tonight.
 
The next day your friend asks what you had for dinner and you say, “Oh I was being good.  So I just had the salad bar.”

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