Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things that go Yum in the Night

My sons finished their pizza and departed for the evening's events. My wife was asleep upstairs, leaving me unaccompanied in the silence of the night. Not a sound was to be heard, save the creaking of settling hardwood floors and the whispering lingering melody of wind chimes on the darkened front porch.

From the kitchen, hauntingly and gently, I hear, "Scott."

Startled, as I thought I was alone, I seek out the source of the voice. The door to the stairs remained silently and tightly closed. Both boys were still gone, and I was convinced neither of our cats could articulate my name so distinctly.

Again: "Hey, Scott. In here."

There was no mistake. Uneasily, I entered the kitchen, trying to hold down the cold, creeping, convulsions climbing my spinal column.

This is where it gets weird.

As I live and breathe, the leftover pizza on the table was calling to me in an eerie, enticing, siren-like, hauntingly seductive intone.

A brief digression is in order. If you've never had to battle a weight problem, right about now, you're probably putting down the newspaper, shaking your head in disgust, thinking I've had one too many slices of Hawaiian, deep-dish, heavy-on-the-mushrooms, extra saucy triangles of pizza and am writing while encased in a mind-altered pepperoni hallucination. Yet, those who struggle with each calorie are - at this exact same moment - nodding their heads enthusiastically in agreement, tapping this print, shoving it under somebody's nose, proclaiming victoriously, "See, I told you! Pizza does call out to me!"

What makes this so especially sinister is that the food waits until no one else is around to hear its call. Seeking to lure us into a viselike grip, in the wee hours it chants, "Just one piece won't hurt," or "Come on, you know you want it."

Not only is pizza garrulous, its knowledge of psychology is worthy of a treatise. I, as a 51-year-old, can resist the urge to steal, cheat, and lie; yet find myself a powerless infant to the calling of the One Most Cheesy.

Knowing my weakness, I muster all my power and thrust the loquacious doughy demon down the disposal and flip the switch, victorious this time over its taunts.

Bolting from the kitchen, unsure how long my strength will remain, I am convinced that a creepy choir of tortilla chips, ice cream, peanut butter, and all things chocolate, were calling out, offering their support.

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