Growing up, we always followed strict nutritional routines set by our parents. When we were kids, it was always, “Eat your vegetables or no TV for you tonight!” We ate what our parents ate and that was that for 18 years of our lives.
But once we entered college, all knowledge of rightful and nutritious eating dripped right out of our ears. Vegetables immediately turned to ashes into our mouths, and our hands forgot how to use kitchen utensils properly. Before long, we lived solely on ramen noodles and cereal. Things like fruit begin to be considered belongings of upper-class society.
In fact, it goes as far as that whenever we go back home to visit for the holidays, the food that was once taken for granted suddenly becomes heavenly sweet gourmet of the gods. Yeah, that’s college life.
I’ve learned how to take care of myself almost as well as a real adult, and I’ve learned how to cook like a four-star chef, which I got from my dad, so it has been many many years since I ruined a pot of pasta irreparably, forcing myself to shame-walk over to the bread pantry to prepare a slice for cold peanut butter and jelly.
Once I was in college, I realized that I was completely on my own, and how good I eat depends solely on how good my cooking is. Now I can cook a mouth-watering chicken that will bring vegans to their knees. Actually, just a few swift kicks to the calves will do that. The severe lack of protein makes their muscles pencil-thin and legs comically brittle.
In the first few months after living on my own, I tried to cook and eat as close to those home-made meals as I could, minding the college budget. My diet consisted of pasta with real sauce, juice, cooked vegetables and sandwiches, all the basics of a food pyramid and the recommendation of extremely old or dead nutritionists. But soon Top Ramen and mac ‘n’ cheese crept into my diet, and before long I was eating Pasta Roni or Chef Boyardee for breakfast and dry cereal for dinner. But mankind cannot live on factory-manufactured canned and dry goods alone.
Normally I’d do what all men do in this scenario: turn exclusively to fast food, flip my colon the bird and start mixing Pepto-Bismol into my milk (I call it Peplk because it goes down soothing as well as it is delicious). In my case as a deaf person, I don’t fancy fast food places very much because I’m required to actually go into these greasy establishments to order my dinner since the drive-thrus are a nightmare for me, borderline impossible. I wonder, how it is that we can receive crystal-clear transmissions from Mars, but drive-thru intercoms have the reception of an oversized brick? I imagine that if I tried to use one of these drive-thrus myself, it’d likely go like this:
Me: Number Six. Medium with Root Beer. No pickles.
Drive-thru worker: Did you want a Big Mac?
Me: No. A number six.
Drive-thru worker: That’s a McSalad, and it will be $4.95
Me: What? No! I said number six! Double cheeseburgers! No pickles!
Drive-thru worker: Okay, so you want a McSalad with extra pickles.
Me: I am going to violently beat you down with a cheese grater, then bust into your house and set your dog on fire!
DRIVE-THRU WORKER: Would you like fries with that?
And then as I roll up to the window where the drive-thru worker hands me my dinner: A bowl of 3-day-old McSalad soaked in pickles and garnished with French fries. To think that I just paid $5 for a bowl of culinary abomination. That’s a big lose-lose.
-The Deaf Writer