On the fifth trip up to the buffet, you fight gnawing fatigue like a champ. Your jaw aches. You've unbuttoned your pants with the same single-minded determination of Rocky Balboa asking Mick to cut his swollen eye. The meat-sweats have started. You've eaten so much that you can feel your last mouthful clawing its way back up your throat.
But, you paid $11.99 for this buffet, and that, by law, gives you the right to eat a week's worth of food in one sitting. Semper Fry, dammit. Semper. Fry.
With a teetering skyscraper of battered shrimp, you head back to your table and sit with your companions. All, like you, are battling a hush puppy-induced food coma.
Predictably, your dinner conversation turns to the most American of topics -- food-porn memories of other delicious meals you've had in the past. The deep-fried brownie sundae you had in Memphis. The 26 oz. steak you washed down with a 42 oz. vanilla milkshake. The vat of pork rinds that you, on a whim, bathed in nacho cheese, an event which can only be described as transcendent.
Yes, you are fantasizing about other meals while you're still in the middle of an epic one. This is so American that you can almost hear "The Star Spangled Banner" playing in the background.
Sure. Admittedly, recent CDC projections do point to obesity rates rising to 42 percent by 2030.
But while these numbers are meant to scare us (pretty stupid idea considering what our hearts must look like), they just might contain the one fatty thread that can bind us all and give us hope for a strong, unified nation. Some refuse to see the possibility that lies before us as clearly as a grease-saturated take-out bag.
So, El Guapo and the Daily Refried are proud to introduce The Gluttony Project.
The Gluttony Project aims to counter racism, sexism, ageism, classism, terrorism, homophobia, Lutraphobia (the fear of otters), xeonophobia, and any other divisive -ism or -phobia that has fractured and continues to fracture this country.
But, El Guapo, how do I participate in The Gluttony Project?
Join us by celebrating the one thing that can override all the bullshit that we use to separate ourselves from our fellow man. Celebrate your gluttonous achievements and encourage those of others.
1. Get yourself an overflowing plate of something awesome.
2. Snap a before pic of your plate.
3. Eat, dammit, eat.
4. Snap an after pic of your plate. Show us the carnage left behind.
5. Share these pictures with us on The Daily Refried Facebook Page Wall with the label "The Gluttony Project" or Tweet your photos with the hash tag #gluttonyproject.
6. Congratulate your fellow participants.
*Fair warning: If we see a vegetable that isn't battered and deep-fried, we will revoke your membership to The Gluttony Project.
Your handsome and humble servant-
[photo by jamesonf]