Ten Snacks for Watching Major Political Meltdowns

Because stuffing your face is what you do when you're ashamed.
11/08/2013 12:11 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

First appeared on Food Riot, by Colleen Shea

I live in Toron -- yeah, I'm ok, thanks. No really; I'll be fine. I mean, it really sucks, and I'm a whole tangled ball of frustration, apoplexy, humiliation and fatigue; but I'll be ok. We'll be ok. Probably.

As I was saying, I live in Toronto and in case you somehow didn't know, my mayor appears to have a problematic relationship with mind-altering substances. Last week, the infamous video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack -- the one Gawker hosted a very successful Kickstarter campaign for, but which magically went missing before the drug dealers could be given their sweet cash money -- was revealed to be in the hands of police. The police had the video! Surely he'd step down? No. Surely he'd admit he was smoking crack? Nope.

But then he did admit to smoking crack. And Vice released a journalistic bombshell in which they discussed how one of Ford's staffers hired a hacker to destroy the crack video. And now maybe there's a sex tape (he could be the Carlos Danger of the crack-addicted true north, strong and free!). I've never been so close to the glory of real political disaster in my life.

The internet, especially Twitter, has been a rich cacophony of moral outrage, hilarious satire and pure disbelief. I'm personally going through all the stages of grief as I watch the disaster explode; I'm stuffing my face to deal with it all. Because stuffing your face is what you do when you're ashamed; you eat too much, and you eat garbage.

But this isn't just your regular, everyday shame; when your city is being roasted by Jon Stewart and your mayor's theme song is "Because I Got High," you have to think carefully about what kinds of treats are appropriate.

Let's consider other important political meltdowns for a moment first.

I bet there were weepy, embarrassed hot dog parties all over New York State when Anthony Weiner whipped it out for the smartphone. I don't doubt there were some raucous pretzel parties when Dubya did any number of terrible things, but to keep the mood light, let's say that we're thinking of that time he read that kid's book upside down. When Bill Clinton was most definitely not having "sexual relations with that woman," I can imagine all kinds of appropriate snacks, but I'm sure mochi and coconut cream pudding were not on the menu. Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy, was recently convicted of tax fraud; an appropriate crash and burn party menu for that highly televised event probably included chocolate made from real gold and a $24,000 bottle of whiskey stolen from the local liquor store.

The following list is perfect for those of us unable to take our eyes off the unending Rob Ford debacle, but it would also have been perfect in 1990 when D.C. mayor Marion Barry was busted for smoking crack. And, sadly, it'll be perfect for any number of future political crash/burns coming to a television near you. It's like the candy-makers have been preparing for days like this.

Coke--any flavor. The key here is to drink enough sugar that you end up somewhere smoking crack, and then smoke enough crack to not remember smoking crack so you can honestly say you never saw that video of you smoking crack.

Jawbreakers. Eating a jawbreaker mimics the experience of trying to swallow all the lies and bullshit fed to us by politicians in full meltdown. Damaging to morale and oral health--just like cocaine.

Licorice Pipes. You can look alternately drug-addled and posh with this fine treat.

Cracker Jacks. Has a good crunch, and sometimes there's a surprise you don't expect in the mix!

Crackers. Crumbly white saltines are a necessary aspect of any crack scandal viewing; hard to gather the crumbs out of the carpet fibers though. (Actually, crackers are good for any political mess easily swept under the carpet because of the benefits of holding white male privilege.)

Rock candy. Obviously.

Candy Cigarettes. "I was smoking something, yes, but you can't be sure it was crack."

Sugar Daddies. Holding a well-paid position in public office isn't going to support that habit; it's time to start networking!

Red Bull. Gives you wings AND keeps the brazen lies coming.

Winegums. A gateway candy to every other snack on this list, but not incredibly dangerous if you just pop off a couple bags in your basement and don't embarrass yourself by going out in public afterwards.

Feel sick? Me too. But we'd all better get back to the grocery store and re-stock; it won't be long before another political disaster of humiliating proportions strikes and the embarrassed hunger strikes again...

Read more on Food Riot