Every person has a friend or relative that is an expert at undoing the work that a significant other has done to make them a better person. These are those stories.
If I had to pick anyone as a partner when it came to excessive food challenges, it’d be my younger brother Matthew. Not only does he have the capacity to put down exorbitant amounts of food (he’s a former division 1 lineman), he has the heart to ignore the meat sweats and determination to push past the point of fullness.
We had quite a few memorable culinary related moments throughout our childhood and into our adult years, but those moments began to decrease as we began spending more time with the two ladies that would eventually become our wives. Because they cared about us and didn’t want to be widowed at a young age, they worked hard to keep us from gorging ourselves as often as they could. While they weren’t completely successful, their efforts probably did afford us an extra few years of life, and for that we’re quite appreciative. Yet nothing they did was enough to prevent us from making the best/worst food decision one fateful Sunday, a Sunday that is commonly referred to as Macaroni and Cheese and Milkshake Sunday.
Matthew had come down on his own one weekend to visit friends and had stayed with me during that time. While we enjoy our one on one brother time, the fact his future wife wasn’t in tow was the first moment of foreshadowing to the gastric catastrophe that would occur later on, but we were blind to this at the time.
On Saturday, he met some friends out for some drinks and I (for reasons I can’t quite remember) prepared two huge batches of macaroni and cheese. For those not in the know, I’m very proud of my mac and cheese recipe (one that’s constantly evolving), though it’s definitely not the sort of dish health conscience individuals ever want to take part in (I calculated it and I believe one 4×4 inch square of it is like 1000 calories, all of which are carbs and saturated fat). I eventually picked Matthew up from the bars and the night ended without much incident. He did sample some mac and cheese before bed, though despite his inebriation, actually served himself an appropriate amount which is surprising since drunken Moses’s usually scoop anything edible into their faces with their bare hands. Perhaps my little brother was maturing and I took note and hoped one day I could rise up to the example he was setting for me. That sentiment didn’t last long.
Matthew woke up late the next day and as tends to happen the morning after drinking, he was starving(starving in the first world sense that is, which means a person’s stomach is slightly less full then they’d like). I too was starving, though I’m always hungry so that wasn’t anything new. Seeing the two dishes of macaroni and cheese in the fridge, we happily praised my preparedness (internally of course) and got to work reheating the food.
“What do you want to drink?” I asked him as we waited for the food to warm up.
“Hmm..” he pondered,racking his brain for the perfect beverage to compliment our pasta and cheese filled feast, “How about milkshakes?”
If mac and cheese is the food of gods, milkshakes are their drink of choice. So instead of being rationale about the proposition and considering what such high levels of fat and lactose could do to us internally, I turned to him very slowly with a gleam in my eye and said:
“That’s the best damn idea I’ve ever heard!”
If Michael Bay had been directing us at that very moment, something would have exploded. Had John Woo been in charge, doves would have flown out from behind us. M. Night Shamalyan at the helm? An insane plot twist would have been revealed. Because neither of us went to film school, thus not really understanding how to give a scene more of an impact, we instead high-fived and ran to the store really quickly to get the necessary supplies for milkshake glory. If it helps, we listened to “Hearts on Fire” on the way or at least that’s how I remember it.
When we returned, we had about five minutes to make our shakes before the mac and cheese was done, an estimated 10 when taking into consideration the time needed for the mac and cheese to cool enough to prevent mouth burns. The point is, our timing couldn’t have been better and we looked at that as a sign that the feast we were about to take part in was destined to happen.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that during the course of the meal, we were probably happier than we’d ever been (not counting more meaningful life situations such as marriage and watching Independence Day for the first time). We watched movies, we played video games and just generally enjoyed life more than we ever had before. Had we been running for office at that very moment, the media would describe our positive energy as “intoxicating”. Those words would change about half an hour later, however as the general public struggled to understand what two grown men could have possibly done to give themselves such horrible cases of diarrhea.
Now I don’t want to devolve into the sort of blog that focuses entirely on poop humor, but I also feel that it is my responsibility as a trusted adviser to warn readers about the consequences of combining two amazing, though highly incompatible foods. Without getting too descriptive, my home went from a safe place filled with love and warmth to something that the village elders would fearfully speak about in hushed tones. Not to be dramatic, but had we died that day I wouldn’t have been shocked. I always assumed I would pass on in a stupid way, but I can only imagine the sort of “word-smithing” expertise one would need to possess in order to spin a mac and cheese and milkshake death into a eulogy that didn’t sound like a Farrelly brothers script.
We eventually recovered enough to go about our daily lives but the damage had been done; our digestive systems were scarred for life. Had this been an after school special, that would have been the responsible way to end it but in all honesty, we recovered quickly enough that we ended up going out for dinner. Not only that, but we both consumed a burger known as “The Heart Stopper”, which is over a pound in weight and covered in cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms and a fried egg. This resulted in round two of a belly ache battle, a battle that I could fight from the comfort of my home but one my youngest sibling was forced to face on his drive back to Illinois.
I really thought reliving this story would be a good reminder for how excess and poor judgment can combine for dangerous effect, but in all honesty it’s just made me kind of hungry. Oh well, I never claimed you’d learn anything from this website.