Friday, November 7, 2014

The 7/11 Quarter-pound Spicy Big Bite

Two or three times a year, I avail myself of the best culinary treat America has to offer. I’m talking, of course, about the 7/11 quarter-pound Spicy Big Bite.
I’m normally not a fan of convenience stores. I think they foster bad habits, including alcoholism and addiction, smoking, gambling and lack of planning. The food there, for the most part, is execrable. Except for the 7/11 quarter-pound Spicy Big Bite.
Normally I get two of them, which I slather with a yellow viscous liquid that is lyingly  called cheese, and chili of dubious provenance. Both condiments come from a machine and are free. Since I’m somewhat embarrassed to be buying 7/11 quarter-pound Spicy Big Bites, I ask the man behind the counter to bag the distinctive little boxes housing the treats, and I sneak out of the store.
I almost always do this at night, because somehow sins of excess committed at night are more excusable than those performed blatantly in daylight. I’ve noticed as well that this aberrant gastronomic behavior has everything to-do with how I feel, and recently I have not been feeling good. I suspect a lot of it has been my inability to exercise, something which I had been doing faithfully four to five times a week for the past 10 month. Now, zilch. The prospect of additional surgery—the eighth one—does not help either.
Crap. Who am I kidding? I’d celebrate with two 7/11 quarter-pound Spicy Big Bites if I were feeling great. Or feeling nothing at all… That’s the nature of that sort of treat, you don’t really need a reason, and any motive will do.
The last time I fell off the wagon was coming back from an evening spent with writing friends, critiquing each other’s work. A bunch of them ended up going to noisy bar that I don’t particularly care for where a plate of fries is $7. For that amount I could get three 7/11 Spicy Big Bites. So I parked my car illegally where it said, “No 7/11 Parking” and I went in. There was a homeless guy in there being ignored by the customers. He caught my eye, smiled ingratiatingly and told me he was short a couple of bucks and really wanted to buy a bottle of Inglenook red, so I gave him two dollars, and in return he did not look at me as I ordered the 7/11 Spicy Big Bites, which was worth at least two dollars.
When I got home I took several paper napkins and a dishtowel and laid them on the kitchen counter because the downside of the 7/11 quarter-pound Spicy Big Bites is they’re messy to eat, particularly as they’re dripping ersatz cheese and chili on your jeans.
I took a bite. Heaven.  I wolfed down the first one. The second one I savored more slowly. No less heavenly. I washed them down with redistilled 100 percent naturally rock-filtered spring water from West Virginia and that made everything all right
I slept like a log. I did not get heartburn. I wondered what Joe the trainer at my gym might say, and then it struck me that Joe, judging from his girth, probably has had his fair share of 7/11 Spicy Big Bites. That was cheering. I felt just guilty enough to not repeat the experience the next day.

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