I like grocery shopping within walking distance of home, and the place right on the corner is the fanciest-pantsiest of supermarkets. If it's a weird and expensive product, that store has it. However, they have decently priced produce, so I’ll stop there if I’m not in the mood for any major bargain hunting.
The front counter is a treasure trove of sugar-laden impulse items–not everyday run-of-the-mill goodies, but tasteful, designer treats. Of course, the line to the cashier snakes right past that Gucci food, and inevitably, I think, "What's five measly dollars for a square of imported Belgian chocolate? I’m so worth it!"
I came so very close to buying a giant caramel. But I slapped my hand away, reminding myself that I already have way too much access to free junk food at work. I didn’t need to buy anything on my own time, or my own dime. I forced myself to respect that one roadblock after I started sliding down the slippery slope to Lifetime VIP Member at Krispy Kreme.
For a few nanoseconds, Ego celebrated a rare victory over Id. Unfortunately, however, it seems my brain is in a lab jar, and not a well-supervised lab, at that. Indeed, it’s as if all the senior scientists went to lunch and left me to the mercy of college grad students who prod my electrodes with the respect of a fraternity hazing.
Case Study: with no subtlety at all, directly under my nose, on a beautiful brand new just-put-out, teeming-with-fullness, Try-One-It's-Free sample tray, the grad students zapped into existence a mountain of treacle. It was actually called Treacle-Something, like Treacle-Fudge or Treacle-Caramel, but it didn't matter because it was:
b) something I'd never tried
c) weirdly and appealingly named in an old-fashioned children's fantasy novel kind of way (I'm sure Treacle only lost to Turkish Delight after a long but fair fight for star status in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe).
Thus, I was forced to help myself to a chunk of treacle, after which I nearly collapsed in a gustatory orgasm. Oh my, was it good. I just had to buy this product. (Small marketing tip, Expenso-Store, most people turn into Homer Simpson for FREE stuff.) When I scanned the ingredients, the first of which was condensed milk, I quickly threw the package in my cart. No sense ruining my purely sensational experience with unnecessary knowledge.
And then, maybe in a grass-is-greener, just-try-not-to-make-a-pig-of-yourself experiment brought to me by the grad students, a SECOND plate of treacle appeared at the SECOND cashier. This treacle looked like it contained chocolate; the addition of chocolate was the only possible way to improve the already glorious first type of treacle. Now, I try very hard to pass for a semi-civilized human being in public. I didn't instantly jump the queue, hurdle the shopping cart, or do a Dukes of Hazzard-style slide down the counter. But then the grad students zapped me, and the second cashier's line instantly cleared. So, if only to be a dutiful scientific subject and not skew anyone's doctoral thesis, I grabbed two pieces. Then wouldn't you know it, a third piece got stuck in the mix and I held a whole handful of treacle.
As I walked home through the sunshine and past the beautiful gardens bursting with saturated color, I slowly and luxuriously fed myself treacle. Normally I walk faster than taxicabs, but this time I meandered about, all blissed-out on my perfectly combined sugar and fat high. There was even a hint of licorice. Gurgle. I definitely wasn’t
inhabiting Earth but some higher treacle nirvana. It was like the early drug sequences in Trainspotting when everything was still good and the baby wasn’t crawling on the ceiling yet. Through the medium of treacle, I was one with the universe.
Bliss. Thanks for that moment, Grad Students.