>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf

October 3, 2007

Nathan: So really, according to my diet, I can only drink twice a week.
Well, for most people I typically recommend only once a week, but most people don’t admit to daily drinking.
So, Friday and Saturday then?
Ideally, you should space them three or four days apart.
Okay, so Friday and Saturday and Wednesday?
That’s three days.
So, Friday and Saturday then?
Whatever, man.

Temptation only happens to those who exercise restraint. And that’s less people than you think. Unless you hang out where I hang out. (And judging by my local readership, you don’t—hi, California!)

Recently, I decided to shed years of fat and scarred lungs, start working out, eating right, and (gulp) limiting my drinking to two nights a week.

(I’m not even shitting you, here. I am stone cold sober as I write this. And sobriety’s as boring as I remember it.)

Now, after my second workout of 2007, I decided to head on up to Chick-fil-A, one of my two favorite fast food places. Usually when I got to the Chick-fil-A, I get two fried chicken sandwiches and an order of fries (or potato grids or whatever they call them there—they have a funky shape). Today (which is Monday to you) however, I ordered the grilled chicken breast sandwich and a fucking fruit cup. That’s right. I went to a motherhumping fast food place and purchased a fruit cup. I can tell this health kick gimmick is gonna suck already.

“The thing is, Officer, I understand that this is no excuse, but I’m trying to eat real healthy.”

For the first time in my ten years of frequenting the Chick-fil-A, the drive-through lady screwed up my order and in my bag was, you guessed it, a fried chicken sandwich and an order of tic-tac-toe shaped fried potatoes.

“Fuck,” I said aloud.

I stopped my car and walked right back up to the window (people will tell you that you should go inside the fast food place when this happens but they are wrong; if you want your shit fixed fast, walk right up in front of the next car and slow down the assembly line). In doing so, I scared the counter girl a little, then calmly explained to her that I got the wrong order. She gave me the right order and then told me that I could keep the other one, too.

Fuck me!

So here I am, stuck in traffic, and I have a choice to make. I can either continue along the path of righteousness, or I can eat the food that tastes good. After careful consideration, I realized that I am not the type of person who will make the right decision, so after gleefully remembering that I can exercise free will and as such did not need to even possess the bag of tastiness, I grabbed it and chucked it out the window.

There, I thought. Take that, Cosmos. I have control here.

But the cosmos had other ideas. Specifically, a cop that I failed to notice was driving directly behind me in bumper to bumper traffic.

As the song goes, he turned on his lights and ordered me out of my car.

After taking his typical time running my plates so as not to let a potential easy arrest escape his grasp, he walked up to my car and signaled for me to roll down my passenger side window.

“What is wrong with you, son?”

“I’m just trying to eat healthy.”


“I’m just trying to eat healthy.”

“And what, exactly, does that have to do with the price of eggs in Malta?”

For a second, I froze.

“Are you referencing Catch 22?” I asked.

“What if I am?” he asked back.

“Good book,” I said.

“I think you need to focus on the matter at hand, right now. Don’t you?” He said it rather sharply.

“The thing is, Officer, and I fully understand that this is no excuse for my actions, but I just dropped five hundred bucks on a gym membership and I’m trying to eat real healthy. So I ordered the non fried chicken breast and the totally not French fries fruit cup, but the lady messed up and gave me a fried sandwich and French fries. And I knew I was gonna give in and eat the fried sandwich, so I threw it out my window.”

“That really shows weak character.”

And here I was thinking I was showing strong character by removing myself from the problem, but you can’t argue with cops. Or at least, you shouldn’t.

“I know, Officer. I’m sorry.”

“Pick it up, put it back in your car, and get back in traffic.”

At first I wanted to point out that I didn’t want the bag, which was why I threw it out my window. But then I remembered that he was a cop and I was a litterbug, so I undid my seat belt, awkwardly exited my car’s passenger side door, walked over and picked up the bag—its contents, whether you care or not, unscathed.

“You really are a Joseph Heller fan, aren’t you?” I asked him as he stood all cop-like while inspecting the interior of my dirty ass car.

“Yes sir.”

“I’ll bet you like Barthelme, too.”

“Oh yeah, City Life was great. Now get in your car and go home.”

And so I went.

But, I’ll have all of you know that I did not touch that fried chicken sandwich. I handed all that fried food to the first bum I saw. And he threw it away because it wasn’t alcohol or money.

And I guess I can understand that.

Because health kicks suck.

Now, if you were looking for a moral to this absurd little hour of my life, I would say that it is this: erasing a temptation by giving into another one is probably not the best idea.

That, and always check your rearview mirror, even when you’re totally focused on food.