Sunday, September 28, 2008

Steel Crazy After All These Years

A week or so I went out to Seven-mile Pass to sing for a couple of hundred Scouts and Scouters. I had a pretty good time, but as I said then, I really had an attack of iron filings as a result of my wilderness foray. This weekend, I went with the Young Women and their leaders up to my friend and counselor's cabin at Schofield. I had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect; the sky was clear and the temperature just right. The next morning, the sun came up and gently pried my eyes open in the very best way. A short time later, I found myself on the veranda looking up at a mountainside filled with the yellowing leaves of a hundred thousand quaking aspens, mixed in with the reds and browns of hardwoods, the deep greens of the conifers and the deep crystal blue of the Utah sky at 9000 feet. I was in heaven. My main assignment at this little gathering was to play and sing love songs while the girls designed their wedding dresses and wrote what they were hoping to find in "Mr. Right". I doubt sincerely that any of them said "I hope that he plays the guitar."

There were things that transpired that reminded me that I was still conscious of my diet, even though my ferritin count has dropped considerably. On Friday night, the girls were served chicken cordon blue, baked potatoes with the interiors mashed and blended with sour cream and butter (and a bunch of other stuff), and layered with strips of cheddar cheese. There were rolls and Martinelli's, fruit salad and other trimmings. I was quite good. I took pride in the fact that I only ate one CCB and one half of a potato. I had a couple of servings of fruit salad and an inordinate amount of Martinelli's. I was feeling pretty good about my self restraint until they brought me a piece of "wedding cake". It was about five or six inches square; it was the corner piece; there was enough frosting to have made another whole cake; I ate every bit of it in spite of the fact that I knew that the sugar was going to facilitate the absorption of any and all of the iron in my dinner regardless of its source. The frosting reminded me on a regular basis during the night that I had had the temerity to stuff it all down my pie hole. I could feel my liver getting heavier and heavier.

Breakfast was interesting as well. I could smell the bacon all the way down in the basement of the cabin. I padded up the stairs and found bacon, sausage, milk, orange juice, and blintzes. I think that I had only four pieces of bacon, one sausage, a glass each of the fluids and a blintz. I said to myself, "I have been moderate here; I am on the high road to recovery here." The blintz, however, was my undoing. I am not sure what the blintz itself was made of, but the pan of blintzes had been smothered in dark brown sugar, great crusty chunks of it. The blintz smelled so good and went down so well, that I could not think about what all of that sugar was doing with the bacon and that singular piece of sausage. I suspect that they went straight to my pancreas.

As we were getting ready to go home, the young women leaders asked me if I wanted a sandwich for the ride home. I asked if Gerry were having one. He said, "No, I'll be okay." I said that there was no way that I was going to have something to eat in front of my friend and we left it at that. The girls packed up and headed out for Orem. Gerry and I stayed behind to check all the doors and windows and shut off all of the lights and such. The cabin would be formally prepared for winter-time in November.

We had a great ride home, discussing many of the same topics that had arisen during the sessions with the girls. When we arrived in Spanish Fork, I turned to Gerry and said, "Well, you didn't have any lunch, and we have been on the road an hour and a half. How would you like to stop for something to eat?" He, knowing me extremely well, having been on many long trips with me, having survived many a camp together during the past eight years, and knowing my peculiar preferences in fast food, said "Oh, I don't think that I could turn down a stop at Burger King". I managed to cross six lanes of traffic in forty feet and pulled into the home of the Whopper.

Now I know that you are thinking, "Hmmm. This does not sound much like a fellow who is really concerned about his ferritin count. A Whopper has what, eight or ten pounds of iron in it?" I have decided that a Whopper is the best of the great hamburgers because it is cooked over an open flame and not on a grill. Here is my logic. While it is true that every hamburger patty has a vast amount of heme iron, it is also true that hamburgers that are cooked over an open flame have less available iron. As everyone knows, iron mixed with carbon and heated to an appropriate temperature transmogrifies into steel. Therefore, by eating the Whopper I would not be consuming digestible iron but indigestible steel. At least that is what I told myself as I ordered a #1 combo "large" at the counter. Gerry shares my taste in BK cuisine and we soon found ourselves seated at a booth with all of the makings of a late lunch/early dinner.

It went down smooth. As I said to Gerry as I was polishing off the last of the French fries, "Well, I didn't have to grease my lips for that one." We got back into the Mustang and soon I was able to deposit my friend at his doorstep. When I walked into the house, Trillium, T-ma, and three of my daughters were about to leave for Millie's to have dinner prior to going to the Women's Broadcast at 6:00 PM. I could have complained about not having any dinner for myself, but my innards had already begun to complain about the half-baked steel slab that I had just dumped into the cauldron. I did not eat dinner. Instead I watched the last bit of the first "Rambo" movie. I found it particularly entertaining since it was being broadcast in Spanish. I watched the first part of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" in Spanish and I decided that it had been bad enough in English. I eventually went to bed. The Whopper was having second thoughts; my tummy was having second thoughts; the gigantic raft of steel had second thoughts. The only one not having second thoughts was me. I kept trying to convince myself that I had not done anything self-injuring, that the steel was not causing the deep bowel complaint, that it was probably the frosting from the wedding cake. As the raft began to break up, the preternatural steel ingots began to rumble about and although I eventually got to sleep, I woke up on several occasions during the night with a moaning and groaning accompanied by grumbling that resembled nothing so much as the sound that would be made by a gaggle of loose cannons sliding around on the poop deck during hurricane season in the Bahamas. I did not really recover from my dance with the hamburger until Trillium stuffed me full of the most wonderful soup this afternoon for dinner.

During the day I had occasion to relate my nocturnal experiences with the BK #1 to my friends. Gerry reminded me of my argument for going to Burger King in the first place was the forge effect caused by the iron and the carbon combination. "That was the real Whopper!" he declared. I am trying to decide if the next self-deception is going cause me as much consternation. I have decided, though, that if my ferritin count goes up next month that I am going to blame it on the wedding cake.


Anonymous said...

ohsbepzg=the sound your stomach makes when you eat crap. :)I understand the struggle with thing you love...I LOVE chocolate. I can't help it...they say there is a little bacteria in your stomach that tells you to eat chocolate. Fun, huh? I wonder if chocolate contains that bacteria and once you eat it you are doomed...?

DebbieLou said...

All this talk of food is getting me hungry. Where you hungry when you wrote this? You must have been, or else the only other thing I can conclude is that you are obsessed with tasty things that go girgle girgle in the night.