2.5 Sticks of Butter
You know that three year old kid who steals sticks of butter and eats them under the table? That kid needs help.
I unwrapped a refrigerated stick of butter, slapped it on a plate and sat down for breakfast. I held the fork in my hand and gave the butter a long hard stare. It stared right back. I willed it to disappear. It didn’t. I willed it to become appetizing. It didn’t. I told myself it was chocolate chip cookie dough sans one or two ingredients. It didn’t work.
I cut off a bite, gritted my teeth and chomped down.
Butter on pancakes? Delicious. Butter on butter? Gross.
I don’t know what it is, but 11 lbs of carrots? I’ll give my best shot without thinking twice (until I’m writhing on the floor in pain), a gallon of milk, I’ll try to drink that until I barf with no regrets. Two and a half sticks of butter, however, just somehow feels wrong. I can’t pretend it’s worth it for all the vitamins or calcium I’m getting. All day I felt like I owed my body, and maybe even my soul, a good old fashioned apology.
Normally in a day I would divide my food up into about 5 parts to stretch it all day. Not today. Here’s how it went.
Breakfast: Used a fork. Ate it cold. Fought my gag reflex like a champ.
Lunch: Cut thick slices off a stick, cut those into thirds, swallowed them like fat pills. Only sheer willpower kept me from barfing. I actually felt like crying.
Dinner: Put it in a bowl, microwaved it, chugged it, and chased it with ice water. Definitely the best method.
After breakfast I wasn’t full, but the thought of food made me want to ralf. I taught class and suffered slight queasiness until lunch. Still no desire for food.
When lunch time rolled around my life went dark. But like a like little old Frodo I marched through my own personal Mordor for the greater good. Instead of a wasteland of volcanoes and evil forces trying to kill me, I faced a stick of cold butter trying to choke me to death, then attacking my arteries like a horde of tiny slimy orcs. Instead of saving middle earth I was doing real science for this blog. I think this is a strong metaphor. Plus, 2 weeks, 2 hobbit references? I’m on a roll. Which is where butter is actually good… never mind… Moving on.
After lunch I felt somewhat queasy again. And I felt regret. Like I had just betrayed the trust of my body. I checked in to see how it was doing, and this is what it asked:
There is actually a good answer to this. Last week I tried rice, which is all about carbohydrates. Butter is, of course, all fat. Also, to my knowledge, it is the most calorie dense source of food in the world. I wanted to see how it would make me feel.
I felt like an idiot.
The good news is whatever you do in life you can always justify it by finding a crazier idiot who did something more extreme and survived. Like Donald Lerman, who ate 7 sticks of butter in five minutes to set a world record.
To test the performance I went mountain biking with some friends who are in pretty great shape. It went fine. I didn’t feel great, but I didn’t feel particularly lacking in energy. Although every time I was going uphill slowly I blamed the butter. Who wouldn’t though? It’s a foolproof excuse. Try it sometime.
That argument is over.
In other news, the next day I had the runs and pretty badly cramped up guts.
Fulness Factor: I ate the smallest amount of food possible to still get 2,000 calories and I didn’t feel hungry at all. I find this amazing.
X Factor: Next time I have toast I can probably just wipe it on my face and it will be buttery enough.