Guilty Pleasures with Guest Blogger Jack Notabartolo

In an effort to keep you entertained and keep myself sane, I have asked a few folks to write FOR this blog instead of me. Sister Nancy did it a while back and now I am going to have a series of folks share their guilty pleasures through the Lenten Season. First up my one and only son Jack! He’s a junior at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Enjoy!

I am not the usual writer of this blog. My name is Jack Notabartolo, and I have several unhealthy food addictions. These are the foodstuffs that I positively adore, but I kick myself every time I eat them. Needless to say, they are quite a pain, considering that I am trying to lose a bit of weight.

You probably have a few as well, those little voices that call out to you as you’re driving down the highway, the inexplicably delicious fast food places that whisper to your taste buds “Eat me” as you’re driving by. But I’d like to devote this little bit of time to talk about the guilty pleasure foods that (mostly) aren’t from Jack in the Box or Taco Bell.

One that shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise to anyone is candy. Everyone loves candy, save for diabetics and crazy people, but there is one that just calls to me above all others.

Charleston Chews.  And I’m not talking about the big, mondo-sized bars that you could probably use to beat a small child to death, I’m talking about the Charleston Chew Minis.

Charleston ChewsWhen we lived in Texas, my mother and I would often go to the movies, and considering how expensive the… everything was at the theaters, the old one and I would go on a “Walgreens run” and sneak our own confectionaries into the theater in her oversized purse. It became a ritual for us. Weekend came, we would sneak in our treats, and feast while we watched movies that we decided on diplomatically. And “diplomatically” in our house meant “with a lot of cross-talk and unnecessary argument”. Either way, it was a great time for us, and one that I’m sorry has faded away. Still, whenever I’m in a pharmacy, I have to actively avoid the candy aisle otherwise I buy a box or five.

Another guilty pleasure of mine (that breaks me almost every goddamn time I go near) is Roberto’s Tacos. Fortunately, I don’t swing by the nearest Roberto’s that often, only when I’m getting an oil change. But when I do…

Carne Asada fries

Carne asada fries. They break me without fail. Even though I know they’re so horrendously bad for me, I order them whenever I swing by the Fabulous Freddy’s right down the street for car maintenance or a wash. This time, I came home with not only the fries, but their machaca breakfast burritos for my mother and me as well. I can feel them going to my thighs already.

Finally, there’s the coup de grace. The evil overlord of all food. The devil at the crossroads. The Don Vito Corleone, making me an offer I simply can’t refuse. Jack in the Box’s Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger, hold the mayo, with curly fries and a shake. This has been the go-to for my mother and I whenever we have an hour or two to kill during the lunch hour and nothing with a higher taste-to-healthiness ratio (not that hard, despite the tastiness of the burger). She’ll send me down the street to snag a couple of burgers and some greasy-ass fries when she’s at her nail appointment and can’t possibly get away on her own. I always feel bad because I get the bacon and shake, and she doesn’t.

But that’s the point of a guilty pleasure, isn’t it? It’s something that we eat, that makes us feel horrible about ourselves, that we don’t even care about until after it’s gone, until it’s out of our hands, beyond our control and stuck in our stomachs. I suppose it’s reasonable to enjoy our guilty pleasures every now and then, though. Because it’s just food. Food that is meant to be eaten, despite the fact that it is probably horrible to us despite our best interests. I will refrain from using “YOLO” in this situation, but the message still applies. Life is far too short to not eat your guilty pleasure food.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

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