I placed a can of compressed air on the check-out lane counter at OfficeMax when the cashier asked me, “When’s your birthday?” I’ve gotten so used to the odd questions I am asked at cash registers that this hardly phased me at all. Fashion Bug always asks for my phone number and Radio Shack used to ask for so much personal information that I was surprised they didn’t take a blood sample before I bought my electronic thinga-ma-jiggies. Someday I will probably have to tell a teenage wage slave my favorite color and my pet’s name before I can buy the latest DVD.
I told the cashier my birthday as I pulled out my billfold to pay. I didn’t demand an explanation for being carded, but he offered one anyway. “It’s because of the compressed air.” This didn’t make any sense to me and I told him so. “Evidently, some people try to get high off of it.” Geez, wouldn’t it just be easier to find a pot dealer? Or to buy some lamps and set up an irrigation system in the basement to grow your own? It boggles my mind at what people will do for a buzz.
But then I thought about some of the stuff I’ve eaten in my life. You don’t need to snort Pixie Stix to abuse food. I’ve been known to eat so many bowls of vanilla yogurt with Go Lean Crunch as a topping that I’ve had to ban the stuff from my apartment. When I feel like going on a bender, I can eat entire bowls of sugar-free, fat-free pudding or suck on four no-sugar-added fudge pops in row. Whenever I buy boxes of the 100 calorie pack snack bars, I usually eat two or three or four at a time. And this week I tried a post-work out treat called Peanut Butter Balls which was essentially peanut butter, honey, and protein powder mixed into balls and frozen in the freezer. They were totally delicious and healthy in small portions, but I didn’t need to eat five of them after dinner.
So while I’ve never huffed compressed air in an effort to feed an addiction, I have gotten similarly creative in the kitchen when feeding my cravings. It might have been easier to just buy some ice cream than to go postal on the pudding mix. However, no one’s ever carded me for buying a bag of chocolate chips.