Wednesday, March 31, 2004


I walked through the empty clinic waiting room at the end of the day. The overhead TV, as usual, was on, and blathering away. My eye, good doggy that it is, trained by 52 years of living in TV world, obediently swiveled up to meet the images. An ad. Extreme close up of a face. A man spooning something into his mouth. A look of orgasmic pleasure. Then a merry child with a milk mustache.

"Faugh," I grumbled, wrenching myself out of the tube's sticky grasp.

I was hungry. I'd brought too little lunch. And ate it too early. I'd been guiltily crunching non-vegan wintergreen lifesavers from the clinic stash all afternoon. I don't even like wintergreen. And my dentist would kill me. (Or, less professionally, rub her hands in glee at the prospect of more profitable cavities, broken teeth and crowns.)

And the images of people, close up, filling their happy little pie holes with food made me want to eat. They got me, the marketers. One of their trillion little daily victories. Of course, vegan that I am (or am trying to be), I'd not likely rush out and buy milk or yogurt or icecream or whatever they were shilling. But nonetheless, I wanted to run out and buy something. To fill my unhappy little pie hole.

We went to a bad movie a few weeks ago. Johnny Depp doing a tortured writer thing in Stephen King's, Secret Window. They had him mooning about in a bad bathrobe eating Doritos. The movie was so silly, the product placement dominated plot and character. I sat there the whole time wanting to eat Doritos. Every lovingly reproduced "crunch" reinforced my desire. I could taste Doritos. I could feel them in my mouth, crunching between my teeth. I could imagine the powdery, greasy residue they leave on the fingertips.

I don't even eat them anymore. They're probably not vegan. And when I did eat them, I'd eat way too many of them (how DOES one stop eating such abominations ?) and die for two days afterwards of heartburn, dyspepsia and systemic garlic fume.

But Johnny Depp made me want to eat Doritos.

And the clinic TV made me want to eat. Anything.

These are poisonous, manipulative, insinuating images, and we are awash in them. It's enough to bring out one's inner hungerkunstler.

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