Well that was a day.
Today was America’s greatest secular holiday, a celebration of wretched excess that dwarfs any other on the calendar, which is saying something. I know that there are a great many people who do not like the Super Bowl or sports in general – many of whom get rather snotty about it, frankly, as if this somehow makes them Better Human Beings than the rest of us – but I always look forward to it.
This year had an extra edge to it, though.
It didn’t have anything to do with the game itself. I don’t particularly like the Patriots, a team whose basic attitude toward the rest of the world seems to be smug disdain, and while I have a sneaking fondness for the Seahawks it doesn’t actually amount to caring whether they win or not. For all that it was a great game – some phenomenal plays, a fair bit of back and forth, a close score, and within forty seconds at the very end one of the most spectacular catches I have ever seen and one of the most boneheaded play calls ever made. So from a football perspective, it was a perfectly fine evening.
No, my interest this year was dietary.
It’s been a year now since my doctor did that finger-waggle thing that doctors do when confronted by middle-aged men who insist on eating like graduate students. And for a year now I have been dutifully cutting back on the salt in my diet, much to my dismay. I eat more healthy foods and less junk. I have cut out salty snacks pretty much completely. It’s about as boring as I thought it would be, but there you have it. I have been good. I have the medical results to prove it.
But not today.
Super Bowl Sunday is the one day out of the year where Americans are legally obligated to eat junk food, to consume in vast and irresponsible quantities food that has no natural ingredients whatsoever, food that can only be considered food by virtue of the fact that it does not kill you there and then, food that should be regulated by treaty and would subject people to criminal penalties if forced on the unwilling rather than snorked down by the barrel by people paying for the privilege. It is a day set aside for chips, wings, dips, and other consumables of which nobody over the age of 40 should eat more than a handful.
On this day, my diet could go suck eggs. Which are low-salt and should make it happy.
For myself, I had plans to fall off the low-salt bandwagon with a thump that could be heard on the other side of the continent.
It snowed today here in Baja Canada – great billowing gusts of dry, powdery flakes that blew up in the air, obscuring visibility and keeping people home who would otherwise have gone to the homes of friends for shared food and beverages. So all of the snacks that we had planned to bring we just had to eat ourselves, beginning at 11am and continuing right through the final whistle of the game. I gave it my best effort, and it was glorious.
Oh, tomorrow I shall return to my diet. For the next 364 days I will eat things that middle-aged men should eat and look back on today with that mixture of satisfaction and mild embarrassment that comes from doing stupid things intentionally and without regret. And I will look forward to next year’s Super Bowl, whomever is playing.
You have your holidays. I have mine.