Evan Carmichael is an intelligent man. He holds a Ph.D in aerospace engineering, once built a log cabin all by himself, and recognizes the sport of curling for what it really is: a way for non-athletic people to pretend that they are on the same level as Australian rugby players. But even smart people do really stupid things sometimes; or in Evan’s case, something really stupid every January 20th.
Having come into the world on the same day his nation’s greatest President (in Evan’s opinion anyway), John F. Kennedy was sworn into office, he feels that he’s entitled to more than just cake on his birthday. He deserves an epic birthday meal. Not one of those hoity toity, raise your pinky finger as you wash it all down with a cup of tea repasts, but a manly feast. You know, one that’s entirely deep fried, the way nature intended.
Every year, about a month before his birthday, Evan sits down and plans out the menu. There’s no challenge in deep frying the same food every year, so he makes a point to try a new recipe each time. At this point in the game , chocolate bars – the first thing he ever deep fried, seem both cute and amateurish. That’s why this year, in honor of his 55th birthday, he went all out and deep fried an appetizer, a main course, a dessert and then a beverage to finish things off. Those brave enough to join Evan were invited to enjoy a salad consisting of zucchini, jalapeno peppers, pickles, carrots, and lettuce, all deep fried to golden brown perfection. For the main meal, Evan took both bacon cheeseburgers and French fry coated hot dogs and dunked them into a vat of bubbling goodness. In place of one of those gross store bought cakes his wife would rather have served, he deep fried a homemade strawberry cheesecake. Then to rinse the palette afterwards, he deep fried beer. Yup, that’s a thing.
Oh it was glorious! It was as though a thousand symphonies danced upon his tongue and then kissed him goodbye with the world’s longest series of belches. Evan relished every bite. What he didn’t care for was the heart attack that immediately followed.
“You’re not a young man anymore,” said the cardiothoracic surgeon who performed his bypass surgery. “You need to lay off the crap and eat more vegetables.”
“But I did eat vegetables,” Evan replied once the breathing tube was removed from his throat.
“Perhaps I need to be more specific. Vegetables that haven’t been deep fried, drowned in dressing, or smothered in salt. It’s time for real food, my friend.”
“Oh,” Evan said with a deep sadness in his voice.
Will Evan follow his doctor’s advice and eat a healthy diet from here on out? Only when his wife’s looking, but when no one’s around he’ll eat from the stash of junk food he keeps hidden in his tool box. That is why there will be no 56th birthday bash for Evan, just a really big funeral bill to go along with the hospital bill his grieving wife will be expected to pay.
Everyone needs something they feel is worth dying for, and for Evan that was a 55th birthday party-style diet. How about you?