A few weeks back, some friends and I were talking about food we liked a lot in childhood, favorite snacks, that sort of thing. Somehow, the conversation snowballed into a discussion about how we always assumed we’d eat when we were kids picturing what it was like to have total freedom. And that blossomed into the utterly insane thought that maybe we should try it, just for a day, to see if our childhood selves were wise in their decision making.
With wallets full of adult money and minds thinking back to our favorite snacks, we descended upon the grocery store, picking up cereal, ice cream, fruit snacks, cookies, frosting… you know what, it’s easier to just show you a picture:
With enough junk food to summon the very incarnation of diabetes, we set about a day of watching cartoons and indulging in all of our most prized snacks from once-upon-a-time
I’m going to be honest… this was a pretty fun day. Between oven pizzas and Easy Mac to fill in as real meals, and more than enough snacking to keep us all sated, it was an enjoyable experiment. I mean, all of this stuff tastes good. It’s made specifically to do that (if I recall correctly, Lunchables has better numbers in terms of hooking people than some drugs) so obviously eating was fun. Admittedly, I did have to force myself not to look at the calories, well aware I’d be eating nothing but Lean Cuisine and salad to try and break even for the week, but eventually I managed to stop worrying about the consequences.
The weirdest part to me was the sugar highs and crashes we all went through as the day wore on. I’m not going to claim my friends and I are paragons of nutrition, but we’re all past the age where we didn’t have to pay some attention to our meals. As a result, none of us really binge on candy anymore, and we weren’t quite prepared for the ups and downs that came with that process. It sort of evened out as the day wore on though, so we assumed our bodies were adjusting.
Okay, I don’t want to turn this into a gross-out blog, but there is really no way to discuss what came next without delving into a bit of potty humor. So if that’s not your thing, you might want to bail out now, as that’s where we’re heading.
Are the boring people gone now? Sweet.
So then, as it turned out, the sugar highs and lows were only the first sign of our post-thirty bodies getting crammed full of sugar, chemicals and probably less than 1% of actual food. What came next was the gurgling from the stomachs, and then the inevitable release.
As friends, we tried to keep it cordial at first, excusing ourselves to the restroom to let the thunder roar. And while we could all still hear one another through the door, we at least appreciated the effort. With every passing hour though, things got worse, and soon we had more people in gastral pain than we had bathrooms, which meant tact went out the window.
Everybody was farting, is what I’m getting at here. Men, women, all of us. It sounded like a locker room at a bean-eating contest. Our stomachs were clearly not happy with what we’d shoveled into them, and were either working overtime to process it all or just kicking up a lot of gas to make us pay for our sins.
Either way, we decided to call the experiment over and everyone left to fart in the peace of their own homes. I turned in not long after, still overall pretty content with the day as a whole.
The Day After
Much like the sugar highs before, the farting was only a warning sign. I’m going to skirt the details here, suffice to say that everyone involved in the candy and snack eating wound up using a lot of vacation time on porcelain cruises the next day. The group text chain looked like we’d all contracted an awful stomach disease and were discussing symptoms. None of us, not even the most iron stomached or hardest drinking, went unaffected.
It was almost evening again by the time things let up. That was when I decided to do inventory and see how much of the kid-food we’d actually managed to get through. After sorting everything as best I could, I realized to my horror that we’d only gone through somewhere between 1/4th and 1/3rd of what we’d purchased. We’d all functionally wrecked our stomachs and spent a day darting to the restroom, and we hadn’t even gone through half of our haul.
The lesson here is a simple one folks: no matter what diets you might have imagined as a child, you were imagining it with your youthful ability to eat whatever lay before you without a moment’s hesitation. That, like our dreams of being astronauts or our belief in a fair world, was lost in the transition from childhood to adulthood. Do not try to resurrect that whimsy, no matter how much fun it might seem at the time.
Or if you do, make sure you have a private restroom and a healthy amount of quality toilet paper.