Monday, February 06, 2006

The Great Tot Conspiracy

They're closing in on me! Just when I start to lose weight (yay on one resoultion at least), my biggest crave in the world is getting closer and closer, surrounding me in a whirlpool of hot oil and potato goodness. Yes, the tater tot.

Let me 'splain. Ever since my Atlanta days, my taste for tots was re-awakened and for a while, I could not get enough of them. We would try to end every drunken night at the Highlander, a bar in Midtown with a very ecclectic crowd - bikers, nouveau-hippies, goths, a few guys who looked like washed-out Glam Rock stars from the 70s and us. The highlight of a visit to the Highlander was ordering a heaping "pitcher o' tots" - literally, a beer pitcher full of the crispy treats. I am a "tot virgin" myself - I don't like 'em scattered, smothered, covered or even dipped in ketchup, just lightly salted, fresh from the fryer. My friends like a little more variety, and one night got more than they bargained for, as some tacks mysteriously appeared in their bowl of chili-covered tots ("tacks n' tots" as my friend Kib dubbed them - he was the one who picked around the tacks to eat all of the tots he could - waste not, want not, right?) On nights I couldn't get to the Highlander, it was Ore-Ida to the rescue! I have a bad habit of cooking under the influence - and not anything that can just be microwaved - oh no, it has to involve the stove or boling water or some other potentially dangerous activity (pasta was one of my favorites - and one night in college a friend of mine and I had a craving for tempura - I had little red oil burn marks all over my arms for the next few days!) So, one night after I got home from some local tavern, I proceeded to bake some tots and watch TV. I fell asleep on the floor, only to awaken, bolt upright and inhale the smoke. The resulting charvoal briquettes killed my tot craving pretty effectively for the night. The whole low carb/South Beach thing kind of changed my relationship with tots, but some new alarming developments have seen the re-awakening of my tot cravings.

Napoleon Dynamite. Yes, damn you Napoleon! His lunchtime tots looked way better than anything I was ever served at school! As tempting as they looked, and thanks to whatever is going on in my body that has reduced my drunken munchies (it's not for lack of drinking, that's for sure!) I am able to resist, with the occasional hiccup or 2 (P. likes the tots too - what kind of wife would I be if I didn't share the tot experience with him?) The other recent development is more disturbing. There have been an alarming number of Sonic fast food restaurants popping up all over my neighborhood. Coincidence...or conspiracy??? Not only is that disturbiong in itself, but Sonic and it's competetors have seemed to have taken over Port Richey - as soon as a new Steak n' Shake, Taco Hell, Wendy's, etc. pops up, a "good" restaurant (where your food isn't served on a plastic tray) disappears! I am well aware that Port Richey is not the first place that comes to anyone's mind when one thinks haute cuisine, but come on! I can't be the only person who wants to live in a world where everytihng isn't fried! I'm scared...hold me...

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