Friday, February 29, 2008

Ode to the Moon

By Annabelle Robertson

Just in case you were wondering, Satan is alive and well and living in California.

No, I'm not talking about my husband. (At least this week, anyway.) I'm talking about an evil being from Hell. One who possesses supernatural powers. One who fully intends to destroy me.

How do I know this? I know this because Satan has sent Moonpies to California.
Yes, Moon Pies. You know -- that gooey concoction that helps me hang on. (Don't even try and understand this if you haven't spent significant time in Florida. Suffice to say that Moon Pies -- much like faith, football and Yankee jokes -- are a Southern tradition.)

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that the United States Air Force, which we've somehow managed to join, probably just wants to be helpful by stocking our base commissary with comestibles from all around the world. You know, give everyone a little taste of home and all that.
Not that anyone in the military HAS a home, of course. "Home is where the Air Force sends you!" say these little signs that everyone likes to hang in their houses. "No, honey," I want to say. "Home is where the Moon Pies are."

As a result, we have every item imaginable on our commissary shelves. We have Marmite. We have "Bon Ami" jam. We have wasabi peas. We have Chef Boyardee.

And now, Moon Pies have joined the ranks.

But darlin', I can hear you saying. Aren't you just delirious with joy? Weren't you RAISED on Moon Pies and RC Cola? Don't they take you right back home to the South, each and every single time you bite into one?

Well, as my five-year-old would say, DUH!
I ADORE Moon Pies. I have dreams about Moon Pies. Moon Pies are one of the greatest inventions on Earth and just thinking about that melted marshmallow, mashed into soft graham crackers and covered in smooth milk chocolate makes me positively shiver in anticipation.

So happy, happy, happy, I have been. Yes, indeedy. Very, very happy - ever since I discovered those wonderful little Moon Pies waiting for me on the commissary shelf. And ever since that fateful day, about two sweet weeks ago, I have been devouring Moon Pies faster than a trick dog going after treats.

Which is precisely why they are a TOOL OF THE DEVIL.

I've been on a diet, you see. Not a big diet. Just a little one. A teensy tiny little ole' diet that involves no more than 1,200 calories per day, six weekly cardio sessions of at least one hour each, and an additional three weekly hour-long weight-lifting sessions with a personal trainer who makes Donald Rumsfeld seem like a really nice guy.

But this diet, it must be said, has been working. I actually wore a bikini to the neighborhood jacuzzi last weekend and I didn't even think about making a mad dash for my towel, upon exiting.

Of course, I have been on the diet for TWO YEARS. Two very long, very painful, stomach-searching years in which I have avoided all social events and gone to bed with my gut howling on more than one occasion. Many more.
But hey, my body fat is at 15%. I'm even contemplating lifting the ban on photo-taking.

Think I'm kidding? Ha. You should see my "before" picture.

Well, okay. There AREN'T any "before" pictures, because of the ban. But you can bet your sweet little fanny that there WILL be some "after" pictures. Not in the bikini, of course. And probably not in bright sunlight. But photos, nonetheless (even if they take place "after" a few drinks).

Photos which, it must also be said, need to be taken very, very quickly NOW THAT THE DAMN MOON PIES HAVE ARRIVED.
Bless their little chocolate hearts.

In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be driving around Southern California like Larry the Cable Guy, my glove box filled with Moon Pies, wearing the biggest cake eating grin this side of the Mississippi.

Annabelle Robertson is a fulltime freelance journalist and the author of The Southern Girl's Guide to Surviving the Newlywed Years: How to Stay Sane Once You've Caught Your Man, which won the 2006 USA Best Book Award for humor.

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