When you find yourself grocery shopping in Mac’s at 7:00am on a Monday morning, it might be time to reevaluate your nutritional paradigm. Might not be a bad idea to have a look at your time management skills while you’re at it. Coffee Crisp, Doritos, and Diet Coke will get you by in the short term, but they’re a one-way ticket to angioplasty. One too many hits of beef jerky will inevitably lead to the aortic stent, and it’s always that last pack of peppered beef that puts you there. Beef jerky and cigarettes are the devil’s good work for certain. And what about those wrapped pastries, the ones that seem to evoke some vague, vestigial memory? Are they safe to eat? Just how long have they been laying there on the shelf? They feel soft, and truth be told they are tempting on those certain days when the hunger pangs ring louder than bombs, but something tells me they’re as fresh as last year’s snow. That hasn’t stopped me from subjecting my tender bowels to the horrors of a Twinkie with an indefinite best before date. That night I thought I was hurling bile. Turned out to be the yellow remnants of the Twinkie.
Ever hear of a potato chip sandwich? Two slabs of bread, a handful of ripple chips, a squeeze of garlic dip, and, if you’re in a gourmet mood, a gummy frog speared on the top. Maybe a side of Skittles to round things out. All those ingredients are readily available at any 24 hour convenience store, and all will readily stop your heart and clog your bowel (and possibly damage your kidneys) in no time flat. And how about the classic bachelor breakfast: Gatorade and Cool Ranch Doritos. Or Coke and Dill Pickle Lays? Dirtbomb Coffee and a Kit Kat bar? Horrific Cheese Popcorn and a Face-Ripping Red Bull? A bag of Nibs and the latest issue of Swank? Two fruit bars and a bag of M&M’s? If you’re eating like this, and I’m not saying that I do, not at all, you better have your velvet casket picked out.
And don’t make like you’ve never done these things, like you’ve never substituted a Reese’s PB cup for a meal. I’ve seen you behind the Old Dutch at 7:03am. I’ve watched you pick up the Journal, a bag of S & V chips, and a half-litre of chocolate milk. You’ve enjoyed kippered beef and cold coffee for lunch. I know you have.
Street at night
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?