Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

The Happy Index (HI Value)

I have five minutes unless the phone rings. It’s the last day of the month, which means the day has been crazy. Next month will be worse, of course, being year end. I’m more in favor of

Well, that didn’t last long. I have no idea what I was about to type. I’m more in favor of Espionage charges against wikileaks? I’m more in favor of free tacos for the homeless? Irish over English Breakfast? Spicey ramen over chicken? Hogs over Bama, for sure. A swift kick over a slap to the face?


I decided to begin the process of entertaining the concept of introducing myself to the possibilities of healthier eating. So at lunch Monday I dragged Jordan to Neighborhood Market just to experience the produce section. We walked through it and I saw nothing that could be definitively described as “asparagus”. I saw a bag of lil carrots and grabbed one, then grabbed a couple of bottles of that awesome Fruit Juice (Not Naked but the other one), then we hurried out.

While eating at Taco Bell we discussed the nutritional value of Mild Sauce and concluded that as such, there is none. Now mom’s chunky home-made taco sauce does have nutritional value, but moreover it has an extremely high Happy Index value. Let’s call that the HI Value.

In college I used to travel to the mountains with a law professor friend who was a whole-grain health nut of the first order. I, on the other hand, was a Meal Deal #2 connoisseur who knew the McDonalds girls by their first names. We’d gather around the campfire in the mornings, everyone loading up for their day of climbing. My friend Don would be baking some dark-grained biscuit with an unscented soy lather and I would be beside him sucking down Ding Dongs and Dr. Pepper.

He was often aghast at my consumption. I loved that man.

Anyway, not to convey a Hedonistic or Epicurean approach, but the Happy Factor, quantified as the Happy Index, is pretty important.

Prime example: When I see chocolate chip cookie dough, I eat it. My friend Phyllis is repulsed by such consumption of raw eggs, which carries the chance of ingesting salmonella. A few years ago, while I was spooning it out of a mixing bowl in the church kitchen, she asked if I understood the risks. I allowed as to how I did, indeed, understand the risks. I have eaten raw cookie dough for over 30 years. I will continue to indulge in this rare treat. Some day I am going to indulge, then a half hour later start puking my guts out in intense pain. I will hate life. They may have to have my stomach pumped.

Days later when I am recovered, I shall look back at my decades of unhindered cookie dough pleasure and it will have all been worth it.

Raw cookie dough: HI Value: 9/10

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