Under counsel of one Brian Shearer, I purchased a can of Spam last week. Brian suggested that it was worth trying at least once. Never having tried it, who was I to argue? It took me until this past Monday night to ask my wife to include the Spam into my supper. Now, in the past I have always found Brian kindhearted and fair toward mankind in general (Iranians are apparently not part of mankind, but I think that’s their own fault…and I digress) however I now know that he has a slightly twisted and devious, dark side to his nature.
Monday, my heretofore-innocent wife (no woman can ever be called innocent again after she has willingly served her husband Spam) prepared the Spam according to instructions on the side of the container, that is she cut the block into five slices and fried them in a pan. Four of the slices she stacked in-between two pieces of bread and served as a sandwich, along with a helping of tater-tots. The fifth slice she ate with a little mustard.
What can I say except our lives have been changed forever?
As I was munching on the tater-tots, my wife took a few bites of her slice and mentioned that it tasted “a little salty.” I would soon find this to be the understatement of the night.
When at last I lifted my sandwich to my still-skeptic mouth and took my first life-altering bite, I was not immediately alarmed. The initial taste was of a pork/ham product, processed into a cube and canned for mass resale. No big deal. The turkey that is sliced at the local deli is processed similarly, but wrapped in plastic instead of canned. Then the major difference hit me.
There was a squishy, slurping sound as all of the moisture in my mouth immediately diffused out of my cells and into the Spam I was chewing. Each chew became a sloshing mess as my teeth rent the pork fibers that were now stretched full of water. The release of liquid was so great that my mouth could not contain the volume. Pink drool escaped my shriveled lips. My wife, accustomed to salting her every meal, was apparently not experiencing the same trouble. She looked down at my seat on the floor and laughed at my withered face from her seat on the couch. I gulped down the 33 fluid ounce bottle of water that had been brought with my meal, swishing it in my mouth hoping to replenish the lost water. This was only my first bite.
To be fair, I knew I needed to finish the entire Spam-wich. If I were to eat any less, I could not claim the entire experience and would, later in life, be forced to repeat it. By the time I finished, the water content of my entire body had been soaked up by the Spam-sponges and resided in my grossly distended stomach, which gurgled vehemently in protest. It was attempting to digest this unnatural ham creation, but had swelled to the point where it severely ulcerated in multiple spots. I had no choice but to roll over my belly, now the size of a large exercise ball, and lay on my back until my digestive system could take care of the problem.
Slowly, as the ‘food’ made its way through the long digestive process, some of the water was resorbed into my body. As my wife went to bed, I gradually expanded from my pygmy size to a shape more closely resembling my original self. By morning, however, much of the salt had been absorbed into my body with the water following directly behind it. Still lying on the living room floor, I now stretched the seams of my clothing.
I was ashamed of my looks and covered myself with a blanket from the couch until my wife left for work. With sheer determination I muscled my mass off the floor. I was determined to work the water out of my system before I had to go to work.
My swollen feet would not fit inside my sneakers, so I climbed upon the treadmill barefoot and set the speed as fast as I could keep up with. Miles later my feet were bloody and blistered and my clothing was completely soaked as well as the belt of the treadmill and the carpet around it. My plan was working.
When I again reached my normal body size, I debated whether it would be safe to take a shower or not. Would my body absorb the water from the shower and swell again? I waded through the carpet around the treadmill and headed to the bathroom. Luckily I was able to clean up with no more adverse events.
Seriously: I have no idea why there is no warning label on every can of Spam. I don’t know why we don’t teach our children the evil of canned ham from the very moment they learn how to speak. I am similarly baffled as to why the health profession, which I have worked in for years, hasn’t banned Spam from every patient’s diet. I took the liberty of looking at the “nutritional” information on the back of the Spam can and what I found was quite shocking.
There are 3.5 servings of Spam in one of the smaller cans alone. Each serving of Spam contains 25% of your daily value of fat and 33% of your daily value of sodium. This is the unhealthiest information I have laid eyes on in my life! (I must admit that I don’t always look at nutritional information, though.) Comparatively, it seems a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s is healthier than a small can of Spam.
Next time I’ll buy the Ben and Jerry’s and tell Brian I bought the Spam.