Chips and Dip.....

[today's column is not for children. It is gross beyond imaging, and I beseech you not to read it. To placate those of you who demand Hyperion, I have provided for a fun Ranking. Read that and be happy, and then just quit while you're ahead.....]

For the longest time potato chip flavors were pretty much limited to the big three: Cheddar Cheese (which really wasn't all that cheesy); Barbecue (which really wasn't all that barbecuey); and Sour Cream and Onion (which was quite a feat in itself, seeing as how Hyperion liked the chips, while simultaneously disliking both sour cream and and onions).

I don't know if it was lack of imagination or just the difficulty in getting a real world flavor to translate as a dried spice on the chip. In recent years several other flavors have been added, some with more success than others. Salt and Pepper and Vinegar don't do much for me, and the Ketchup flavored one is only so so. Kettle Chips have made some headway, but those chips are so good anything they do is usually awesome.

The potato is such a versatile food, people should be making all sorts of flavors. I have taken it upon myself to come up with a few. Those of you who are in Contact with Big Potato: get these ideas to them, and make sure my royalties are covered:


#6 Pina Colada - My mom actually suggested this, but it's a good idea. Coconut, pineapple and a dried rum liqueur flavoring would make a pretty great chip!

#5 Coca Cola - This is a natural fit. I think that signature fizzy taste on your tongue would go great on a potato chip, and this might lead to a whole new round of polar bear commercials!

#4 Honey - This sweet and salty combo would be out of this world good. BONUS: Honey Garlic is a totally kickass wing flavor: chips would be good here too.

#3 Chili - I know that some chips have recently added Chili as a flavor, but I mean to coat the entire chip in Chili Powder. When I make my award-winning oven fries Chili Powder is my go to spice, with many a seduced comely lass to tell me it works! Bring on the heat!

#2 Mango - It seems to me that Citrus would dry better (and therefore translate to chips) better than other fruits. my mom wanted Watermelon Kiwi, but they are two water-based. A ripe mango taste would be perfect here. Mangoes are sweet but not overpowering, and the added tang would be heavenly alongside the salt of the chip.

and the number one flavor I'd like to see on Potato Chips.....

#1 Chocolate - Frankly I cannot believe this hasn't happened yet. A thin dried potato chip is the perfect medium for chocolate. You could just add cocoa powder for a dark chocolate delight, or any amount of sugar and milk chocolate solids to make a truly sinful treat. Are you telling me that women wouldn't eat these by the truckload? Even the name is kismet: chocolate chips! I think I should get some congratulatory BJs just for thinking this up!

You can see more amazing lists over at RANK EVERYTHING. Go now!


[By the way: "Congratulatory BJs is just about the coolest name for a band you've ever heard, ne? But I'm about to top it.]



WARNING: I told you how last week I was really sick. Now I'm going to give details. Disgusting details. If you have a weak stomach, you should not read. If you have ever loved or lusted for me, or might ever do so in the future, you should not read. If you are related to me, you should not read. If you are not related to me, you should not read.

I had this headcold. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but it did mess up my sinuses pretty majorly.

(INTERESTING SIDE NOTE #1: in doing research for this column I found out that "sinus" refers to any sack or cavity in any organ or tissue, and there are other well known sinuses, including anal sinuses, which is fitting considering what I'm going to write about in a few minutes, but for now, when I refer to sinus, I refer to my head.)

(INTERESTING SIDE NOTE #2: the sinuses in our brain are not really good for anything. Scientists theorize that at some earlier point of our existence the sinus chambers may have been used like some echo chamber for primitive sonar in catching prey or avoiding predators, but now all they do is mess us up.)

Speaking of being messed up, I sure was. My sinuses always hurt when I have a head cold or am allergic to something. It's like my entire head is full, and if I lean forward I get way dizzy. I cannot fathom how there can be so much snot to blow out of my nose. I blow and I blow and I blow, and it's never enough. When I'm in the shower and the hot water gets my sinuses loose I can expel something like a quart of snot from my head. I'm one of those people who cannot stand to have a stuffed up nose, so during a cold I will blow my nose 70-80 times a day. At least. (I hate those people who would rather continually sniff it back up then just blow. What's up with that?)

As a consequence of my blowing, I always get these little sores all over my nose. Very attractive, I can assure you. They are not super painful, but when you're already miserable they add to the misery just that small little bit that can put you over the edge. I also had a very sore throat, my ears hurt, and it felt like I was breaking my lung into little pieces when I coughed. (Although strangely, I kind of like that malady. One year I got such a bad cough that I lost my voice for something like three months, and Koz said I sounded like Edward Burns, and I always remember that fondly. I guess I'm weird.)

So I was sick.

Saturday night I got a new brand of sick. For reasons I have yet to ascertain, I picked up a new kind of sickness Saturday night. Not sure if it was part of being sick and just hadn't happened yet, or if I picked up a bug (where would I get it?) or a virus, or food poisoning, or what?

But I started throwing up.

Strange, when I like coughing, but I HATE throwing up. It just kills my throat, as well as makes me not able to breathe, as well as gets in my beard. (I wrote about being sick last year when I couldn't talk in "Sounds of Silence." Truly an awesome column for those of you who are new or just smoke a lot of dope.)

The problem with needing to throw up is that almost simultaneously I got diarrhea, the bad kind. The bathroom in this trailer is tiny, always damp, always cold. (You can't shut the window). You can easily touch both walls if you stand there. The toilet is right next to the tub.

So, sitting there, hemorrhaging, as it were, it was actually not that tough to lean over and spill over into the tub. Normally I have to contort my body a good bit, but I guess when food wants to come up, it will.

The strange thing was that much of the food was from almost 12 hours previously, and wasn't digested. I thought food didn't stay in your stomach that long, although later someone told me that when you get sick it is not uncommon for your entire system to shut down.

Anyway, I threw up like 5 or six times in a row, all major affairs. I was not aware I had eaten that much in two days. And I continued to bomb away as I sat there. The effect of this (added to the head cold) was to make me majorly dizzy. the room was swimming.

All of a sudden I started worrying. I mean for realz. This is how people died. I had visions of Elvis, and wondered if he too had suffered similarly in his final moments. Pounding it out from both ends like that made me so immediately weak that I literally could not keep my head up, and this in turn made me dizzy to the point of passing out.

This unmitigated misery lasted about 5 years, or maybe 10 minutes. I have no idea. Eventually, though, I just returned to normal agony, and I knew that I would not die. However, I had a new problem, almost as bad, perhaps even worse.

My ankles were not doing too well, which made sitting there tough to begin with. Add to that the ordeal of the Reverse Double Stuff Oreo (if you follow me), and my legs had completely fallen asleep.

Here is where I must warn you again to bail out, as this column gets extremely graphic.

With such a small space I needed the leverage of my legs to, you know, clean up. With the bad ankles this is tough under the best of conditions. With both legs asleep and so weak I could be eaten by a three day old kitten?


As the situation truly dawned on me, I almost wept. I wondered if the paramedics would need to be called just to get me off that seat. Then I realized I didn't have any health insurance, and that wasn't an option.

But I might have to bang on the wall and wake up my sister, and have her wake up my dad.

Have you ever wished with all your heart to be someplace else? Anyplace else?

My dad and I are close, but we've never been "wipe each other's ass" close. At least, not since I was 14 months.

Somehow the thought of needing his help spurred me on to superhuman feats, and I managed to do what needed to be done, and make it out of there.

But I still had to wake up my dad.

You see, that bathroom was tiny, like I said. No fan. No air circulation, and always damp. The unbelievable foulness that came out of me, though flushed away, lingered like mustard gas on the Marne. And the vomit, you will recall, was still sitting in the tub. I was unable to bend over enough (dizzy, ankles) to clean that up.

The result was a miasma so foul, so evilly-smelling, that I truly believe you could pump it into those caves in Pakistan and Osama would come screaming out, begging for Gitmo lovin'.

And I knew my night wasn't over. I knew I would probably continue to be sick for some time. Which meant I had to return to the Chamber o' Death.

And I simply could not in the present condition.

So my father was awakened. With shaky voice I told him what he had to do. It was like that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine runs into Jerry's fumigated apartment to grab the manuscript. My father, armed with industrial sized matches, had to run into that bathroom with held breath and light as many matches as he could, hoping to God I'm not a methane producer.

And you wonder why I made him my #1 Valentine?


I continued to be sick from both ends for several hours, and then finally was able to sleep some, although a fitful sleep it was. All though the night my dad kept coming in to check on me, to make sure I was okay and was not dehydrated to the point of needed the hospital. (This was a real concern of his. I normally drink a lot of water but with my throat fragged I could do no more than sip, and he had real concerns.) No one has ever checked on me all through the night.

And you wonder why I made him my #1 Valentine?

Sunday there was no sickness, just major weakness. I was advised to eat little and nothing, since my system had been so messed up, and I did that. So while I technically was no longer in danger, my legs were still wobbly and I still felt as dizzy as can be.

Then came Monday.

I thought I was out of the woods. My body was still weak, but I had a cup of Cheerios, and that seemed to go well. I had not thrown up in almost 36 hours, or anything else for that matter, and I was definitely on the road to recovery.


It started like just another diarrhea run, no big deal. I thought maybe some leftover from my weakness, and I didn't concern myself. Until I sat down.

I'm telling you, at least (at least!) a quart of liquid came out of me, and did so like lemmings in a Disney Nature film. I have never had so much come out of that place so quickly. I didn't worry too much, though. One last hurrah for sickness. I found myself in the bathroom 6 more times in the next two hours, but all were small affairs, and I was already making plans for that afternoon.

Then the floods hit.

I find it almost singularly impossible that my body could possess that much liquid. We're beyond quarts. We're even beyond gallons. By noon Monday I had expelled enough liquid brown to fill one of those big blue water cooler thingies. (And from now on, you'll think of me when you go to the water cooler, perhaps even imagining you see small particles floating on the top of the water level.)

And it just kept coming.

And that wasn't even the problem.

If expelling the Caspian Sea's worth of liquid from me bottom were all I had to deal with I would have been one tired sore little boy that night. Dehydration was again a big fear, but with vomiting I could keep a reasonable amount of fluids in me whenever I got a chance to get out of the bathroom. (My trips started averaging 50 minutes or so, with about 15 minutes out in the free world before they pulled a Godfather II on my ass and pulled me back in.)

The problem--and this is where it gets fun--is that somehow explosive chemicals also got into my system. I felt them in my gut, ice cold and dangerous. Honest to god, it sounded like the boiler room of my elementary school. What the hell was going on in there?

Corrosive gas, that's what. Dangerous scary corrosive gas.

When this gas would come out, either with the gallons of liquid, or by itself, it would do so in the most unbelievably loud and violent of explosions. Magnified by the bowl, I would literally shake the entire trailer with my outbursts. There might have been some humiliation in that, but I was long past that stage.

For you see, these explosions hurt. Oh. So. Much.

And the hits just kept coming.

by 4:00 I was in a lot of danger again. I hurt more than I thought possible. I had that age old argument that I get about which is worse (constipation or diarrhea), and had answered definitively. I cannot imagine a worse way to die than dehydration from diarrhea. Eventually even the liquid stopped coming. The gas did not. And it was tearing me apart.


I began to moan in chant-like fashion, trying to take my mind off of what was happening to me. I had long since abandoned the traditional wipe, and was instead going for the gentlest of dabs, content to live with a level of cleanliness that normally would send a germaphobe such as I retching. But it didn't stop.

The pain of the actual explosions became everything in my life. I began to whimper each time I dropped trow. I am not afraid to admit that I shed more than one tear at the unfairness of it all. I even completely forgot my ankles, which were by now so swollen that smaller woodland creatures were using them as mass transportation.

What I had, my friends, was a case of the Heinous Anus.

(I told you I'd come up with a better band name.)

I'm going to put this in a movie one day, where one character says he has "Heinous Anus," and the other one says, "I never liked that cookie place in the mall," to which the first one replies, "That's Famous Amos, you dolt!"


Thus ends my tale of woe. For those 6 of you who managed to reach the end without gagging I salute you. It was worth it just to read "Heinous Anus," n'est pas? Congratulatory BJs for everyone who stayed!


Anonymous said...

I always admire your dexterity with the English language. You have that ability to describe things in such a graffic way that we can see and feel everything in minute detail of what your are portraying. Today I curse that ability of yours! I have groaned and cringed along with each word. I am infinitely miserable for you. And feel so helpless that I am so far away and can't do anything to try to alleviate your situation. Remember what Grandpa always said..."You can stand anything as long as you know it won't last forever." Small comfort probably but all I can offer at the moment. ladyp

Pageant Mom said...

Poor thing!!! what's really fun is when you can suck down something from your sinuses and use it for chewing gum... ;o)

Biff Spiffy said...

There are times I should take your advice ("bail out now"). This was one of them.

One question: There's a diarrhea: NOT the bad kind??

HA: brillint

rennratt said...

Oh, dear man.

I am so sorry!

Feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

You must be very young. In the mid 80s, I was at the beach and saw guys wearing shirts that proclaimed, "No Muff Too Tuff, No Anus Too Heinous".