Dear High Fructose Corn Syrup,
Listen. It has come to my attention (my mama hates you) that you are a key ingredient in two of my most favorite things on earth: Dr Pepper and Cool Whip. If you were also in Cheetos, it would be a trifecta of incredible goodness. (By the way, I looked that up to make sure, and nope, you’re not on that list. There is, however, something called Disodium Phosphate, which concerns me, but that’s another blog post.)
But here’s the thing, HFCS (I can call you that for short, right? I think our relationship is at that point now) … you’re no good for me. You’re like that guy I dated for a few weeks in 1998 who drove a fast motorcycle and smoked The Mighty Herb for breakfast. He was fun and all, like a chilled-out version of Bandit from Smokey and the Bandit (Part 1, not the sequels), but I knew it would still probably end with me in a body cast at some point.
You see, sugar (just kidding), people tell me you cause diabetes (in small studies, and only type 2). You make my cells into cancer-receptors (in even smaller studies, in adolescent mice). And I’m afraid you might be directly responsible for my muffin top that’s gotten so large it’s more like a wedding cake layer. One of the bottom ones.
In fact, did you know there is a website titled “Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You?” Which made me so sad. Because I love you. And what hurts you, hurts me.
Of course, your PR team has set up its own sites, as well. I found one that I read for a really long time because I really wanted to believe in it all. You. Santa. Effing Elves on the Shelves. It all sounded so true! So right. So hoofs-on-the-rooftop magical.
But alas (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog post), I know it’s only pot smoke and mirrors. I know the Real You, and you’re bad, bad, bad. You’re so bad that I won’t even let my kid near you, lest he fall for your mysterious powers. I’d push him away from you as quickly as I’d push him away from a growling pit bull. (I almost changed that to say “push him away from a falling boulder” because I really don’t want a bunch of pit bull people taking down my website because they think I’m a PB hater. I’m not. But a rolling rock didn’t sound nearly as dramatic as a snarling dog with a locking jaw, so I kept it in. I’m going for the visual here, people. Lay off.)
Back to us, HFCS. You and I … we’re like fire and gasoline. We’re like oil and water. We’re like a rusty nail and a foot attached to a person who’s never had a tetanus shot.
And I’ll admit it. I think I may be addicted to you. You’re my crack. My meth. My scotch on ice. I need a 12-step plan. Or I need to go cold-turkey. (Typing that makes me get a little shaky in the hands. Hallucinations may be next.)
Even Dr. Oz tells me to stay away from you. And he knows stuff. He’s like Prevention magazine. Or maybe Wikipedia. But still.
So what are we going to do about this little situation? Are we just going to continue with this tango of no-goodness? Are we just going to keep driving into the night on that motorcycle and a cloud of weed? Am I going to keep this charade going on forever?
As Jack Twist says in Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
That’s right, High Fructose Corn Syrup. You’re my Jack Twist. I’m your Ennis. Only I’m a 28-year-old writer (no comment necessary)/future blues singer, and you’re just a common sweetener made by processing corn in some weird, unnatural way and subsidized by the government.
I don’t have the answers.
All I know is that for now, there is an ice-cold DP in the fridge calling my name, and the makers of Cool Whip now make a Cool Whip Frosting in three heaven-inspired flavors.
Damn you, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Damn you.
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