In 1996, years before Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, Chuck Klosterman ate nothing but Chicken McNuggets for a week. His experience is chronicled in “The Amazing McNugget Diet,” which appears in Chuck Klosterman IV. In the introduction to the piece he says:
One could argue that McDonald’s is the vortex of American society. Granted, this would be a horribly weak argument. But McDonald’s is the epitome of fast food, and fast food is the epitome of accelerated culture. It is the intersection of obsessions: a media-driven chain restaurant that tries to feed America as fast and as often as possible. For seven consecutive days, I embraced this theory with every fabric of my existence. With the exception of McNuggets and sauce, no solid food entered my body. I ate absolutely nothing else.
This Halloween I’ve decided to follow in Klosterman’s footsteps. Sort of. Today I will eat nothing but sugary treats (with a special emphasis on Peanut M&Ms).
My sweet tooth didn’t develop until I hit twenty-two, so when I was a kid, I’d go trick-or-treating and end up giving my haul to my mother or just letting it go stale in my bedroom closet.
I’ve never had a cavity.
But this year I plan to make up for all of that by eating large quantities of candy and handfuls of Halloween themed sugar cookies. I will also be watching episodes of Count Duckula, Eerie Indiana, and of course, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
Even though this is primarily just an excuse to pig out and lie around all day, if I had to place my plan within some sort of intellectual context, I’d say that this is an attempt to revert back to a state of mind when I didn’t obsess over consequences, when I didn’t know what a calorie was, and when I didn’t consider the social or intellectual merit of anything.
I don’t know what the end result will be—perhaps vomiting, perhaps swearing off of sweets forever, perhaps unparalleled joy—but I’ll be checking in over the course of the day to update my progress.
*Update: 5:22 pm*
1 Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookie
1 Black Cat Shaped Sugar Cookie
2 Fun Sized Peanut M&M Packs
2 Halloween Betty Crocker Fruit Snack Packs
1 Standard Sized Sandwich Baggie Full of Peanut M&Ms
Disc 2 of Count Duckula
As a kid you think that it’d be fun to be given a sack of candy and carte blanche; as an adult you see all of the problems inherent in this sort of scenario. I started eating at 2:00 this afternoon with child-like enthusiasm, gobbling down treat after treat, ignoring everything I’ve come to understand about the world. About an hour ago the inside of my mouth dried up and right now I can literally feel the sugar clinging to my tongue and the back of my throat. I know that if I tried to eat regular food—not that I’m going to—I wouldn’t be able to taste it. I’ve decided to take a break from the candy while I watch Eerie Indiana. Downstairs there’s this chocolate chip cookie cake that everyone is going to eat after dinner—we’re sort of sponsoring a little get together for all of the smaller members of the family. Since I won’t be eating dinner, I think I’ll use the time to drink plenty of water, maybe brush my teeth again, and hopefully in an hour or so I’ll be ready to enjoy that cookie cake.
*Update 8:08 pm*
2 slices of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Discs 2 and 3 of Eerie Indiana
I feel as though my stomach is full of air. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It’s all cookies and chocolate and candy-coated shells in there. I’ll probably be falling into some sugar-induced coma soon, so I won’t have to worry about continuing with the experiment. There is an upside to this, though, and that’s Eerie Indiana. I don’t think I understood how smart this show was when I was a kid. I rented The Secret World of Alex Mack last year and I couldn’t believe that I’d ever liked it; it’s horrible. But Eerie Indiana really holds up. I wonder what ever happened to Omri Katz. Not only does he have an awesome first name but he’s totally adorable with that 1990s haircut of his.
Bet you didn’t know that Tobey Maguire was in an episode of Eerie Indiana…
or that his character wanted to get it on with an old lady.
*Final Update 10:56 pm*
1 Slice of Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I don’t think I really proved anything with this experiment but I do feel kind of cheerful. I must be experiencing the “sugar high” that Coyote Shivers and Renée Zellweger sang about on that roof in Empire Records. My mouth tastes gross. My teeth feel weird.