Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mars Barred

After a busy afternoon working with some medical students, I went to the supermarket.

I’m diabetic, Type 2, diagnosed about three years ago, but I think that I’d always had diabetic tendencies and certainly if I don’t eat and get low blood sugar I have always felt absolutely terrible. I don’t always feel hungry. Sometimes I just feel grumpy and totally lacking in energy – even the simplest task feels impossible.

So I always carry an emergency apple or an emergency banana. But today it was an emergency plum which I ate in the tea break in the afternoon and I hadn’t noticed that I was feeling hungry until I got to the supermarket checkout.

“Are you all right packing?” asked the woman on the checkout. I don’t like it when I have eight tons of shopping and they say that – all it means is “My job is shit and I don’t want to make it even more shit and I can’t be bothered packing your shopping.”

And it’s true it’s a shit job. So I opened my mouth to say “Actually I’m a diabetic with low blood sugar and I really need to eat something before I crash to the floor so please could you pack it?” and what came out was “Oh yes, I’m fine.”

So as I loaded the shopping onto the belt and then off it again I grabbed a Mars bar from the section labelled THINGS TO IMPULSE-BUY AT THE CHECKOUT THAT YOU’RE REALLY GOING TO REGRET LATER. You know the sort of thing. Cute fluffy toys. Donny Osmond’s Greatest Hits. Mars bars.

By the time I’d piled all the shopping into the car I could hardly move and I slumped into the driver’s seat and ate the Mars bar. It was the first Mars bar I’ve eaten for three years and it was fantastic. I may eat the occasional biscuit but actually, I’m pretty good at noticing the dropping blood sugar and eating the Healthy Apple before I get to the I Must Have a Mars Bar stage.

After I’d eaten it I felt very strange – not in a physical sense, but a sense of What Have I Done? I don’t think I ever used to eat Mars bars often – they really are a bit too sweet and gooey – but it reminded me of the chocolate bars that I did used to eat – about two a week probably. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk was my favourite, along with Snickers – then known as a Marathon. Crunchies were a great childhood favourite. Picnic! Milky Way! Aero! A Selection Box at Christmas! Chocolate Easter eggs! The only one I didn't really like was Topic - hazelnuts immersed in nougat, which is a vile, sticky substance akin to Coco Pops in its vileness. Sperm of Satan, is nougat. Remember the advertising slogan for Topic - "What has a hazelnut in every bite?" "Squirrel shit!" we used to chorus.

They’re all gone from me now, those chocolate bars, and probably a good thing too. These days when I see them on a shelf I simply don’t register them as something I might eat: they’re just a row of coloured wrappers. I don’t even know if they make Crunchies any more – certainly I haven’t noticed them if they do.

The Mars bar reminded me of a lost world of chocolate, which I don’t often miss. Perhaps in another three years I’ll eat another one.


Blogger Silverback said...

I'm sure I've seen Crunchies but of course not in the last 6 months.
I almost collapsed at the checkout on Friday night too - assuming you were at OUR supermarket.
My first shopping experience at the recently refurbished Sainsburys was such a shock to me that it made me ill. Ok maybe I was over tired and jet lagged too but honestly, it was an awful experience.
I blame you for not preparing me for it.
I think we need a petition started to have the pre-refurbished store back.
I wish I'd thought of taking a Mars bar as it might have given me enough of a buzz to get over the shock of it all.

11:20 pm  

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