Despite my desperate attempts to be a Scrooge, somehow this season still occasionally manages to infect me with that most horrible of sensations: Good Cheer. I blame two things for this unfortunate condition. Music and food.
Now music can go either way. It can trigger that whole distressful Happy Happy Joy Joy feeling if played in the right location at the right time. But it also can bring on The Scrooge Effect in a snap if it is over played, like starting christmas songs the day after Halloween.
Food however has a unique power all its own. Especially the food of the season. There is nothing like the smell of fresh-baked seasonal yummies to weaken the most hardened soul. Holiday food can defeat the most Gung-ho diet; it can cause people to actually change their accents and speak in a different language. You ever been to a Jewish holiday meal? All of a sudden everyone is speaking Yiddish like they were born to it.
Vacation food seems to fall under the category of Holiday food. Calories don’t count. Flavors take on a new strength so that what might be ok under "normal" circumstances suddenly becomes mouth-wateringly yummy. And woe and behold anyone who gets between a soul and the food to be had. Could be downright dangerous!!
I was having a discussion of all things foodly with a friend the other day, paying special attention to that special species of food, holiday/vacation food, which of course conjures up all sorts of memories (if you can get beyond the hunger that is). Suddenly I had one of those flashback moments that seem to work so well for this blog.
Back in the days when I frequently went on canoe trips to the middle of nowhere, we carried all our food supplies with us. It was either that or hunt or have things airlifted in, neither of which seemed a likely scenario. The food was some of the more important of our baggage, not the least because it was frequently damned good.
<img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1370" title="Where’s the food?" src="http://ninjacatjournals.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/file0079.jpg?w=300" alt="" width="300" height="197" />Anyone who has ever canoed knows that occasionally accidents happen. Which can be a bit of a trial when it is a fully loaded canoe. But we were a careful and well trained bunch. The moment a canoe went over, people would rush to the rescue. Though some would maybe find our priorities for rescue a little bit skewed.
As the canoe floated upside, clothing and other sundries also possibly floating about, the human or two floundering and fighting for dear life, nothing galvanized us to action like that fateful shout:
"Save the food!!"
Granted as the average age of those who went on these trips got higher, that shout often changed to "Save the beer!!" but the effect was basically the same.
I am proud to say we never lost as much as single chip!