“It’s not what it looks like!”
I’m on my fourth hit when my girlfriend catches me in the act. Agog, she wears a towel: hardly equipped to confront the sesame-sprinkled travesty hunched at the breakfast table.
“Four bagels?” she asks, “You ate four bagels? I was only in the shower for ten minutes.”
I also wear a towel, albeit a less well-fitting one. A few sesame seeds have skittled into my pubic hair. One has also found its way into my belly button and I momentarily wonder if, under the right conditions, I could nurture a Sesamum there.
It’s a real paparazzi shot, a difficult position from which to defend myself. All I can manage is the hopeless, “It’s not what it looks like!”
But it’s precisely what it looks like. A bagel relapse. I had scoffed them down untoasted, without a butter or spread in sight, accompanied only by coffee to facilitate efficient peristalsis.
It is time to admit publicly to my bagel dependency. To do so is Step 72 of the official bagel deviant’s reparation process.
They say that once you’re a bagel deviant, you’re always a bagel deviant. Even if you haven’t eaten a bagel in twenty years, you are still a bagel deviant. One sniff of the delicious egg-glazed snack and you fall right off the bagel wagon.
It’s been several weeks since the intervention. All of my friends gathered in a room and confronted me with the grim truth. They said there’s only so much starch a man can take and I had reached my limit. I’d either have to stop eating bagels or seek professional help from a psychiatrist or a baker.
“There’s nothing kinky about it,” I told them.
“Nobody said kinky,” they said, perhaps rightly suspicious.
I wish it was kinky. There are too few pleasures in life and if it were possible for a man to become aroused at the simple sight of the hoop-shaped Jewish bread product, one could get an entertaining game of bagel hoopla going.
To local bakeries, my friends delivered posters displaying my photograph and the words “Do not serve this man. He is a bagel deviant.” My supply is now cut off at the source.
My friends disposed of the several hundred bagels they found in my house and those secreted about my person: a Sesame in each jacket pocket, a marmalade-filled Cinnamon beneath my hat and a cheeky Poppyseed inside a swallowed prophylactic.
They even combed the town for anything resembling a bagel lest its ringed shape bring to my mind the salty taste of the forbidden Jewbread.
The spare tire was removed from my father’s garage (“From my cold dead hands!” he cried as they rolled it down the hill), my friend Dan‘s prize-winning collection of rubber valves and sphincters was confiscated and all lifebuoys were removed from the local quayside, resulting in several preventable drownings.
I daren’t get near a doughnut and I mustn’t so much as glance at a quoit.
Nontheless, ring-shaped objects would be my eventual undoing. If it weren’t for today’s unfortunate encounter with a box of multigrain Cheerios, I’d still be on the wagon.
“It’s not what it looks like!” I say to my girlfriend this morning but she knows only too well what’s happened. I’ve found and eaten her secret stash.
Together we go to the bakery. She will distract the guards with a dance while I use a broom handle to skewer us some sweet dough-oes.