Be wary of discount food

Be wary of discount food

Discount food: a cornerstone of the college experience. Whether it’s Taco Tuesday at Rosa’s or some great deal found in the seemingly endless supply of coupon books given out on campus, monetarily challenged students love low-priced sustenance.With these values, however, comes the unfortunate consequence of overeating.

It’s kind of like when grandma comes to visit. Sure, grandma gives you kisses and money and strokes your ego by telling you how handsome/beautiful you are. On the flip side, she makes the guest room smell like old people and inadvertently lines the sink with Fixodent, which takes on the consistency of super glue when it bonds with porcelain. Only a large amount of hydrochloric acid and/or prayer is going to get that stuff out.

Now you’ve got bathroom fixtures lined with crap and a guest room that smells like Mary Tyler Moore. Not fun.

The same principle applies to low-priced food. It’s crazy delicious and comes at a price that makes my meager Skiff paychecks seem like a Ken Lay Christmas bonus circa 1999. With that increased buying power, though, comes a tendency to eat every last crumb of what you have in front of you. Not always a good decision for your intestinal comfort.

Take, for example, my Sunday night. Informed by my roommate’s girlfriend that Applebee’s offers half-price appetizers on Sundays through Thursdays after 9 p.m., we decided to make a late night excursion for some all-American deliciousness.

After driving around aimlessly for about 30 minutes because I’m an idiot and thought there was an Applebee’s on Hulen Street (it’s actually a Chili’s), we finally made it to our destination near Green Oaks Road at about 9:45 p.m.

Our waiter was named “Jeff,” or “Steve” or “Jim”. I can’t really remember. All I know is that the look on his face seemed to say, “I’d rather have my eyes gouged while rolling around in a pit of used hypodermic needles than work at Applebee’s a second longer.” We promptly ordered our discount appetizers and made him split checks. Not to mention we had water to drink. Jeff/Steve/Jim presumably stuck his head in the deep fryer after we left.

Our appetizers were promptly delivered to our table and Jeff/Steve/Jim told us to “enjoy.” However, the lack of inflection in his voice seemed to say “I hope you die, cheapskates.”

I choked down a massive quesadilla full of chicken, bacon, cheese, pico de gallo, hollandaise sauce, laundry detergent, stem cells and whatever the heck else they managed to shove in there. Then I had some of my roommate’s buffalo wings and cheese sticks. I topped that off with a generous helping of his girlfriend’s nachos. Then we split a brownie three ways.

My share of the bill? Only $6.33 after tip. Tremendous value. I thought the night couldn’t get any better.

I was right. Soon after arriving back at the dorm, I felt as if that chest burster from Ridley Scott’s “Alien” was about to make its escape. The massive amounts of discounted appetizer fare I had eaten had run out of space in my stomach and were starting to press against my sternum.

I tried to take a couple of ibuprofen before bed to get rid of my splitting headache, but, having no room to rest in my stomach, they sat at the base of my esophagus as I slowly felt them fall in with the heaping mass of cramping and discomfort throughout a 30-minute period. It was pretty much the worst night ever.

Oh, not to mention that my roommate, uh, “purged” the excess food in his stomach at about 5:30 a.m.

So, don’t end up like us. Always eat discount meals in manageable increments. There’s no law saying that you have to scarf down superhuman amounts of chow just because it’s cheap. Remember, there’s always a to-go box.

For the love of God, there’s always the to-go box.

David Hall is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His columns appear Wednesdays.