Heroin

     Can man survive on ice cream?
     Perhaps the question should be: How long can man survive on ice cream?
     Or perhaps it should be: How long can Bob survive on ice cream?
     I bought this rather large tub of ice cream. Two gallons, I believe. Oh, all right, three. Three gallons. 16,000 calories. More or less.
     The reason I did this (this is a lie) is because I figured I would be less likely to stand at the kitchen counter eating ice cream right out of an enormous tub than I would be to do it out of the modest, 1 quart receptacles I customarily buy.
     I figured it would embarrass me to eat ice cream directly out of a horse trough.
     I was wrong.
     So am I to be blamed for trying? For surrendering for a moment to the spirit of scientific inquiry? To the spirit that …
     Do you hear that? In the kitchen? Hold on a minute …
     Now, where were we?
     There’s this place just down the road that sells this particular flavor of ice cream. Graham Central Station, it’s called. Graham cracker flavor, with pieces of chocolate-covered graham crackers in it. I call it heroin.
     “Give me a quart of heroin,” I say, and the ice cream people fill me right up. They know what I mean.
     Well, this place closes after Labor Day, so on Labor Day afternoon I went over there to get the last quart of heroin I could get until Memorial Day, when they’ll open again.
     “How much heroin do you have left?” I asked, and the ice cream guy said, “We’ve got a whole tub of it.”
     “I’ll take it,” I said.
     Forty dollars, it cost. Cheap.
     So I lugged home this tub of Graham Central Station ice cream and Jane showed me how to remove a shelf from the freezer, and I stashed it in there.
     The next morning when Jane got up I went to tell her my dream. This is all true.
     I dreamed that I had acquired a large container of cocaine. One of those giant Mason jars, the biggest Mason jar you’ve ever seen, full to the brim with cocaine. I had it on my desk, and the desk was sort of in my office and sort of in my room, and people – friends and work people – kept coming by and I thought, “I wonder if I should ask them if they want some of my cocaine?” But I didn’t. I wanted all the cocaine for myself, you see.
     Well, I was about to tell Jane my dream, when she told me hers. She had dreamed that she came into the kitchen and saw me standing over that tub of ice cream with a spoon in my hand. She looked into the tub and saw that I had carved out an enormous hole in the ice cream. Far more ice cream than I should have eaten. But did she scold me? No, no. Even in her dream, Jane knew that would not do any good. She went into a kitchen drawer where, in her dream, she keeps little colored paper umbrellas made of toothpicks, the kind you get in those ridiculous tropical drinks of booze, if you are a child and can find a place that will sell children liquor. Then she stuck those little colored umbrellas into the hole I had made in the ice cream, to try to cover it up – so no one could see what a pig I had made of myself with the ice cream.
     Isn’t she a good girlfriend? To be watching out for me even in her sleep?
     This brings us to today. To the question I posed at the beginning of this column. To the third question, actually. How long can Bob survive on ice cream?
     I understand that a man who lives an active lifestyle needs 2,500 calories a day. I believe I live a rather active lifestyle. I run here and there, yon, and occasionally hither, doing things. 16,000 calories of ice cream then, should last me, theoretically, not quite a week.
     We are now one week and four days past Labor Day. And have I run out of ice cream? No, I have not, Mr. Smarty Pants. So what does that show you?
     What?

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