Odes to the Things I Can No Longer Enjoy on My Damned Diet


By Colin Nissan, "Odes to the things I can no longer enjoy on my damned diet,"January/February 2011

Humorist Colin Nissan on saying goodbye to his favorite foods

Goodbye, up-for-grabs office doughnut
Well, this is awkward, isn’t it? Another time, I would have walked right up and jammed you into my mouth—whole, if no one was watching. But today I must keep my distance for fear that a wisp of your powdered sugar will rise up to my nose like pixie dust and end this diet as quickly as it started. Do I want to live in a world where adorable fried confections are bad for you? No, I don’t. Do I want to get rid of my lunch-lady arms? I really do.

Goodbye, whipped-cream-topped coffee drinks
A coffee drink, a sundae and an angel had a baby together, and that baby is you. Sadly my days of slurping your 50-calorie-a-straw loads of frothy mirth have ended. No longer will I enjoy the seven-minute burst of productivity that you so generously provided. Was your liberal topping of whipped cream and caramel drizzle a bit much? Sure it was. But I didn’t drink you for subtlety, I drank you because you made me truly happy. For seven wonderful minutes.

Goodbye, sandwich with mozzarella sticks in it
A triumph of gastronomy. A failure of humanity. You know very well that mozzarella sticks are a stand-alone appetizer, yet you violated societal taboo and turned an innocent sandwich into a delicious killing machine. You may be the bad boy of the hoagie community, but I don’t have the stomach for bad boys anymore, only for decent, god-fearing sandwiches with regulation ingredients.


Goodbye, microwaveable noodles in a cup
It took a mere 60 seconds for you to transport me to the Orient, and just 60 more for my face to swell to twice its size from sodium bloat. You’ve managed to stuff nine ingredients into your little Styrofoam cup that start with the letter X. And that’s eight too many for the new me.

Goodbye, gas-station soda that’s too big for my cup holder

Did I ever stand a chance of consuming this much liquid? Of course not. But that’s not the point, the point is that you’re only 19 cents more than the medium. You were a hell of a copilot all these years, dispensing a bottomless dose of uppers into my bloodstream, like a carbonated IV drip. Unfortunately, you’re no longer the only thing in my car that’s round and wide and sweaty.

Goodbye, mysterious vending-machine baked good
I will never forget your number, E5, but I must forget you. I must forget the throat-burning sweetness of your frosting, and the faded mystery of your expiration date. While I may still stop by your machine on occasion, it will be only to press my hand against the glass in a gesture of longing. If you had a hand, I know you’d do the same.


Goodbye, nachos
Adios, mi amigo. Sadly, my passport has been revoked, and I will no longer be crossing the border to ascend your glorious sour-cream-crested alp of saturated fats. It appears my tongue has taken its last whack at your piñata of piquant booty. But I must leave you with this, never in my life have 17 ingredients been presented with such chaos, yet had such a calming effect on my palate. I will miss you dearly.

Goodbye, full-fat ice cream
Ice cream, you are my Tin Man. I will miss you most of all. I may be able to fool my eyes with low fat and fro-yo, but I will never fool my heart, or my taste buds—they know deceit when it crosses their path. Your rich, frozen pints have successfully numbed countless troubles in my life, and I thank you for that. Unfortunately, you are also responsible for the satellite ass that seems to have formed on my original one.

Colin Nissan writes TV commercials, humor essays for places like McSweeney’s, and books. OK, one book. Don’t Be That Guy came out last year. Find him at colinnissan.com or follow him @cnissan.