Bread and Circuses

It’s Sunday evening and I’m exhausted. I feel like the previous Friday and Saturday nights excised more than their usual pound of psychic flesh.

“You look tired,” Monique, our Sunday hostess observes.

“I’m feeling wiped out today,” I reply. “I think my blood sugar’s low.”

“Eat some candy,” Monique says. “Mitzi brought a bag of Twix bars and some M&Ms.”

Mitzi, one of our newest waitresses, always brings in bags of candy at the start of her shift. It’s a nice gesture that makes her very popular with the kitchen guys.

“You know whats interesting about Mitzi’s candy mama routine?” I ask.


“Do you know why Mitzis been working double shifts six days a week?”

“Cause she needs two root canals or something?”


“So what?”

“Do you think theres a connection between all the sugary stuff Mitzi’s bringing in and her dental woes?” I ask.

“I never thought of that,”Monique admits.

“Maybe she’s got some kind of deal going on with her dentist,” I say. “He gives her a discount and she drums up business.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Monique says laughing.

“Is it?” I say. “Sometimes I think restaurants make deals with cardiologists to keep peoples’ cholesterol high.”

“Now you’re being paranoid,” Monique says.

“Am I?” I reply. “A study just came out saying chefs don’t care how many calories are in the food they make.”

“No way.”

“Its all about taste,” I reply. “And calories be dammed.”


“Sugar, fat, and salt are what make going out to eat enjoyable,” I say. “Trust me.”

“Its true,” Monique says, “The food in restaurants always tastes better than what you make at home.”

“It’s cabal between chefs, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies,” I whisper. “Let’s turn Americans into fat, toothless, high blood pressure diabetics so they can spend billions of health care and we can buy yachts.”

“Now I know you’re paranoid,” Monique says.

“It’s all bread and circuses!” I crow. “Just before Rome fell the elites kept the populace fat, happy, and distracted from what was really going on.”

“We don’t feed people to the lions anymore, Monique says,

“No,” I reply, “Now we have Reality TV and fast food.”

“Dude,” Monique says, “Take a pill.”

When I’m tired and cranky I start free associating conspiracy theories left and right. I need a nap. I need to chill out with something tasty.

“I’m going to the back to get a Twix bar,” I say, “Do you want one?”

“Hypocrite,” Monique says teasingly.

“Life is about balancing ideals and reality,” I say.

“You should teach my philosophy class.”

“I’d probably get fired.”


I head to the back and tear open a Twix Bar. As Im munching away I remember I had a root canal, two crowns, and went on Lipitor within one year. Yeah, I’m a hypocrite – but I’ve been going to the gym and haven’t smoked a cigar in ages. Life’s a balancing act.

I finish my candy bar and enjoy the buzz as the processed sugar slams into my bloodstream. That Twix hit the spot. I feel better.

But I can’t shake the sneaking suspicion I’m right about the bread and circuses thing.

5 thoughts on “Bread and Circuses”

  1. Talina says:

    you are. Bread and Circus.

  2. Barista says:

    “I’m your cook. Not your doctor!” – Paula Deen

  3. Joakim says:

    I believe too that you are all too right about the bread and circus. For instance, America’s economy is going absolutely down the drain but the media keeps saying that it’s ok because the bailouts are taking care of it all. It’s very obvious that the bailouts are only making it worse, but they don’t say that on Idol or 24, or even Fox. So yeah, cake and tournaments.

  4. anandos says:

    Prescient, my man, four years later.

  5. booply says:

    As long as we have a Federal Reserve making money (something of value) out of nothing, we will forever be in debt and it’s getting worse a d worse every year. Sooner or later the value of debt will be insurmountable and the financial system will collapse. I just wish something like fight club would happen and send everything back to 0, at least then we wouldn’t have all the debt crashing down on us.

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