Sweet Tooth

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists claim that a rat will choose sugar over cocaine any day. What I want to know is, why are these a rat’s choices? What kind of high-octane party life are these rodents living?

“Welcome to the club, Mr. Rat. Would you like sugar or cocaine?”

“Oh, I’d take sugar any day!”

The insight from this scientific study is supposed to frighten us into eschewing sugar. But who can eschew something sweet that activates the pleasure center of your brain? We’re talking legal, affordable drugs that you can pick up in your local grocery store’s cookie aisle.

Let’s review the findings of the study over a package of Oreos, shall we? Just kidding — I’ll take the Oreos and not the information. No conclusion is a sufficient motivator to give up sugar!

Despite it having occurred nearly a decade ago, I vividly recall picking up a glazed vegan donut at DK’s bakery in Santa Monica, which I waited to eat until I was standing on the Pepperdine campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As I bit into the pillowy donut, my brain instantly registered the sugars and fats as though I’d won the food lottery. If I were hooked up to electrodes, the visual of my brain would have been flashing like a disco. Eyes widening, my “Mmm!” echoed across the canyon. I regretted having purchased only one donut and driven so many miles away from the bakery. I needed a second donut as a chaser.

Once I was at a coffee shop and a man who watched me dump five packets of sugar into my cup raised his eyebrows and said, “Ooh — you’re gonna have a real energy crash later.”

I was like, “Oh, yeah?! Well — (yawn) what’s it to you, anyway?”

You know those long cigarette holders women used to use? I wish there was an equally elegant way to hold a candy bar. I never see other adults eating candy bars. I feel like I’m buying contraband every time I go into the store to pick up Whatchamacallits. And because I can’t buy just one, it feels all the more shameful.

If anyone looks my way, I’m ready to say, “These are for my kid’s party. Gotta lotta kids coming over!”

I’m like a ten-year-old spending her allowance on sweets that won’t make a difference to her well-functioning metabolism.

If I ever go into manufacturing, I’m going to launch a sugar cane company called Rat’s Choice.

All of this is to say, I understand the humble rat’s preference. I’m in good company.