Two things combine to create a nasty few moments.
We’ve all heard about something being “twice as nice” or that “good things come in twos.”
But what about the flip side? What if two things on their own are not only terrible, but when they join forces you feel like gargling Liquid Plumr? (Note to kids: Don’t.)
Like Jacked Doritos and soccer.
Both crossed my path simultaneously one recent afternoon, and I was left with lips swollen like a carp that stung and pulsated with every heartbeat while I watched on my television screen the most misguided hype machine in history known as Barclays English Premier League Soccer. On its own soccer is bad, but when you add the consumption of a few handfuls from a party-sized bag of one of the varieties of “Jacked” Doritos, well, you’re in for some nastiness.
Why do we insist on fixing things that aren’t broken? These are Doritos we’re talking about. I’m not a huge fan of their benchmark nacho cheese flavor, but at least eating a couple handfuls doesn’t give you stinging bubble lips. Their reliable taco flavor is excellent when crumbled into a salad with some salsa and sour cream. And Cool Ranch? Don’t get me started on Cool Ranch. It’s a mysterious, haunting flavor combination that teases the senses until you’re almost in a delirious state, like a little girl who’s just opened an E-Z Bake Oven on Christmas morning in 1975.
But those flavors aren’t good enough. You can’t be old school anymore, you have to shock people. Your basic, standard Dorito? It’s apparently not big enough or thick enough or seasoned enough. So the good folks at Doritos unleashed a series of “Jacked” flavor varieties and the resulting triangle-shaped chips are bigger, they’re thicker, and, if you examine one before you try to shoehorn it into your mouth, you’d almost swear that Satan himself lacquered it with his flaming-red devil-dandruff.
You wedge it into your mouth and your senses, in full scramble mode, try to tell your brain whether or not you’re enjoying what you’re crunching on. Is it incredibly delicious? Or is it so bad that your first instinct is to simply spit the chewed-up contents of your mouth onto the floor and run into the street, waving your arms and screaming, “WHY!?”
During my first “Jacked” experience, my taste buds told my brain that I didn’t like what I was eating, but spewing it across the room never really presented itself as a viable option. Then I for whatever reason ate a second “Jacked” Dorito, which I believe was some type of “spicy buffalo ranch” flavor. Then I crunched up a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. They were Doritos, after all. Who eats just one?
I may have eaten 10 of the oversized chips by the time I was finished, and that’s when I observed the blazing red powder covering my thumb and most of the fingers on my right hand, which made me instantly nostalgic for the orange Cheet-O powdered-finger days of my youth. And then I felt my heart beating in my lips, and I tried to form some words for the purposes of expressing my general disgust with my snack of choice, and realized I sounded like an allergic bee sting victim in dire need of an Epi-Pen.
I sampled my first Jacked Doritos while sitting in our living room recliner. I was under the inaccurate impression that an NHL hockey game was being broadcast on NBC Sports Network, but when I tuned into that channel, a Barclays English Premier League soccer game was on. Suddenly, I was gripped by curiosity, wondering how it would feel to poke my eye with a spicy buffalo ranch Jacked Dorito.
I had looked at the schedule wrong. The NHL game was on later so, later, there I sat watching it. During the commercials, NBCSN aired several promotions for Barclays English Premier League Soccer, basically making me feel like I was the reincarnation of Rip Van Winkle. How could I not LOVE this sport, the narrator essentially said, when so many millions of other Americans are now on the bandwagon and loving it?
I felt backed into a corner...intimidated, even. I started to wonder if I was the one not getting it...if I was the one on the outside looking in at a growing, trendy circle...if I was the one out of line for refusing to love not only futbol, but tostada chips big enough to shelter my head from the rain.
Then, while checking out a college football game the next afternoon on ESPN, the sports scoreboard that constantly crawls across the bottom of the screen listed all of these European soccer scores, and “La Liga” Spanish league results, too. Were these team mascot names, I wondered? Geographical locations? Cities? Towns? Provinces? Or were these elements from the Periodic Table?
Stoke? Swansea? Hull? West Ham? Malaga? Getafe? Elche CF?
I poured some salsa in a dish, dumped some “bite size” Tostitos in a bowl, turned the TV to a nature show, and realized that I am my own man, and I control my own destiny.