I have always liked potato chips. In fact, I love potato chips. Almost everyone does.
I’ve always wondered why I, we, love potato chips so much. More importantly, why is it so hard to stop eating them? That question has arisen a number of times in everyone’s life.
Some people say the reason is that the fat content of the chips sends signals to the brain that demand more chips in the same way that addictive drugs affect the brain.
However, I think there is more to this than merely an addictive attraction.
Late one afternoon, I was having a snack of potato chips before getting ready to eat dinner. I was watching television while drinking wine and eating my chips. (Yes, for you wine purists, I drink wine while eating potato chips.)
I was eating the chips and enjoying the taste of the potatoes. I was enjoying the taste of the salt. I was enjoying the taste of the salt and potatoes combined.
After a while, the taste of the potatoes wasn’t rewarding to me any more. After many more mouthfuls, I was fully satiated of the salt taste. But, I kept eating.
I tried to stop eating the potato chips. But, my body, my stomach, would not listen to my obviously conflicted mind. I felt guilty as I kept reaching into the bag. I felt morally weak as I kept eating. Why couldn’t I stop when my taste buds were fully satiated and I was trying so hard to stop? I thought, “My character is weak!” I concentrated totally on trying to stop eating the potato chips. I called on all of my moral principles and self-discipline to get myself to stop. But, I failed!
A commercial appeared on the television screen, so I clicked the TV remote control to “mute.” There were no sounds in the air. No appliance sounds, no machine sounds, no neighbor sounds, no sirens entering my room from outside.
I kept eating in the total silence that I so infrequently experience. My mind naturally became aware of the sound of the potato chips breaking and crumbling as I continued to eat.
Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! My mind zeroed in totally to this sound. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
After some time eating and concentrating on the sound, my mind exploded!
Suddenly, I knew why I, why all of us, eat so many potato chips. I knew why we enjoy eating them so much. And why, most of all, it is so difficult to stop eating them.
It’s because of The Sound, The Sound. But, what is so appealing about that sound?
Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! I concentrated on The Sound. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
What was that sound? It suddenly became obvious. It was the sound of The Bones! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
My Inner Caveman suddenly appeared in my mind.
Surely, I thought, the Cavemen and Cavewomen loved to chew on bones. They certainly chewed on them, just like their dogs did.
Whenever archeologists excavate ancient locations and find a caveman site and they check around the campfire, they find bones. The bones have been chewed on and everyone thinks that only the caveman-dogs, and the untamed foxes and hyenas in the area chewed on the bones. But, I now know that it wasn’t just the dogs and other four-legged animals that were chewing on them – and now, you know this, too.
The Caveman and the Cavewoman chewed on bones. We modern, mannerly, men and women chew on potato chips, tortilla chips, cookies, and other crispy foods as their substitutes. It became obvious to me that modern men and woman chew on these foods to get in touch with our Inner-Caveman and Inner-Cavewoman.
Our Inner-Caveman. The Caveman that we usually try so hard to hide.
The Caveman with instincts that we all have. The Caveman instincts that we control, sometimes easily, and sometimes with much difficulty. And, of course, a few instincts that we find impossible to conquer.
I thought the above thoughts while continuing to eat my potato cops in total silence.
I ate with a new energy and a new pleasure, now that I knew what I was really enjoying. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch.
Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! The sound reverberated. I listened as the Sounds of The Fracturing Bones traveled directly from my mouth to my middle ear and to my brain, and at the some time another sound of the bones traveling out from my mouth and through the air and around my jaw to reach my ear. Was there a slight delay, an echo? I couldn’t tell. Surely, a real Caveman with a more uncivilized hearing ability could tell. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
I spent some time enjoying my exhilaration at my new Caveman pleasure, my new primitive pleasure. I was so happy that I found one more primal pleasure in life to enjoy.
Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
My mind drifted from my newly discovered insight to life and wondered how I could enjoy my Inner-Caveman more. I put a finger into each ear and listened to The Sound as I chewed.
The Sound echoed throughout my skull and reached my inner ear as a crescendo – without traveling through the air. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! It was different. The Sound had been meaningful before, but, now it was maybe even better. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
The Sound echoed throughout my skull; my skull – a cave of its own!
The Sound echoed through my Cave-man skull as I sat in my room – my cave. My cave, which, to be honest, may occasionally look like and smell like a cave.
By now this caveman stuff was really getting to me. I had had enough for now, so I returned to my present life and started to make dinner.
MUSE 2 Getting in Touch with Your Inner-Caveperson, too.
Are you feeling, picturing, the thoughts I’m trying to convey? Try it, and you will see what I mean.
Do you have any potato chips? Go get them. I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait even if you have to go to a neighbor’s house to borrow some, or a store to buy some.
O.K. You’re back. Let’s start. If you didn’t get any chips, follow along and pretend.
Put some chips into your mouth. Chew!
You taste the potatoes, the salt, and maybe some manmade onion, garlic or other taste that has been added. And, you are enjoying yourself, as you always do when eating potato chips.
Keep eating. Keep eating. Keep eating.
Your getting tired of the potato and salt tastes, but you keep eating.
Now, get up and go about turning off the T.V. and all the appliances and other things around you that make noise. Shut the windows. Turn off the air-conditioner if it makes noise you can hear. Tell other people to be quiet for a few minutes. If they won’t, or even if they do, offer them some potato chips and invite them to join you.
Start eating potato chips again.
Listen to The Sound. Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch! Crackle-Crackle-Crunch!
Now you know what I mean. Isn’t it wonderful. The sound of the crunching potato chips – which is really the Sound of Crunching Bones.
Relax. Concentrate. Become aware that The Sound of Crunching Bones is getting you in touch with the Inner-Caveman or Inner-Caveman whom you basically are.
MUSE 3. The Basic Instinct. (Warning: You must be 16 years of age or older to read the following.)
As the Papa-caveman used to say to Junior–cave boy, “If you want to make love like a Caveman, you have to chew bones like a Papa-caveman.
And, as the Cave–Mama used to say to Cave–Missy, if you want to make love like a Cave–Mama, you have to chew on bones like a Cave–Mama.”
These ancient sayings really work. Lean over and give some potato chips to your partner and you will soon have proof that it does.
(To return to the homepage, click on “thinkingbybruce,” at the top of this page.)