Trudy 2: Smuckers and Other Excuses

So I’ve been refined sugar-free for two days now. I think. I’ve been eating Smucker’s Simply Fruit jam and it occurred to me that manufacturers sometimes lie, so I checked the ingredients and there’s something called “fruit syrup” in there. “Syrup” usually means “sugar,” but then again, fruit has natural sugar in it, so . . . I googled. And some woman is suing Smuckers because the jam is not “Simply Fruit” but is also fruit juices and fruit syrups and fruit pectin. For once, I’m on the side of Big Business: It didn’t say Simply Strawberries, lady, it said Simply FRUIT. And now I’m thinking there’s no refined sugar in fruit syrups, so I really have been sugar free. And it’s been pretty painless, too. Somebody said if you go without sugar for three days, you’ve kicked it. That seemed too easy, so I googled again.

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think that white sugar is The Devil. They want me to give up canned corn for fresh corn on the cob, but honey, I live in Ohio and fresh corn on the cob is only available for a brief time. The stuff in the wrapped packages in the produce section is not fresh. Fresh is when you pick it and bring it into the kitchen immediately and cook it with some of the silk still on it or bake it in the husks. Everything else is Old Corn. That guy wanted me to keep a journal of what I eat, too. I understand that many people find this helpful, but I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake. I can’t waste my writing on a food journal, I have to make a living. Plus he said to write everything down, like five M&Ms. Who the hell ever ate five M&Ms? And you know I’d get distracted and start writing riffs on zen of five M&Ms or something. This guy is just not in touch with my reality. Further proof: He said that if you usually eat ice cream before bed, you should substitute a potato. No, I am not making this up. I can hear Gaffney on this now. She has strong feelings about ice cream.

Then there was the site that said if I don’t kick sugar, I’ll be an alcoholic. Since Maui, I have not had any alcohol because of the distressing lack of little umbrellas in Ohio, but according to this site, “As bodies lose their ability to rapidly metabolize simple sugars cravings begin for ever increasing concentrated sugars, finally ending with alcoholism.” Then I look down and the guy’s selling the cure for sugar metabolism disruption. Always read to the bottom of the page. Then there was the site that said I had to take supplements to balance the nutrients I was losing in giving up sugar; guess where I could get the supplements. Or the smug sugar-free guy who talked about stopping along the Appalachian trail to pick the chocolate pieces out of his trail mix. That has to be one of the top ten signs of incipient serial killer-ism.

None of them said it would only take three days. Damn.

But all that googling put me behind, she said, whining. And I was gone all afternoon doing that maintenance stuff that soaks up so much time, like buying paper towels and picking up prescriptions and waiting in doctor’s offices. And then . . .

You’re not buying this, are you?

Okay, I didn’t write anything today, but I did expand that basic outline so that I have all the scene beats in there. And now I’m going to go through and see what I’ve got there and what I’ve missed. It’s actually the most complete outline I’ve ever done. Well, it’s the only outline I’ve ever done, but it’s really complete. I’m wondering if by the time I get the outline done, I won’t need to write the book. And I know I’ll never be able to do this for 100,000 words. It’s just not happening. But it’s looking pretty good for 20,000.

Or it would be if it hadn’t been for the Smuckers debacle and those anti-sugar freaks on the net.

It wasn’t my fault. Google made me do it.