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“I have to reach behind you,” I said. “I need to hide a Cheetos bag.”

I’m usually alone in my pickup and there are times when the best thing to do with an empty food receptacle is to fling it over my head into the back seat.

Like everyone does.

There’s no problem with this, unless there’s a chance someone is going to see the back seat and make snap judgements.

My wife said, “You don’t need to hide food from me. Eat whatever you want.”

She said that as if she meant it, but I was still a little nervous. We see the world of food in significantly different ways. My diet revolves around what I’m sure many nutritionists call The Essential B’s - bacon, bread, and butter.

On days I feel the need for an extra dose of healthiness, I eat a handful of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

I realize that’s a little excessive, but I’m all about setting a good example.

The Cheetos bag was an exception. I had a day when I’d been a very good boy and deserved a reward. You know how you give the dog a piece of your hamburger when he fetches the Frisbee? Like that, except I’d fetched the Frisbee myself. Let's face it – in this world if you deserve a reward, you might as well give it to yourself; you can’t really count on getting a round of applause when you’ve earned it.

I’m a big fan of Cheetos, even though I don’t eat them very often. If you look closely at a Cheeto – one of the puffy ones – don't you think it looks a little like a tiny squash? And squash is one of your more healthful vegetables. If I’m going to eat squash, it needs to be drenched in either brown sugar or butter, and preferably both. Since Cheetos stand on their own, they’re obviously the healthier option.

My wife, on the other hand, has a few quirks. She eats salads, a lot, and not just when there’s no other food available. I’ve even seen her order salads in restaurants, when there are pages of menu items with far more grease and sugar available. But she’s a good woman, so who am I to judge.

I’m not completely sure why I wanted to hide the Cheetos bag from her. It’s not like I can hide anything else. The last time I surprised her was in 2005, when I gave her an engagement ring. The reason she was surprised was by that time, we’d been married thirty years. Better late than never, I say. In my defense, when we got married my budget for an engagement ring would have meant a gum wrapper with a pebble super glued to it.

And I would have had to beg my roommate to pay for the glue.

I think she could have handled the Cheetos reveal. She has a track record of sticking with me in good times and bad. She helped me with my Sweet Tarts addiction, and when I had a brief flirtation with Smarties, she was there, too.

When we got home, I cleaned out the pickup. I even got the stuff under the seats, which I usually do only when I’m about to trade vehicles or I’ve lost my cellphone.

No sense in pushing my luck.

Copyright 2021 Brent Olson

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