Friday, February 1, 2013

The Wonder Bread and Carl Budding Diet

I once saw a man eat an entire loaf of sandwich bread in one sitting. Actually, that's inaccurate. It was a loaf of bread AND six-to-eight packets of Carl Budding corned beef deli meat. No condiments. Just bread and meat. And I didn't see it happen once. It happened nearly ever day over the lunch hour.

The man who did this was Ken Grolsch. Ken was the manager of a local swimming pool and a former boss of mine.

Ken had some nicknames. Simply "Grolsch" was what he preferred. But he'd be called other things. Like, "Kan of Grolsch" (beer) or "Can I have a Grolsch?" Ken's name also morphed into "Keg" and "Kegger". The one that he was referred to as most, however, was "Keg On Legs Grolsch".

Ken was a jovial giant. He always had a rosy-cheek smile on a face that sat atop a portly mid section and disproportionately small legs. At just over six feet, Ken was easily north of three bills. Most of that came from a belly that didn't appear to abide by the laws of Newtonian physics. It was uncanny how it just sort of hovered there, as if it was filled with helium or something. Others likened it to girdled half-barrel. That's why "Keg on Legs" stuck.

It wasn't always that way. Back in the day, Ken used to be the best swimmer in the State. He had superb physique that was akin to Phelps or Lochte. Throughout his age grouper years, he held a number of records, mostly in distance freestyle. In high school, he lowered the mark on the State's only distance event, the 500 yard freestyle, each year. He lowered it to four minutes and 30 seconds at the State meet his senior year. Four minutes and 30 seconds for 500 yards is flying. His record still stands.

Ken went on to swim in college and would have been an All American had he not blown out his shoulder. When his shoulder went away, so did the funding for his swimming scholarship. Washed up, Bob dropped out of school and found a job at a local health club as the swimming pool manager. And that's where he had been ever since.

Most days at lunch, Ken would clock out and walk over to the 7-11 across the street. There, he would purchase a loaf of fortified Wonder sandwich bread and a half dozen packs of Carl Budding deli meat. It was almost always corned beef. He loved that stuff. Couldn't get enough of it.

I say most days because 99.999% of the time is pretty darn good. There was one time that he went to the Chinese restaurant in the same strip mall as the 7-11. He ordered four things of chicken fried rice. It happened just once. But that's another story.

As I was saying, most days Ken would get his loaf of bread and sandwich meat. He waddle back across the street to plop down at the manager station desk and begin assembling nine sandwiches. Why nine? Though the loaf contained twenty slices, Ken hated the ends. He'd save those for the pigeons. But that's another story.

Ken made a production out of his sandwich assembly. He grunted and gasped. He whistled and whooshed. He muttered and sang a little.  After the sandwiches were assembled, he'd slowly draw in long breath while creating a loud slurping sound. And with a sandwich clenched between two meaty hands, he'd yell out, "Oh boy, this is going to TASTE SO GOOD."

Then the mowing would commence.  Down the pie hole went his fortified Wonder bread and Carl Budding corned beef sandwiches without any condiments. Gnashing and gulping and belching and farting accompanied packing those things into his gut. It took about five minutes to get it all down and was sort of like watching a python devouring a large rat.

After Ken had finished dabbing up all the crumbs with his thumb, he'd grab his goggles and saunter over to the swimming pool. A very light stretching regimen ensued for all of the next ten seconds. He'd then dive in and proceed to swim about 4000 yards over the next 40 minutes.

While he no longer had the physique he once had, Ken "Keg on Legs" Grolsch never lost his form. Fueled by a diet of fortified Wonder bread and Carl Budding deli, his stroke effortlessly propelled him through the water at 100 yards a minute.

I wonder what Ken's been doing since Wonder's demise. Chicken Fried Rice? Yeah, pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. How can someone eat the same lunch nearly every day. I mean, maybe if it was a ham sandwich I could understand, but anything else...