One man’s addiction to bars…..a story of redemption.

I have tried to live a good life. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a rule follower. I’ve never been arrested and never taken an illegal drug in my life. I’ve tried to set a good example for my kids and grand-kids. I’ve never joined a suicide cult (but then you know that, don’t you.).

But you see, I do have one big vice. Granola bars. I am hooked on those bad boys. It’s not enough for me to just pick up a 6-pack when I go to the grocery store. No, I make a designated run to Sam’s Club so I can buy in bulk.

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Don’t let the picture fool you. I would never travel the 10 miles to Sam’s Club and only bring back two boxes. The ignominious amount that I purchase is best left untold. Suffice it to say, when they see me come in the door, they send a forklift driver to the back to bring out another pallet. I like granola bars.

Trouble is, my wife thinks this is a bit excessive and not good for me. This, despite the many obviously healthy ingredients listed on the side of the box. She uses such lame arguments as the high caloric content, and that I was skipping meals and eating bars instead, and that anything in excess is bad for me. Of course, as a man, I countered with infallible reasoning, Such as, I’m not a druggie, smoker or alcoholic and this is my only habit. Not to mention that as a good capitalist, I have a obligation to the stockholders at General Mills.

But we settled it, just as we have with any impasse that we have had during our marriage. We compromise. We do whatever she wants. I agreed to give up granola bars cold turkey. I did, very successfully, for several months. I felt great, lost some weight, and started eating lots of fresh veggies and fruit. And then, out of the blue, General Mills decided that they needed to start advertising this product on TV. I was ecstatic. It was like seeing an old friend again. It was obvious to me why they were doing this. They missed me. I even envisioned the marketing meeting going something like this:

Marketing Manager: “As our only item of business today, I must report that our granola bar sales have dropped precipitously over the past few months.”

Advertising Manager: “Yes, and I can tell you why. Big Al’s purchases have disappeared entirely!”

MM: “Does anyone know why?  Did he die?”

AM: “No, he’s still with us. For some inexplicable reason known only to her and God, my wife follows his blog.”

MM: “Well, what are we going to do about this? We’re looking at a government bailout here!”

AM: Not to worry, I’ve started an advertising blitz for our granola bars that will bring him back into the fold. It will mean less air time for cereals, but that lost revenue will be more than offset by Big Al’s spending sprees.

MM: “Great. I believe this calls for a new stock offering. This meeting is adjourned.” 

Then the inevitable. I became an underground user. First, I started slowly. I’d go buy a small, easy to hide two-pack. I went to a different store each time so no one would recognize me and call my wife. Yes, I was “bar hopping.” Then I couldn’t stand it anymore. I told my wife I was going to Sam’s for a package of those “1 roll = two years supply” paper towels, but I was really going for the bars. I picked a time when I knew she wasn’t going to be home so I could bring in my contraband.

Finding a hiding place for those big boxes was a challenge. But I thought I had found the perfect place. It was on a lower shelf of the TV stand in the man cave. It was completely hidden by a bed in that small room and kind of difficult to get to. But that didn’t matter as long as I could get my fixes.

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And then it happened. I was busted. More woeful yet, it was by a trusted friend. The dog. I have no one else but myself to blame. You see, I began letting her lick the crumbs from the package after sneaking a bar. Then she became addicted. I had created a monster. It was only a matter of time before she would discover my cache. Then one day my world fell apart. This is what awaited my wife when she returned home.

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I had almost convinced her that the dog got it out of the neighbors trash when my conscience got the better of me. I confessed.

The story does have a happy ending. I’m in counseling now and regularly attend meetings at GB Anonymous. I’m doing well and even eat 3 square meals a day again. My sponsor is a great help to me, even though his addiction was Pop Tarts. If anyone out there suffers similarly, I would be glad to talk with you about it. Just don’t call on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings….those are meeting nights.

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About Al

Retired from a couple of professions, trying my hand at writing about the events in our lives.
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40 Responses to One man’s addiction to bars…..a story of redemption.

  1. Loved your post. Didn’t Niel Diamond sing a song about Crunchy Granolas or something like that. He must have loved them much too 🙂

    • Al says:

      I had forgotten about that, Michelle. I’ve even been to two Neil Diamond concerts over the years. Guess that will be my theme song from now on! Thanks.

  2. Jane Thorne says:

    I loved this story from beginning to end…it comes as no surprise to me that even your one and only vice is healthy. I chuckled whilst reading this and shared it with David and Emily…too good not too. Big hug for you. 🙂

  3. pattisj says:

    Sam’s got more in since you were there–they wanted me to let you know.

  4. Cindy B says:

    Ah a twelve step granola program. Just practice saying “HI my name is Al and I’m a granolabaraholic”. Then they say “Hi Al” Then you tell your sad story, then they tell theirs…then they say “keep coming” after an hour, and you’re now recovering. Good luck.

  5. What can I say. I have a couple of boxes myself. I think of you every time I eat a vegetable, which ain’t often enough. Dianne

  6. I can only admire you for having only one vice, and for following it so thoroughly. So much for a dog being’s man’s best friend though. A think a quiet chat is called for when the missus is out. As for me, I am an encyclopaedia of vices, though none are too health threatening or liable to lead to my arrest. My reason for not controlling them is still in the formatting stage, but a grand excuse will come to me one day

    • Al says:

      Peter, the only vice I can imagine for you is not writing enough blogs. Otherwise, don’t destroy my image of you as the quintessential English gentleman.

      • My eyes do glow slightly in the presence of cheese or sausages I’m afraid. Now you’ve set me off daydreaming. What will happen next to those tasty morsels cowering in the back of the fridge in the knowledge that its 12.55 am or only five minutes to lunch-time in the UK. Will I spare them? Only a mirror can save them now

  7. They are seriously good, but oh so expensive! 😉

  8. Barbara says:

    We have these here too, the supermarkets regularly do special deals 2 for £2 (or as Peter reads it 20 for £20!) They come in boxes of 6, my favourite is the golden syrup flavour! We don’t have peanut butter…. Yet!

    Complete abstainance is the only way… And regular GA meetings :-). Thank goodness they haven’t resorted to TV advertising here yet.

    PS Wilson is also utterly addicted

    One day at a time…..

  9. Grannymar says:

    I’m GM and I admit to being a Granola bar virgin! Do you think my growth will be stunted?

  10. The Cutter says:

    I’m a bit of a bar addict as well. My weekly grocery trip usually results in me buying a huge supply of different bars: Quaker granola, Special K, Fiber One, Kellogg’s Protein, NutriGrain, and others.

  11. RaRee says:

    As my dear father told me when I turned 18, “Stay Out of the Bars!”

  12. Elisa says:

    lol just get yourself a giant vat of high fructose corn syrup and run a central line, you can always stuff some plain raw oats into your mouth for mouthfeel…:P

  13. misswhiplash says:

    I haven, t had one of those for years. I can remember tho that the nutty bits used to get caught in my teeth and I would spend ages with a toothpick. The it dawned on me that I was using the worlds wood resources using so many wooden sticks to rid myself of annoying bits so I gave up eating such delectable tasty snacks…but I admire you for stivking with your reformation programme. It cannot be easy to be tempted by such tasty morsels everyday of your life. It is good that you are getting help from people who understand and can give you support
    My heart goes out to you my friend but perseverance will prevail.
    Which was is your favourite? I love the one with nuts and cherries

  14. Red Hen says:

    Haha! “I`m Al and I`m a granola bar addict”!

    Really cute pic of the dog. He looks really guilty too!

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