Slim Jim

Slim JimSome foods I love but cannot have.

These I avoid.

Like pepperoni. It gives me reflux and terrible dreams. One night after eating a pepperoni pizza, I dreamed I blew up, only to discover it was not a dream.

Some foods I love but am not allowed to have.

These foods I eat as often as I can get away with.

Like Slim Jims, those thin tangy sausages that gas stations position near the cash register.

Considering all the trouble they cause, you wonder why they put them there. I doubt there is a woman in the world who eats them and I doubt there is a wife in the world who doesn’t get mad when her husband eats them.

This is because the spice from a Slim Jim gives you breath you can see – long after you exhale.

They have to be that spicy, otherwise you might taste what is in them – and you really don’t want to know what is in them.

The label says they contain chicken but that is not the whole story. What they contain (or what they admit they contain) is mechanically separated chicken.

Perhaps they use the word mechanical to draw your eye away from the word separated which is another way of saying they separate out the good chicken parts before making sausage out of what remains.

Either way, they are my guilty pleasure.

Whenever I hope to get away with it, I buy a couple then wash them down with a Coca-cola, gargling the last swallow. It never fools my wife.

“What have you been eating?” she yells.

She has to yell because she smells Slim Jim on my breath from the end of the driveway and we have a very long driveway.

“Why do you ask?” I yell back.

“Because your breath stinks.”

“How can you tell? You are upwind.”

“I can smell upwind,” she yells -and she can.

When I get into the house, she corners me. “So what did you eat?”

“Nothing,” I say.


She knows I’d rather lie than admit to anything she does not allow. It buys me time and provides the illusion that what I say matters.

“You ate a Slim Jim,” she accuses.

I feel like a little boy who just snatched a cookie.

“So what?”

“It’s bad enough that it makes your breath smell but then you have to lie about it.”

Now she is mad. Mad at me for eating stinky food and mad at me for lying about it.

“I don’t know why the Kwiki-Mart sells those things,” she grouses.

But I know why – though I don’t say a word.

They sell them so guys can prove that their wife don’t control every aspect of their lives – even if they have to lie about it.

Author: Almost Iowa

37 thoughts on “Slim Jim”

  1. I once saw how mechanically separated chicken is made (may have been on Food Network). What they do is take all the chicken bones that have been stripped of meat, and put them in a big sieve and crush them until what little meat bits still left on the bones squeeze through the sieve. It looks like gray spackle, but is less nutritious.

  2. Back when I ate meat, I ate them. So one woman, in the history of the world, ate them. Of course, that was back before it became legal to read the ingredients list.

    1. As I wrote, “I doubt there is a woman in the world who eats them”, my inner-editor cuffed me hard on the side of the head.

      “Don’t you dare write that!!” she said but then after thinking about it for a few moments, she got this sly grin and said, “on second thought…let ‘er rip..”

  3. “Okay, George, you tie one leg of the chicken to the garage door, and one to that semi over there about to drive off…..the pieces we sweep up after, and spice the hell out of it so they don’t taste the grease and cardboard scraps from the floor.”

  4. That upwind-smelling ability of your wife is mighty special. I bet you guys could earn some pin money renting her out to hunting parties.

    I believe my sister Meg is still a big Slim Jim fan. I shall have to ask her. As for garlic breath, my answer has always been to eat garlic myself. If I’m in the mood. For garlic.

    1. As for garlic breath, my answer has always been to eat garlic myself.

      There is something there that resonates with great nations and the failure of arms-control. The desire to keep an edge is just too compelling.

  5. “Mechanically separated,” now that’s intriguing (ugh). I admit to having never consumed a Slim Jim, but my husband and I both enjoy beefy jerky on road trips.

    1. I never pass up a chance to pick up a dozen or so. I stuff them down gopher holes. Drives the little buggers back into the pasture and away from my lawn.

  6. I dislike when the guys pull out the homemade deer sausage sticks at a family gathering. We women are suddenly enveloped in this awful atmosphere of bad breath. OK, some of the women eat the deer sticks. Not me, though. I’m with your wife on this one.

    1. Deer sausage, whisky and cigars might (in part) explain the old-time tradition of men and women gravitating to separate areas of the house at gatherings.

  7. I think I ate a Slim Jim once. That was either just before or just after a friend assured me that fried pork rinds were God’s gift, and got me to try those. Now, if I have to go that route, I stick with turkey jerky from my meat market, or venison jerky when I can beg it from someone in the fall.

    I have anti-foodie tendencies myself. Someone asked me what I would do about my pie crust if the EPA/FDA/whoever made Crisco go off the market. Easy, I said. I’ll use lard. 🙂

    1. I grew up in a large family where all the chores were rotated regardless of gender (very progressive for the 1950’s) and I can make a mean pie crust using lard. It will stop your heart – but it’s the best.

  8. I eat those too. Not as often as I like now that they seem to mostly come in the giant size. I prefer the original size. My wife knows. I wouldn’t say she approves, but I don’t have to lie about it.

    1. but I don’t have to lie about it.

      My lying is a face-saving way of admitting guilt. I am usually lie so outrageously there it is no deception. It is all in good fun.

  9. How can you even eat it after so explicitly explaining about the mechanically separated chicken? LOL! Dang that food industry for making bad stuff taste so good!

    1. You might say that I am an anti-foodie. It is not that I am against foodies, it is more that I am a connoisseur of lousy food. I will eat things that Scooter turns up his nose at.

  10. OMG my son and grandson eat those things like crack, even though I told them the sodium content is so high it’s like chugging salt!!! Now all I’m going to be thinking about is when they die of a heart attack on one of our bike rides how bad their dying breath is going to smell!!!

    1. I know, I know, I have high blood pressure and need to stay clear of them – otherwise they will have to stuff me with tic-tacs for the viewing.

  11. A fine muse! That could have been me back in the day! My passion were the thin Polish sausage – very spicy and not unlike a small salami. Only thing was I ate so many I got fat at the time and ended up a diabetic! I still look at them and salivate somewhat yet can never go back to them…bollocks!

  12. LOL I think you can keep eating and feel free (no need to lie) since Slim Jims speak for themselves…I think this little back and forth with your lovey is just one of those activities that keeps the spice in life…she cares enough to argue about what you eat but in reality she wouldn’t take your Slim Jims away….

    1. Slim Jim do speak for themselves but outrageous lies are the spice of our marriage. I’ve used the alien abduction excuse for being late so often, it rarely works.

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