You are what you eat

Yesterday I decided to have lunch among the Panerians. The West Springfield Panera has some of the best fresh sandwiches and salads around. When I went in, to my surprise, I saw my friend Matt, in a corner facing the door, slouched behind a tall laptop.

“What brings you here?” I asked.

“This place has the best girls of any restaurant in Western Mass.” His answer would have surprised me, but I have long experience of similar responses from him.

“With your Asperger’s, you probably don’t even notice.” He paused, but I didn’t say anything. I knew any possible response would leave me sounding dumb.

“You’re always reading.”

I realized I needed a girl-oriented response, and fast. All I could come up with was, “Why do you think the girls here are best?”

His answer surprised me. “This place has the healthiest food. It’s trendy. It’s obvious. The people that eat the best look the best.”

"Do think that's true for guys too?"

"Of course, he said," sucking in his belly and straightening up a bit.

I considered my own sorry feeding habits, and slothful, disheveled appearance.

Woof, I said.

Is that really true?

I made a resolution. I will not catch and eat anything more from the edge of the road. I will only eat trendy, healthy food. And this time, next year, I will be one of THEM.


Kim Stagliano said…
Oh, John that is the funniest post! So next week do I have to eat salad?? Should we switch to Panera???
Trish Ryan said…
I'm not sure Panera is the answer, but I think your decision to give up road kill is a solid choice if you're looking to attract the babes!
Joni said…
I'm new to your blog. I found a link to it on another blog (

I have a son who, though never "tested", we are pretty sure has A.S.

Thank you for showing the world that Aspberger's isn't a thing to be pitied or feared or mourned. It is a difference to be embraced. It is just another thing that makes a person an individual! God forbid if we were all alike!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this blog. It gives me great hope for my son.

P.S. I'm with Trish. Road kill is definitely on the "not-to-do" list!
David L. McAfee said… what's wrong with roadkill? A little salt...a dash of paprika...
Wendy Roberts said…
Followed your trail of breadcrumbs from Holly's blog :) There are AS kids in my family. I'm really looking forward to your book!
Michelle O'Neil said…
I TOTALLY eat at Panera.

Check me out?
David, when my son was little I would tell him bedtime stories. One of his favorite people was Road Kill Phil, who cruised the back roads in an old El Camino pickup, with a dead deer, some squirrels and a raccon in back, on the way to camp, where his buddies had the water boiling in an old 55 gallon drum.

There's nothing like a freshly squashed feast.
Drama Mama said…
Ummmm...Call me crazy, but I think the Road Kill thing is kind of hot in a Caveman sort of way.
Kanani said…
What's the point of going to a trendy eatery where all the 'best girls' go if he's going to skulk in the back with his nose in a laptop?

Perhaps next time Matt should leave the laptop at work, then go around making helpless conversation with the 'best girls.'
Matty said…
Oh that was SOOOO taken out of context!!! OK, I admit to going to Panera for more then one reason. Good food being primary. But does it hurt also that most of the people that walk in are either more or less in shape or in great shape?

Here's the test, Walk in to Foody Goody Buffet or some other such restaurant and do a visual survey. Then Panera. You WILL notice a difference, just as you would when specating at a Ironman level triathlon as compared to a NASCAR race. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in averages more fit people make better choices about their activity and nutrient intake.

As for the lap top. My wife is beautiful and I am happily married. So I will keep the lap top open and on and I will continue to read while I eat. (and people watch) Afterall, trying to keep up with an intellect like John's, which is basically impossible, I have to keep veiwing facts, research and current events any chance I get. Someone once told me that if you read from several sources everyday for even just 20 minutes, you may not be an expert, but you can damn well hold a conversation with just about anyone.
Kanani said…
Well, we thought you were single and on the make for "the best girls."

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