Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

The Scarlet Letter of Snacks

Elizabeth Bastos

Staff Writer

Elizabeth Bastos has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and writes at her blog 19th-Century Lady Naturalist. Follow her on Twitter: @elizabethbastos

People of New England and Owings Mills where Elizabeth Bastos bidest, which is not technically in New England, but under my jurisdiction, for the time being, is, until she repenteth her sluttish search for umami: I am The Scarlet Letter of Snacks.

Goodwoman Bastos, thou are intimately connected with me. Remberest thou well that day in 2011 when ye refuseth to abide by the school’s Puritan ban on juice boxes, and thou boughteth them anyway because, as thou saidest, “Would it kill us to live a little?”

“There was such an awesome sale on bulk Oreos at Costco.” Full of sin, full of anguish and repentance likewise are thou not?

And in the forest, with your cap undone, and glossy hair down, for prattling eyes to see, did ye not slather peanut butter on crackers for your children, swearing mightily when they would not eat what ye had made? “Sweet dear mother, force not our hands and our mouths to sin! Our schools ban peanut products!” is what did issue forth from the mouths of your babes, and thou, like one who rides at night by moonlight, thou didst shriek and lick the peanut butter from your fingers, all dramatically. Sinner!

The sun, a little past its median did track a beam of light upon you, as if to give you reprieve, hitherward, at Whole Foods as you crept through the isles, made meek by choices thou couldst have made regarding hummus! around the red pepper and roasted garlic one, a crowd was in a tumult! But behold how ye went directly to the salted caramel ice cream sandwiches, there to meet others, who were in equal anguish, separated from the community.

We have all shuddered at it, so miserably burdened are you by Chicken Wings With Motherfucking Hot Sauce, and the Evil One.

Works of necromancy, flourishing with hideous luxuriance upon your bosom, crumbs of leftover birthday cake! it marks thy flesh like a smoldering brand! Woman! Knoweth not your desires nutty salty and sweet snacks are a scaffold?