Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony,” but that directive seems a bit harsh to this venerable old pug. So the question in my mind is, “Is gluttony really a sin sin?” I mean, if one reads the Old Testament closely, there are such heinous crimes being put forth as sins that gluttony seems small potatoes when compared to carving up babies, sleeping with or coveting your brother’s wife, or even murdering your brother.
All of which leads me to my most recent brush with the grim reaper. I find Monday mornings particularly rich in one regard…they tend to yield the mother lode of culinary street treats, leftovers, if you will, from the weekend’s bacchanalia. For a low rider, such as yours truly, these treats are easily obtained and always worth the small effort. On such a morning with Dad, Lizzie and I performed our ritual sniff, circle, and squat. Lizzie, of course, has no interest in the treasure trove the Lower East Side provides a true gourmand, such as I, but rather performs her tasks robotically with a mind always on the return to her bed. I, however, faced an unusually large, intact pizza crust in the middle of the sidewalk I was traversing. With no thought, acting only on pure instinct, I scooped it up and attempted to inhale it. Before I could even move this monster crust into my gullet, it lodged in my throat, blocking my air passage. I flopped onto the ground like a fish out of water, in full seizure mode. My eyes rolled back and my little legs stiffened and twitched madly. I remember hearing Dad say something about how he’d be damned if this was how I was going to exit this world, or maybe it was more like “not on my watch, mister!” In any case he reached into my gaping mouth, pulled out the offending crust, and threw it away. Recovering immediately, I hopped up and resumed trotting along, watchful for new orts.
My relating of this little tale brings us back to the question of gluttony and its sinful connotations. I realize gluttony is deemed a venial rather than mortal sin, but even that seems extreme. Was I, perhaps, lustful or greedy, rather than gluttonous? Or was my sin a combination of all three? A pug is unique in this world in that once fed, he/she is ready to feed again immediately. It is in our DNA, our hardwiring if you will, but does that make us sinners? I don’t have biblical or even metaphysical answers to all of life’s imponderables, but I know I saw food, grabbed it, and Dad saved my life so that I could live to eat again.
Mom wresting my bone from me…