Posted by: abrach1 | August 21, 2012

A Dead Mammoth In Las Vegas

How many of you good folks have visited the casinos in Las Vegas? I’m not a gambler, so that side of it holds little appeal. But the all-you-can- eat buffets. Oh dear Lord, those buffets. I am 6 feet tall, 180lbs, so I’m not overweight by any means., but being presented with all that food sparked something very deep and primitive in my psyche. I felt like an ancient hunter who had encountered a dead mammoth.

I gorged until I could gorge no more. Three or four hours later, when the stomach had absorbed some of this calorific mess, I was back at the carcass, gorging again. It was as well we were only there for a long weekend, because after four days of this I needed rescuing from myself.

This experience, to me, was an extreme illustration of one of the major problems of our society. Over eating. We in the west live at a time when food has never been so cheap or so plentiful. And it shows.

I remember as a child visiting Glasgow for the first time and marvelling at the number of slim, tiny Glaswegians I saw there. When I arrived in Belfast in the 1970s I noticed the same thing. So many small people. It’s all down to the industrial revolution, of course. So many generations of underpaid, undernourished workers created a tendency towards dwarfism in the human population. Apparently the same thing happens in nature when the availability of food diminishes.

Incidentally the Glaswegians may have been small, but they certainly weren’t petite. During the great war the Germans called them “the poison dwarfs”. For good measure they called the Highlanders “The Ladies From Hell”. Who says the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?

Glasgow and Belfast, and I daresay other industrialised cities in the UK, continue to produce a fair proportion of small people. Nature has not yet adjusted to the super-abundance of food.

Alas, however, many are no longer slim or dainty.

I believe it all comes down to the dead mammoth I encountered in Las Vegas. The survival of our hunter gatherer ancestors depended on their ability to take advantage of any abundance that came their way, because, of course, there would be times when food was in very short supply. I believe our brains are still hot-wired in this way. Only now there is a constant abundance of food, and the lean times, when the accumulated stores of fat would have been used up, no longer arrive.

Nowadays, I suppose, we all have to learn to exercise self control. It is easier to keep that beast in check once you understand its nature. But I will never forget those four days in Las Vegas, and the discovery of that mammoth. Yum.



  1. It’s quite simple really. Eating is fun…just plain, non-sinful, perfectly acceptable fun. And with the variety – and abundance – of good food, it comes down to a parallel of a saying which is familiar to bachelors the world over – “So much food: so little time”
    If your mammoth ever gets lonely, there’s a Mastodon thriving in my kitchen…:)

    • Unfortunately Thomas in some cases, the more food the less time. Thank you for taking the time to comment and re-blog ( Re-blog? Is that even a word?).

      • Then it’s just a matter of rescheduling to prioritize the eating 🙂
        We’re writers…we make our own words…

      • Touche! I don’t know about you, but all this talking is making me hungry.

      • I agree….heh heh…I have the good fortune to have a wife that enjoys food as much as least, I think it’s good…

  2. […] A Dead Mammoth In Las Vegas. Share this:FacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  3. Now I’m hungry. 😛

    • Whatever you do, stay away from those all-you-can-eat buffets!

  4. Nothing better than those buffets in Las Vegas. Now I’m hungry also!! See you at the refrigerator.

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