March 5th, 2013

The Silliest Addiction: "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives"

I have a Guy Fieri problem.

It started off innocently enough. Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” (Triple D) was a small treat for me after a long day or a particularly tedious stretch of animation.

These weren’t full episodes off of the Food Network, though. I live in Sweden and my only fix of Triple D comes from short, low-resolution, five-minute clips culled by die hard Triple D fans on YouTube.

Die hard fans are people who aren't turned off by this.

But soon, these five-minute segments showcasing the best of American gluttony stopped being short bursts of distraction and they started to become my only form of entertainment.

And it wasn’t like I was lacking entertainment, either.

At the peak of my problem, I had a season of Malcolm in the Middle, Louie, and Archer; the entire series of Twin Peaks, Evangelion, and Star Trek: DS9; and three movies to watch, but time after time, weekend after weekend, I’d ignore this diverse pool of entertainment, and instead, I’d park myself in front of the computer, go to YouTube, and watch an hour of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives”.

Yes, let me say that again.

An hour worth of five minute clips of Guy Fieri eating and munching and chowing down and douching up enough food to feed a hundred Guy Fieris.

My therapist once told me to make a mood board. I made him this. He refused to treat me further.

So you see my Guy Fieri problem.

And that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst came when YouTube started to reward my antics.

Like I said, my Triple D viewings came in bite-sized segments, which were characterized by low image quality and sound fidelity, and most importantly, there was a finite number of them.

My initial addiction was fueled by three YouTube users who each had fitting drug dealer-esque monikers, now that I think about it. They were ElectricIceCream, IDsmoker, 44DemoDude.

After what I thought was my nearing the end of their line of Triple D clips (and thus gaining my freedom), it became horribly apparent that I gained enough YouTube Points—which is something I made up because I can’t get into algorithms at the moment—and unlocked an unholy achievement.

There's actually thirteen seasons of Triple D. THIRTEEN.

It seemed I had unlocked higher quality, full episodes of Triple D, courtesy of a YouTube user holding the most sinister and disgusting of Internet handles: CookingVideos2012.

I don't think the HaleBop ad is a coincidence either. I FEEL like I'm in a cult (Hah, and people doubted I could fit in that reference).

CookingVideos2012 had 93 full, twenty-two minute episodes of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives”, and as my constitution was already weakened and degraded from hours of watching a rowdy fat man going into hot, knife-filled kitchens wearing flip-flops, mowing down burger after burger, I ended up watched them.

And I watched them all the damn time.

I watched them in the evening, during meals, during breaks, and sometimes on my phone on the toilet.

And soon with this new glut of videos, my motives to watch them changed.

Before, Triple D was an award, a piece of entertainment; it was an escape for me to oggle at food that I had no longer any access to, and watch that food be gleefully devoured by a frosted-tipped ego monster.

It was a piece of home.

But with this new round of videos, with YouTube’s algorithm continuing to inundate me with more Triple D clips, I started to watch them out of rote routine.

My sole motivation now was to watch just to be done with it; to excise the demon Guy Infieri.

My best and most nightmare-fueled Photoshop to date

But let’s be honest, the exorcism is going to fail.

Will fail.

Is in the process of failing.

I mean, just now, as I get tired of writing and can’t think of an ending, I opened a YouTube page and now have a fully-loaded “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” waiting for me.

“Cookin' It Old School” is the awful but delicious sounding episode title.

Yeah, this is a losing battle. Think of an ending or watch a machine shootout meat into a lambskin condom while the fat man wails “THAT’S BANANAS AND BANANAS IS GOOD”? We all know I'm making the proper choice.

Ian Cho is on Twitter where he solely uses it as a platform to tweet about Chicken McNugget cravings, post pictures about other people's suspicious moles, and discuss the fine nuances of Liechtensteinian politics.