The Blueberry Muffin Situation

The situation with the blueberry muffins has become alarming. For six months now, when I wake up each morning, I feel compelled to eat a blueberry muffin.

I trace the origins of this compulsion back to an innocent vacation we took with my sister’s family to an isolated part of coastal Maine where we’d rented a large house on the water. We all brought food with us to backstop any grocery shopping we’d do. My sister and brother-in-law brought a large package of large blueberry muffins. I had them for breakfast a few times, and they seemed perfect.

Arriving back home, I sought out blueberry muffins. On my morning walks, I discovered that the local 7-Eleven had fresh blueberry muffins so I’d pick one up each morning and bring it home. As the winter got colder, I discovered that the local Safeway (the big Safeway, not the little one, which is more convenient) sold 9-pack of fresh blueberry muffins in the bakery. So I started buying those. Now, if I don’t have a blueberry muffin in the morning, it doesn’t feel like morning.

Eating a blueberry muffin is something of a technical challenge. Do you pick it up like an apple and bite in? Do you slice it in half to make it easier to handle? To add to this complexity, it turns out that the top part of blueberry muffins are the best part. I don’t know why this is, since I assumed the top contains the same ingredients as the rest. I am “save the best for last” when it comes to eating, which means, as you might imagine, I eat my blueberry muffin upside down. Since the only flat part of the muffin is the bottom, it means that when setting my muffin down on the plate, it always tips over onto its top. I try to eat my muffin in the privacy of my office so that no one else in the family makes fun of me for eating it upside down.

Occasionally, I will announce to everyone that I am going to “have a muffin.” This is a little disconcerting because when I hear myself say this, I hear my Dad saying the exact same thing. Maybe I am genetically disposed to eating blueberry muffins.

Sometimes, if I am hungry, I will have blueberry muffin just because it is there.

I have tried other muffins, but none are as good as the blueberry ones. It is always a sad day when, out of blueberry muffins, I head to the store to get more, and they are out too. “Why not try the chocolate muffins?” the baker at the Safeway asks me. I give them a look of horror at the thought.

Well, I have a full day of work ahead of me today. My big software system roll out is tomorrow, and I need to get started. So if you’ll excuse me, there is blueberry muffin calling my name. Really. I can hear it taunting me, “Eat me… Eat me…”

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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