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The Bellagioist


Here's some food for thought. My name is John and I'm a Bellagioist. I'm so far gone that my wife and secretary have sought intervention to save me from myself. They've invoked a 12-step anti-Bellagio campaign to make me face the fact that I am helpless in the face of gourmet food dished up by celebrity chefs in designer restaurants. Only when I'm able to acknowledge this weakness and accept my vulnerability to the siren song of gastronomic temptation will I be able to turn my life over to a higher power.

Rather than bore you with the tedium of each of these convalescent steps, I'll summarize the program in case any of you are likewise afflicted. Early phases of this 12-step detoxification process force you to admit your weakness and addiction—as in I know I'm helpless in the face of Aqua's perfect alderwood smoked salmon topped with oscetra caviar. I admit that I am powerless to resist the allure of Julian Serrano's perfectly poached oysters and roasted wild turbot at Picasso. And yes, there's a monkey on the wall and on my back whenever I dine at Le Cirque. It's sad.

At later brainwashings, I've confronted my inner-most self, which is not an appetizing place, as I've been forced to acknowledge my need for guidance and restraint in the face of a perfect Hanger Steak Bearnaise or cumin-laced crab meat dished up by the innovative chefs at Prime.

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Next, aversion therapy is invoked at the very sight of Todd English's ethereal foccacia pizzas at Olive's or the fresh-made pastas and fabulous desserts at Circo.

Finally, I'm reconditioned, if I don't stop eating so much, my destiny will be controlled by forces beyond my comprehension, namely a 16% interest rate and a cholesterol count that's off the charts.

In the last stages, I admit my powerlessness and true salvation is finally achievable. All that remains is relinquishment of all control to a higher authority that will henceforth dictate my thoughts and actions. And that authority is—you guessed it, she who must be obeyed. So if you see me there, stop me please before I Bellagio some more. Nancy would appreciate it.

This is John Curtas.

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Thursday, December 10, 1998

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