Why Elvis Presley Had Such An Unhealthy Relationship With Food

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Elvis gotta — anything he wanted. Part of the mixed blessing that is celebrity is the temptation to surround yourself with people who are either hyper-supportive or enabling, depending on how you look at it. Get rich enough, successful enough, famous enough, and people stop telling you "no." Is that because you're a celebrity and you can make your own decisions, thank you very much? Not really.

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess," said Oscar Wilde, who had his own personal-demon-enshrouded celebrity in the late 19th Century. And if the celebrity culture of rock-and-roll teaches us anything, Elvis was The King — of whatever he wanted.

His preferred hunka-hunka burning love was female and under-age, reports the Irish Post. He fell in love with his first wife, Priscilla, when she was just a teenager (meaning, she was 14), says Biography, and one of the reasons for the attraction was that she was young enough that he could "train" her. Once she'd given birth to their daughter, Lisa Marie, Elvis no longer found her attractive.

Elvis didn't think of food as fuel

He loved him some Cadillacs, buying them not only for himself but for friends and hangers-on. He itched like a man up a fuzzy tree for firearms, too, and not just when he served in the Army — he amassed his own personal collection, Neatorama tells us, and also gave them away by the bushel as gifts (maybe because if he liked it, other people must like it, too, right? Uh-huh). He was a child of the South who loved his mother and he loved home-style Southern cooking.

Eventually, the drugs (lots) and relationships (he found himself surrounded by sycophants, but had few real friends) and stuff (including a pet chimp named Scatter) wasn't going to do it anymore. Comfort food was a comfort, maybe his only real comfort, even if it meant calling his long-time cook, Mary Jenkins, at 2 in the morning so she could whip up a fried banana and peanut butter sandwich, as she told the BBC. (Pro tip: Toast the bread before you fry it all up. In butter.) "He said it was the only thing he got any enjoyment out of, was eating," she said. And he liked his food "rich," she said. At the end he was carrying 350 pounds on his 6' frame, says Huffington Post.

If you're curious (morbidly or otherwise), there are more than a half-dozen Elvis-centric cookbooks available, some from family, some from fans. See if you can find the recipe for fried squirrel. It was a favorite.