Don’t Eat That

When I was a kid, I had to sneak around if I wanted to eat certain things.

Now that I’m an adult and in charge, I still have to sneak around if I want to eat certain things.

I miss the days when no one knew anything about gluten, trans fats, cholesterol, carbohydrates, or anything else that prevented us from enjoying our food.

Every day for breakfast, my grandparents’ generation ate biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, eggs, butter and jelly.

They washed it down with black coffee from a percolator that made coffee so strong, if there was any left over it could be substituted as rear end lubricant for the differential on my grandfathers’ tractor.

And after a lifetime of consuming all of this on a daily basis, it finally took its toll on them when they were 90.

It seems that the minute the food police got some airtime and began to tell us that everything is bad for us, we bought it.

If it tastes good, spit it out.

It reminds me of the joke:

Patient: “Doctor, if I eat right, could I live to be 100?”

Doctor: “Absolutely.”

Patient: “Doctor, if I don’t drink, could I live to be 100?”

Doctor: “You certainly could.”

Patient: “Doctor, if I exercise every day, could I live to be 100?”

Doctor: “Yep.”

Patient: “So, if I do all that I can live to be 100?”

Doctor: “Yes, but why would you want to?”

Every time I go to the doctor these days, they take away something and give me something else.

Usually, they take away one of my favorite foods or pastimes, and give me another medication.

That’s a lousy trade.

I’ve always envied Dagwood in the Blondie comic strip. He made the most amazing sandwiches. They were half as tall as he was, and those were just his midnight snacks.

His wife seemed amazed at what he ate, but she rarely ever chastised him for it, except for a quick glance of surprise every now and then.

Dagwood could eat those sandwiches, entire pizzas, and large bowls of chili (always on special at Lou’s Diner), and never get indigestion or yelled at by his wife or doctor.

And weight gain was also never an issue for Dagwood. I guess being a cartoon character is a lot like being young. There are no apparent health consequences for your dietary selections.

But, regardless of age, men still seem to be able to lose weight faster and easier than women. Take for example the conversation my wife and I had at the pinnacle of the Atkins Diet craze.

My wife came home all excited, telling me about a new diet called Atkins, where I could eat all of the bacon I wanted and lose a lot of weight.

Two weeks into the diet, I walked into the kitchen where she was making herself a cup of coffee.

Me: “Morning, honey. I’ve already lost 17 pounds. How about you?”


At that point, I could tell that she had not lost 17 pounds. The next prudent move on my part appeared to be to pack up and move to Cleveland.

That was almost 20 years ago. A lot has changed since then. We know better now than to rely on one fad diet.

Today there are lots of fad diets to choose from. Or, we can buy prepackaged diets.

Since I’ve been on Jenny Craig I’ve lost 83 dollars.

I even have the throat doctor telling me what I shouldn’t eat.

Throat Doctor: “Your reflux is flaring up. I need you to back off on a couple of things.”

Me: “OK, whatcha got?”

Throat Doctor: “Carbohydrates, fats, and spicy stuff.”

Me: “But nothing else?”

Throat Doctor: “Oh, yes. Thanks for reminding me. Caffeine.”

Me: “You mean, give up my coffee?”

At this point, for his own good, the most prudent move on the part of the throat doctor was to pack up and move to Cleveland.

When I was a kid, the older folks told me to enjoy my youth. I assumed they meant enjoy it because the years are fleeting, which they are.

They enjoyed their food. The doctors back then weren’t preaching to them about any of the things they preach about to me today.

I miss the days when the doctor, with a Marlboro Red dangling from the corner of his mouth, slapped you on the back and told you that you were as healthy as a horse.

Although, in my case it’s a horse that’s supposed to cut out gluten, carbohydrates, fats, and coffee.

I’ll let you know how all of that’s going when I get back from Cleveland.

©2024 John Moore

John’s books, Puns for Groan People and Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, are available on his website, where you can also send him a message.

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