Came across a feature yesterday afternoon offered through my Internet service provider (ISP), America On Line, that made me smile. It's a listing of foods that help you burn excess weight (usually through a process that requires your body to use up more calories processing the food than the food, itself, has in it). You've seen lists like this for years and about once a decade or so someone tricks up a new name for it and you have the Blah-Blah Diet with a book for only $29.95 (plus processing and handling) and an informercial where a lot of folks who look vaguely familiar sit on a couch and tell each other stories about their own amazing weight losses while taking turns staring in wide-eyed incredulity at somebody else's 'true story of weight loss'.
"Gee Buzz, your colon is so clean you can pass a car through it!" exclaims Mitzi, who looks like one of the people who used to be on Three's Company. Not one of the original members, of course (the survivors are out doing supermarket openings), but one of the replacements after the show started into its glide slope of ratings decline and burned up on reentry. And Buzz who may or may not have been in Encino Man with Pauly Shore (how'd you like to have that on your resume?) tells us all about it. I had a great idea for a drinking game one night watching these infomercials. The group makes up a list of pat phrases you know will be said and every time one of them is uttered, everyone has to quaff a beverage. And the winner is me, because I didn't come to your house and do this drinking game stuff.
Meanwhile, back at the list. They're basically all the same--just a slight variation of what your Mom told you to eat and not to eat. There's never a lot of chocolate eclairs on these lists of fat burning foods and I've often wondered, near-altar boy as I am, why is it that God, who moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform, didn't make the stuff that's good for us taste better. I know broccoli is a lot better than a hot sausage sandwich for me, but guess which one tastes better? Maybe He could hire the International Flavors and Fragrances (you thought I was goofing on you?) to work on short term solutions to that challenge. Of course, smiting would work just as well. I figure after a while we'd all get tired of attending funerals where the guest of honor had marinara sauce on his cheek (and you could still see where the lightning bolt hit him) .
Because, and this is as true of this most recent list as all the others I've ever seen, I don't care how good something is for me. If I don't like the taste, or sight, or smell or sometimes the sound (or the name-I almost ate calimari once. I will NEVER eat octopus), I'm not having anything to do with it. My favorite example is hot oatmeal. I've tried everything and I still can't bring myself to eat it. I know it's good for me (I don't know why, but nevermind) and I can read the side of the box and get the nutritional information (by the way, what is the point of nutritional information on bottled water? It's water for crying out! Spare me.), and I'm sure the flavors are marvelous. I almost get there-I boil the water and pour it into the bowl and stir it up without gagging and dip the spoon in and lift it out, next stop, lips and glottis and no deal. I will not open my mouth, no matter how good oatmeal is for me. And if you want to offer me a swig of a probiotic drink of something to wash it down, you'd better have a Maid of the Mist raincoat on, buddy boy, because you are so going home to put on new clothes. Could be quite a hike-better eat yer Wheaties.