Originally created 04/10/03

I ought to be thin because I can't eat anything

They say that as we get older, we lose our appetite for food. I certainly hope that's true, because there are fewer things we can eat as we age.

Our carefree years of youth give way to a list of dietary no-nos long enough to choke an anaconda.

First, the doctors take away our salt, and then our sugar. They frown whenever we look at fat, and they monitor our carbohydrates. They make us register our calories as deadly weapons. And don't even mention fiber.

After we get over the age of, say, 35 or 40, people who see us buying anything in the grocery store that looks remotely tasty give us disapproving frowns and report us to the food police. We lurk in the shadows of the candy aisle knowing we should be in produce.

In our younger days, we could pour a bowl of Double Sugar Super Sugar Crispy Sugar Crunchy Sugar Chocolate Sugar Flakes, pour a quart of melted vanilla ice cream over it, and it was a healthful breakfast.

No more.

If we live long enough, the food pyramid stops looking like a daily guide and becomes a Mount Everest in the middle of no man's land. There is no way to live by it.

My own list of dietary restrictions reads like the unabridged dictionary. In addition to the usual prohibitions, I'm supposed to steer away from seeds, nuts, peanuts, popcorn - basically, the no-Cracker Jack diet.

Now, I haven't yearned for Cracker Jack in years, but now that I know I can't have them, I want them even more. Forbidden fruit, or, in this case, forbidden snack.

The thing I miss most in that list is popcorn. My wife and I used to eat it once a week as an easy-to-fix supper. It was the only reason we'd go to a theater to see a movie. Weeks after I gave it up, I walked into an office at work where someone had just popped a microwave bag of buttered popcorn. My nose caught the scent, and my knees went weak. They really did.

Popcorn is only part of it. No seeds means no tomatoes unless I take the seeds out first. Have you ever tried to seed a tomato? It makes the Herculean tasks sound easy.

The fewer items I get to eat, of course, the more I think about food. During my weak, starved moments, I wonder about the world of food.

For instance, what ever happened to bologna? It was popular when I was a boy, especially in the form of fried bologna sandwiches. Nowadays, bologna is rarely mentioned in polite company. I think good old bologna needs its own slogan, like those for milk and beef and pork.

I suggest: "Bologna - It's what's round and red and flat."

Or: "Don't ask what's in it; just eat it."

Speaking of food slogans, I want to see a commercial in which a guy eats a meal of bacon, sausage and ham, stands up and says, "I sure am glad I had 'the other white meat."'

Here's a slogan I'd like to see on a bumper sticker: "When chewing gum is outlawed, only outlaws will chew gum."

Other questions I have:

  • Did Marco Polo bring back Chinese takeout?
  • If I held an Easter egg hunt with camouflage-painted eggs, would the children riot?
  • And, finally, as April 15 approaches, does the IRS look the other way if chocolate manufacturers fudge on their taxes?
  • Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or gmoore@augustachronicle.com.


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