Tweeking the Ruff Draught

I’ve heard from other bloggers who claim their ideas come easily and the words flow like water. They maintain that the finished work requires only a quick read-through, with little or no editing before they post. Most are lying, but you can usually tell the ones who aren’t. (There riting is natrally so good then  rest of us,).

Well, my ideas come easily (as a dog’s morning dump after eating dental floss from the bathroom trash the night before) and my words flow like water, too. (Lapped from a stagnant pond, filtered through overworked kidneys and expelled through the urethra). Once I’m on to something, I’ll drop more matter than a Bangladeshi in a cholera ward, but then I find I must read through and edit with Edward Scissorhands-like intensity, lopping off entire sentences and even paragraphs until I am ready to serve up the steam, fly-ridden pile my twelve readers are used to being served. This process takes several hours over a couple of days. (Sad, I know).

I’m no great writer – one need only read to know it. Nonetheless, I find validation in the process; through exhaustive research (ugh; is there any other kind?), I’ve discovered that  many of history’s greatest adopted a similar approach before their works reached the eyes and ears of the world. By way of example, I offer you ten of the most famous lines of literature, poetry and speech in their original, unedited form:

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

1) Float like a puffy cloud butterfly, sting like a carpet burn boo-boo with hydrogen peroxide poured on it bee – Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay)

2) The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have to pee really bad but I have promises to keep, and why don’t girls like me – I’m such a creep miles to go before I sleep – Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

3) Call me Ishmael; both my friends do and I think it sounds cool  – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Hey, sweetheart; how 'bout a push?                       - Google Images

Hey, sweetheart; how ’bout a push? – Google Images

4) The only thing we have to fear are cockroaches and hobos who mutter to themselves is fear itself – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address

5) It was the best of times, It was the worst of times, and there were some mediocre times as well; the latter likely do not warrant further mention, but since I am paid by the word , may find inclusion nonetheless – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

6) A penny saved can be later used as a shim to stabilize a wobbly chair is a penny earned – Benjamin Franklin

7) You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but now I’m just confused you cannot fool all the people all the time – Abraham Lincoln

8) It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, will most certainly lose it once wed must be in want of a wife – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

9) Ow! What the frick, Brutus!? That really hurt! Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

10) People who live in glass houses should exercise regularly so as not to offend those who live outside whenever they bathe shouldn’t throw stones – Chinese Proverb

As history shows us, a little editing can go a long way.

Posted in Blogging, Christianity, Humor, Life, Literature, Living, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Struggler Ponders the Great Mysteries of the Universe

One side benefit of my decision to embrace a more sedentary lifestyle (see last post – I’m not Going to Die; Dying can Come to Me) is that it’s allowing me to become a more thoughtful person. (That is to say I am full of thought; I would never presume to imply I care deeply for others and that they occupy even so much as a drawer in the corner dresser of my mind, nor would those of you who know me support the presumption). Often when I plop my ample frame into my favorite chair, I’ve done so without considering how I might be entertained; with the remote and reading material out of reach and the effort necessary to retrieve them excessive, I’m left to my own thoughts.

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

And so often I sit and ponder the things of this world. “Ponder” is a good word for me: I like to ponder; because I build water features, I am a ponder; shoot, I even move ponderously. Most of my ponderings, since they relate directly to me, would drastically improve my quality of life if I could but solve them and, residually, the rest of your’s as well. Since I spend so much time considering all the strange and fascinating nuances of our collective existence, it would stand to reason that I’ve solved some of mankind’s greatest conundrums. Sadly, I must admit that the only thing I’ve gotten to the bottom of during these contemplative sessions is a chip bag or two. Perhaps you can help; I offer you now some current causes for my perpetual stupefaction, as The Struggler Ponders the Great Mysteries of the Universe:

1) Why won’t my KFC extra crispy chicken stay that way once it’s been refrigerated? Back in my younger days, my brother and I would store a bucket of this delectable delight on our truck’s dash for days on our fishing trips, and it stayed wonderfully crisp for the duration. Now that I’m older and understand there are more common explanations for dysenteric diarrhea in my country than the disease itself, I’ve taken to safer forms of food storage. Now my beloved crispy coating goes limp overnight, and after two days is barely edible. In the future, I’m left to choose between eating it all at once, giving it up entirely or waving my lower intestine out my nether regions like a wind sock in a Nor’easter. Which will I choose? Depend…

Did I spill? I need a mirror. - Google Images

Did I spill? I need a mirror. – Google Images

2) Why are all my tee shirts so ill-fitting? Extra larges fit me best, but are so tight that it looks as though the day’s catch is thrashing about in a cotton bag when I walk. I once went to 7-11 in a white v-neck, and the cashier wouldn’t stop ogling my cleavage; I felt violated. If I wear XXL, it’s as though a drunk camper stood up in his pup tent. If I gain more weight to fit the XXL better, tightness again becomes an issue. Clearly, this is a mystery with no viable solution.

3) If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Beats me, but I once fell in the forest when no one was around (my family, being in decidedly better shape than I, had ditched me on our hike and left me to the wolves); I tumbled off the narrow trail and down a steep slope for several yards. I made sounds that ranged from the oofs and grunts of a Wisconsonite on the can, to the shrieks of a terrified little girl (as my scrotum decided to play “hero” and latched itself to a passing branch) and, after I came to a stop, something not unlike a running monologue from the movie Raging Bull.

4) Why are pinkie toes considered useless appendages, destined (through the process of evolution) for elimination? Mine, though curled curiously inward as though seeking comfort from its sibling toes and, as my wife maintains, twenty percent responsible for my having the world’s ugliest feet, are indispensable for finding door jams in the dark and chair legs that, were it not for said toes, might cause me to trip.

"...And then Myrtle says,  "Blanche's muffins are better." I've never been so cross in all my life!"

“…And then Myrtle says, “Blanche’s muffins are better.” I’ve never been so cross in all my life!” – Google Images

5) Why are some people such good listeners and others not? I appreciate good friends that I can bounce ideas off of, who are unfailingly supportive and who are genuinely interested in my life. I have several; one is particularly good at listening and always asks how I am doing and how my family is. He is faithfully attentive and unusually humble, often deflecting questions about himself to better focus on my issues. The others can be good listeners as well, but often after a fair amount of time may attempt commonality by relating a personal experience; this I find somewhat off-putting. They may even go off-topic, presenting another issue entirely and asking for my input. This is sometimes awkward, since the change of subject confuses me and what they say becomes a monotonous humming sound that ceases to register. Good friends are hard to find and, as I’ve found, strangely harder to keep.

6) Why are some crappy blogs so much more popular than mine? There’s a guy whose blog is all about interoffice relationships and politics. This guy consistently gets hundreds of views and likes, plus almost as many comments for each post; I get next to nothing. Who gives a fat rabbit’s bum about office stuff, besides people who work? My posts are about cutting edge topics, like neighbors whose dogs crap in my yard and people who don’t wash their hands after pooing. This is life and death stuff; besides, I write more good than he does. There’s simply no accounting for taste.

I’ve been giving no small measure of thought to a myriad of vexing mysteries in this vast universe of ours, some more of which I could share with you now; but one of my wife’s ten cats knocked the television remote on the floor and I just managed to stretch out my right foot and pull it toward me. Once I catch my breath, my night’s entertainment is assured. Another time, perhaps.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Life, Lists, Living, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

I’m not Going to Die; Die can Come to Me

The people who know me best can attest to my one great skill: efficiency of motion. As I’ve gotten older, my movements have become increasingly calculated. Trips to the boy’s room tend to have a sense of urgency to them, as I’ve waited as long as possible to see if another and as yet unseen need or want can be addressed along the way. Whenever I get out of my easy chair, others turn and watch (partly from the symphony of sounds – creaks, cracks, groans and toots) because they know the trip must be an important one. If I walk to my car and get in, only to realize I’ve forgotten something, it’s usually going to have to wait until the next trip. (Unless my wife answers the horn).

I figure that at my age and in my current state (Arizona), each step is potentially my last; I’m not wasting ’em.  People speak of the inexorable march towards old age and ultimate death; this sounds depressing to me, not only for the inevitable result, but also for the considerable effort implied in getting there. “March”, to me, is a month. In my vocabulary’s verb closet, “march” sits tucked in a corner – unused, dusty and cobwebbed. No, death can come to me like a thief in the night, or a home invasion in broad daylight; I won’t be hard to find.

"I want my gin and tonic." - Google Images

“I want my gin and tonic.” – Google Images

Sadly, my philosophy of sloth is, in part, merely that; I still have to work to maintain the lifestyle (impoverished) to which my wife has become accustomed.  The movements necessary to appease customers, creditors and the frau, therefore, make the ones I have remaining that much more precious.  As a member of the fifty plus club I am considered a time bomb ticking toward the inevitable explosion. Well, you don’t shake a bomb; you don’t even want to move it, lest it go off. You leave it alone. You let it sit.

I know in the past that some of the Struggler’s assertions have seemed somewhat harebrained. (As an example, the Gin and Tonic for Dinner Diet didn’t quite pan out: Now I’m fat and an alcoholic). This plan is gold, however; frankly, I don’t see how it can go wrong.

Posted in Aging, Death, Diet, Health, Humor, Life, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Farewell to Bob and Frank

Consider this post a brief biography of two men, whose names were Bob and Frank. I knew them both, though they didn’t know each other; sadly, they both died this past month, only three days apart.  They were unremarkable, unexceptional men, as measured by the skewed societal standards of celebrity or accomplishment. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth; both Bob and Frank held in common those ideals and characteristics that are the truest measure of the worth of a man.

Bob was born in Akron, Ohio in 1931; he was raised in the Christian faith, albeit in a stifling sect that demanded conformity from its members and the shunning of all outsiders, including other Christians. He owned his own construction business for a time, and built their first home for himself and his wife. He graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Chemistry and worked for the B.F. Goodrich Tire and Rubber Company. Ultimately, he found his church’s incursions into his family life far too invasive, and so bravely decided to move his wife and children away to Tucson in 1970. He worked as a polymer chemist for a local company until his retirement. Bob was my father in law; to me his single greatest achievement in life was his third child, of five, who would later become my wife.

Frank was born in Brooklyn in 1951, to a mother that didn’t want him; she gave him to her sister to raise.  His was a troubled childhood, bounced around between mother and aunt, neither of whom provided the best of care. He quit school at the age of fifteen and began to abuse drugs and alcohol. Later he joined the air force, and met a man who introduced him to Jesus Christ. Frank became a physical therapist, married a special woman and together they had four strapping lads and one lovely daughter. Frank was a friend, whose younger children attended homeschool groups and later Christian high school with my children. Most recently, he mentored and counseled my son (at Sam’s request) with respect to being a good husband for his future bride.

Within days of Sam’s wedding and of each other both men became ill and were rushed to the intensive care unit at Tucson Medical Center. Bob had contracted pneumonia; doctors soon discovered that his swallow reflex was so weak he was aspirating – food and liquids were being drawn into his lungs. A feeding tube was installed in his abdomen so he could be fed. Frank was admitted suffering from a blood disorder; in addition, there was an underlying diagnosis of bone cancer. In both cases, doctors did what they could, and eventually both men were sent to hospice within days of each other.

Frank died on August 21. Bob, though he had briefly rallied, faltered and passed on August 24. In life, neither had sought nor achieved fame at any level; no one who didn’t know them personally will regard their passing. Both provided well for their families, but neither man possessed great wealth. Their legacies, however, are far greater than those of the merely rich and famous, because both men lived as God would have men live.

Both Frank and Bob loved the Lord. Frank was the more unabashed of the two; spend any time with him, and he would soon know where you stood on matters of faith. My son found great encouragement from Frank’s premarital counseling, and had sought him out for his example. Bob took delight in the Word; as he lay distressed in his hospital bed, it was Psalms and verses read by his children and grandchildren that gave him comfort.

Each man took great delight in his family. Though even the most deviant among us can claim to love his own, few can say their happiness and personal definition depended almost solely upon them. Both men loved their wives deeply; Frank for over thirty five years and Bob for over sixty. Each of these men’s children grew confidently in the security of knowing they enjoyed the complete love and devotion of their fathers. Both Bob and Frank radiated contentment and joy while in the presence of their respective families.

Perhaps the most impressive quality inherent in both men was their humility. Though each were brilliant, thoughtful, engaging and quick-witted men, both Bob and Frank were content to defer to others in conversation and were genuinely interested in the lives of those with whom they were engaged. Often, over the raised voices, laughter and interruptions of a large family sharing stories around the dinner table, I would see Bob sitting quietly, smiling broadly and laughing silently as he watched his wife and children interact. On more than one occasion I found myself telling Frank more than I would have him know; I have no doubt that many others who have known him would say the same. How did he do that?

The families of both men are grieving; we have lost the very foundations upon which our relationships are built. We are deprived, as though things cherished but oft taken for granted are stolen forever. Typical of God’s grace, however, as we watched them slowly being taken from us, a sense of peace and acceptance settled in. We became aware that He was and always is in control, and that two men who were fully vested and faithful in life, at its end clinging to it solely for our sake, were freed to relinquish it and take their inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven. And now, for all our sadness, how great their joy!

Posted in Aging, Christianity, Death, Family, Friends, Health, Life, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Few More Times I Nearly Died

In the past I’ve listed ways in which I’ve barely escaped death, either by physical trauma or embarrassment. (See Ten Times I Nearly Died and The Other Ten Times I Nearly Died). Here’s a few more, although through a dwindling base of experiences from which to choose and the wordiness of these particular examples, this list is shorter (by number, anyway). Without further ado (when “A” does that, does “B” step in it?), then, here are A Few More Times I Nearly Died:

1) Some years ago, I was enjoying a slice of pizza at home. I tend to inhale rather than simply eat those foods I find particularly pleasing, and pizza certainly falls into this shockingly ample category. So I did exactly that; in my gluttony, I inhaled bits of dry crust into my lungs. My windpipe shut down like a cheese eater’s pooper, and the frail, high-pitched squeaks that emanated from my throat enticed several amorous mice to appear from various hiding places in my home. I bolted upright from my chair, ran to my wife and mimed in desperation my mortal predicament. Her response to me, in a tone that decidedly belied the seriousness of the situation was, more or less, as follows:

“I read somewhere that if you can make a sound, you’re not really choking.”

After a few more plaintive squeaks were similarly discounted (the mice, however, were by this time almost blind with passion), I gave myself the Heimlich Maneuver with the help of a wingback chair, expelled the offending crumbs from my lungs and promptly called my life insurance company to change my beneficiary.

Mmm, Mmm, Gross. Courtesy Google Images

Mmm, Mmm, Gross. Courtesy Google Images

2) In high school, my friends and I would often forego our educational opportunities in order to drive up the local mountain and play in the snow. emboldened by cheap wine and the immortality of youth, we would fly down a narrow path through the pines lying face down on an inner tube. After our driver split open his upper and lower lips when he face-planted into the ice, he selfishly demanded that we leave immediately. Strangely, none of us seemed to realize the inherent danger of a drunk driver, bleeding profusely and in considerable pain, hurtling down any icy mountain road at breakneck speed. In short order, we hit a patch of ice, spun several times and crashed sideways into a snow-covered embankment; an avalanche of snow consumed the vehicle. Fortunately, some passers-by dug us out, and as I waited for them to finish the job, saw how lucky we had been: had we spun the other direction, we faced a free-fall of at least two hundred feet and certain death. (Apparently guard rails hadn’t been invented yet).

3) Many years later, my wife and I took our children up the same mountain for some sledding. In my excitement and haste to beat everyone to the slopes (always a child at heart or, more accurately, ever selfish), I pushed down my kids, ran and slipped on some ice, fell on my back, slid downhill and embraced a large, sharp-faced rock with my butt cheeks. I cracked (snicker) my tailbone (medically referred to as the “Coccyx” – again, snicker); for the next three months, every cough or daily constitution was an exercise in agony. Once, I did both simultaneously and cried for ten minutes. Amazing how thought-provoking and all-consuming those things one normally takes for granted can become.

Vienna, Austria -                        Google Images

Vienna, Austria – Google Images

4) When I was twelve, I went with my mother to visit my grandmother in Vienna, Austria.  One one particular day, we visited several museums; after some considerable time (literally minutes), I’d had enough and begged my mom to let me walk back home. I assured her I knew the way and somehow convinced her to let me go. She wrote the address down for me in case I had trouble and off I went.

Three hours later, I was struck with the realization that I was both an idiot and six thousand miles from home; I was hopelessly lost and began bawling like, well, a lost twelve year-old. I remembered the slip of paper my mother had given me and, looking around, chose and then approached the least murderous looking adult I could find. I handed an elderly man the address and, after looking me up and down and regarding me as an offensive little American turd (the Austrians are ridiculously good judges of character – Hitler notwithstanding), pointed at the subway entrance down the street.

As I descended the subway steps, I saw the street name for my grandmother’s house on the wall past the platform opposite my own. I was overjoyed, and after a cursory check for a speeding train,  jumped down onto the tracks to the shouts and shrieks of no small number of Austrian subway riders. I climbed the opposite platform and ran up the stairs to my  street. I attributed their collective concerns to the their culturally innate anal retentiveness (the Teutons are positively freaked out by any overt diversion from the social order); only later did I learn that the rails carry 600 volts of electricity.fountain

5) I would employ my son to install fountains with me during the summer, when I needed help with something heavy or if I wanted to show him what not to do for his career. On one particular occasion we were in the back of my box truck, with a four hundred pound fountain bowl balanced on edge between us. The weight of the bowl shifted toward me and I found myself falling backward out of the truck; my son reached for me as I fell.

“No! The bowl!” I shouted before I landed on the driveway with a sound like a load of watermelon spilling from a flipped produce truck. (This was a hand-carved stone bowl, worth easily a thousand dollars; my current worth at the time was arguably less).

As I lay on my back, breathless and assuming permanent paralysis, my attention turned to the bowl rolling steadily toward me; I could only imagine the horror of my son seeing my eyes, intestines, twig and berries spontaneously and violently expelled from every aperture of my body. Fortunately, my son was able to change the bowl’s course and it turned and then dropped, harmlessly, to the carpet-covered floor of the truck. Its inertia pushed him from the truck as well, but he landed on his feet, strangely enough.

6) I let my wife drive again last week. As the unlucky pedestrian spanned our front windshield, our eyes briefly locked; he looked at me as if to say “Why the sidewalk?”, before my wife turned the wipers on and he slid past my passenger window. I had always felt God had a special reason for keeping me alive; like the aforementioned pedestrian, who only seconds before had stepped outside, has my purpose now been served? Am I now a marked man?

Fortunately, as the years have gone by and I’ve become increasingly slothful, the chances of me dying in exotic fashion seem less likely. Admittedly, I could drop from a heart attack or aneurysm at any moment, but the odds of me croaking dramatically seem to be getting longer. I still eat Pizza, though….

Posted in Christianity, Death, Health, Humor, Life, Living, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Wedding Bells are Clanking – Again!

Well, it’s happening again. My son, who I introduced to you all a year ago (see That’s My Boy, Jan. 2012), is getting married. His relationship with a German girl, Julia, vexed by the daunting obstacles of both distance and finance, somehow endured and is blossoming into sam and juliapermanence. Sam’s genetic predisposition towards faithfulness and resolve (thank you, God, for recessive genes) has served him well, and his reward is a prize beyond measure.

The couple met in the summer of 2010, when Sam and a friend spent almost four months lost in Europe. There they met up with a friend from Tucson, who had been a German exchange student here; she invited them to her church in Berlin, where he met Julia – the Pastor’s  daughter, no less.

When Sam went to Europe, my wife and I were more concerned with him losing his passport, getting shanked in a Rome alleyway, having his wallet picked by a less than choosy gypsy, or hopping on a wrong flight and ending up in Calcutta with no money. It never occurred to us that he might find the love of his life there, and we couldn’t be happier. She is a bright, cheerful, beautiful and engaging young lady; just like his father, some twenty-five years before him, Sam has chosen wisely. Also, like his father, he could not have done better for himself.

How else are we alike, you ask? (Maybe you didn’t, but you should have – how rude of you). Well, he has my devastatingly good looks (clearly, he stole them from me, since I haven’t had them for a very long time); my sense of humor (many would argue that he stole that from me as well); and a consistent and very peculiar listing of the head whenever our pictures are taken. (See above). All of the other qualities – the ones that make him a great son, a strong and supportive friend, a fiercely loyal and loving partner – he got from watching television his mother. Know what? I’m okay with that.

So, in a little more than two weeks, I’m proud to say that my son will be a married man. Why no fear, no hesitance, no sense of dread on my part this time? Well, for one thing, he is my son; the last wedding involved my oldest daughter, and the idea of some guy (though, admittedly, a really, really good guy) putting his mitts on and worse, cohabitating with my precious, beautiful girl, was a little disconcerting. But because He’s my son, the idea of Sam putting his mitts on and cohabitating with someone else’s precious, beautiful girl actually makes me kind of proud. Admittedly, it’s not fair, but if you’re a dad you get it.

The real reason I anxiously await this wedding, though, is this: two people, separated by six thousand miles of land and ocean, met by chance, quite briefly, and each were intrigued enough to cross that considerable span no less than six times combined to test the resiliency of their relationship. To all that know them, one thing is clear: this is a union planned, nurtured and ordained by God.

There’s a flurry of activity as the date approaches. There was some concern that Julia might not get her permanent visa in time to make the date, but God has made certain she will be here in time. My wife has dealt with much of the arrangements in her absence; I have handled the considerable accompanying stress (strangely, I am only associatively affected) with knowing nods and timely shakes of the head.

It’s going to be an amazing day; God, who is in control, will make it so. My only son, of whom I am infinitely proud, and who I love as much as I am able, is marrying a beautiful and incredible woman. My daughters are just as dear to me as he; they are more precious than anything man can claim as such. Now, with Julia joining our family, my wife and I are blessed with another.

So, on July 27, offer a prayer if you’re so inclined, or simply remember that on that day, in a time where tragedy, sadness and despair increasingly take center stage, an event that relatively few will see, but one that exemplifies at least some of what is right with the world will take place, and I get to be there for it.

Posted in Children, Christianity, Family, Humor, Life, Living, Marriage, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Struggler’s Guide to Dieting

I went to the grocery store recently, as I am often wont to do; my wife buys most of the groceries for our home, but her tastes tend toward earthy and healthful. When I look into the fridge all I see are grasses, weeds, sticks and roots. I’m a big man, with big needs; occasionally I need sustenance of a heartier and more indulgent nature.

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

I pulled into the store’s lot and parked, but lingered in my car for a couple of minutes: The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me (possibly the best song ever recorded) was playing, and my car’s air conditioning kept blissfully at bay the hell that awaited me outside (it was 110 F that day). As I idly scanned the parking lot and joined Roger Daltrey in a stunning impromptu duet,  I became aware of a most startling and disturbing trend: everyone I saw in the parking lot, either coming from or entering into the store, was – how shall I put this delicately – overweight. You know what? Forget delicacy; they were fat, obese, often morbidly so. It was a parade of cottage cheese come to life; of the Michelin Man, wigged and testing the limits of women’s capris.

I walked the to the store, determined to take my visual poll of American decadence inside. As I approached the doors, and before they thankfully swung open, I briefly saw myself in the glass and, to my horror, realized I was one of them. Inside the store was more of the same; I was one among an army of engorged zombies, fattened by feeding on the bodies of the dead (albeit those of cows, pigs and such, all dismembered and pre-packaged for convenience) and the myriad poor choices available aisle after aisle.

So, where were all the thin people? Perhaps we ate them, being the mindless fat zombies that we are. Maybe we sat on them and they sunk between the couch cushions along with the loose change that forcibly expelled from our pockets when we sat down on our giant bums. More likely still all the thin people were shopping at the Hippy Earthy Organic All Natural Stores my wife prefers, both to maintain their lithe physiques and to avoid being trampled at Unsafeway.

Me and the Mrs.  Courtesy Google Images

Me and the Mrs. Courtesy Google Images

Well, I want to look like the thin people; I just don’t want to eat like them. I am willing to concede that healthy looking people may be on to something, so I’m going to meet them partway. Herein lies the simple beauty of the Struggler’s Diet, which I unveil to you now, in its entirety and free of charge: I will continue to eat the way that pleases me (picture Jabba the Hutt, sans bikini clad, chained hottie) for most of the day, but for dinner I’ll eat a beer or a Gin and Tonic. If hunger meows at stomach’s door, I’ll shoo it away with some sliced green or red peppers, cucumbers or celery. At some point in the evening I’ll add a nice waddle around my neighborhood; if some of the more shady elements are out and about, it’ll turn into a full cardio workout, so I’ve got that going for me.

Sounds stupid, you say. You’re stupid. If you’re fat but are still somewhat mobile during the day, you’ll lose weight doing what I’ll do. My theory is that the evening, with its inherent tendency towards lethargy, is the wrong time to be eating, especially the bad (good) stuff. I work hard most days, actively and outdoors, so I’m confident that I’ll have burned off all of my Breakfast of Champions and most of my Lunch of Legions by the time dinner rolls around.

Not Mine(as far as you know). Courtesy Google Images

Not Mine(as far as you know). Courtesy Google Images

You’re a moron, you say. No argument there, but I do this every year after summer season ends and I’m done coaching basketball until November. It has worked to varying degrees every time, depending on my level of enthusiasm. With my son’s wedding looming just ahead (more on that later) and the highly reflective qualities of my local grocery store’s doors, I resolve to really stick to it this time. I offer you this image of someone’s gut as a “before” picture; I’ll post another picture of someone else’s gut as proof of my success come November.

Posted in Christianity, Diet, Family, Health, Humor, Life, Living, Uncategorized, Weddings, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments