I guess it's about time for me to post again. I know. Has it been three years already?
Let's start right in bashing on Michelle Obama. So she's big on this nutrition thing. Sure, whatever, we eat wrong, I get it. Try to eat right. No, seriously, try to eat right. Walk through your grocery store and try to buy something that isn't poisonous. It's not easy.
I had to stop and buy a couple of things on my way home from work last night. I was hungry, and if you're trying to not gain weight you don't want to be hungry--that's weight loss paradox one. There were plenty of snacks to buy--a whole rack of the Hostess stuff. Twinkies never appealed to me, but the cinnamon rolls and stuff . . . yeah, that's tasty stuff. But I'm aware that it's poison and I steered away from it.
But what to get to snack on? Everything I could just grab and eat was poison, too.
So I picked up a beef jerky and cheese snack. I'm not afraid of fat in my diet. You get fat by eating fat like you get pregnant from eating babies. That's weight loss paradox two.
(Isn't it interesting how my weight loss rules allow me to eat what I want when I want?)
Anyway, I got a small bag of chips to go with it. Potato chips are poison. And Cheetos . . . among mankind's greatest achievement Cheetos ranks just above written language. But they are poison.
So I grabbed a bag of Fritos, 'cause it's made of corn. It's gotta' be healthy.
As it turns out Fritos have 160 calories . . . per serving. A serving is 1 oz. or about 32 chips. And there are four servings in that little bag.
I ate more calories in that bag of Fritos than I would have gotten from a Big Mac. And 60% of your daily allowance of fat. Not my daily allowance, on accounta cuz I allow me a helluva lot more fat than the gummint allows you. But 60% of your daily allowance.
Okay, so it's hard to eat right. I get it, it is. It's expensive. But the nutrition thing? It's all bullcrap. You remember five years ago when carb loading was all the rage among anyone who knew anything about health and fitness. You couldn't get enough pasta. Then four years and 11 months ago carbs became poison.
Look, you know how to eat right. Don't eat so much and don't eat sugar. There. But you don't want to hear that and it doesn't sell magazines.
Every article you show me I'll show you one that disputes it. You'll read the last word on something in your bodybuilder magazine today and next month you'll read something that opposes it 180°. In fact, one fitness magazine I have doesn't even wait until next month. They have a he said/she said set of articles in the same magazine where one PhD is telling you that carbs get a bad rap and you should go crazy with them and another is telling you that carbs are the worst thing ever.
So we're merrily sucking down protein shakes made from soy because it has all eight amino acids until next month when, to our horror, we discover that soy is estrogenic.
I know I'm rambling, but I just realized it's been forever since I posted so I'm trying to get this out. If I had more time it would be shorter.
I was hoping to bash the first lady more here, but to tell you the truth I can't even remember the bilge she was spouting that made me jot down a note to bloviate on the topic.
I'm talking about simple conclusion that we see as universal, though they come from complex research.
Your doctor is a smart guy, but he has no idea about the chemistry of the drug he's prescribing. He wasn't involved in the clinical trials or the lab research. He just knows that when the thyroid number says this, you give that until the number gets where you want it to be.
What I'm saying is, I know how this science thing works. I work in a field where we experiment on and report new science. Here's what happens. Someone runs a test, then they write a report. These reports are long and boring and nobody reads them. When you get in meetings important people say "We don't have time for all that, just give me the bottom line." So the engineer says "Well, we have some indications that under certain conditions the lower angle cutter exhibits more impact resistance.
That's how science is made.
From then on Science says that lower angle cutters are more impact resistant.
You see this all the time. It's the 'headlines' deal. You don't have time to read the whole article, so you just take away the headline "Study Shows Low Carb Diets Key to Weight Loss." And the fitness magazines helpfully sum everything up for you in handy little one paragraph nuggets. "Low impact cardio shows increase in Cortisol/Testosterone ratio after workout." "Almonds deliver more Arginine than walnuts." "Study shows 9 sets to be optimum for building mass."
So we get "truths" from soft conclusions that we read about when we don't know all the variables. The conclusions are true for the very specific cases that were examined in the study. Other conclusions are based on conjecture and were never intended to be the final word. The original conclusions may have been offered as a starting point for more research.
But once published, those inviolable scientific facts become the basis for new science. You've seen this. Global Warming is a fact, so anything new you come up with has to fit the already established "facts." Evolution, same thing.
For some reason I never got around to posting this one. Probably because it doesn't stink up the place
as bad as most of the stuff you're used to here, so I didn't want to set unrealistic expectations. Anyway,
Opening the car door for your date is a nice little courtesy that I've always tried to observe.
There's no doubt that it demonstrates chivalry, but I believe the practice developed in response to
more pragmatic needs. Let me explain.
It was towards the middle of December two years ago and Melissa's company was having its annual
Christmas party. I had been going out with Melissa for something like three months and, although
I hadn't realized it, in all that time she had never opened her own car door while I was with her.
I picked her up after work and we went to get supplies for the party. It would seem logical to me that
any store that carries root beer extract should carry dry ice, but that's not the case. By the time we
had discovered this little-known but handy fact, then had driven halfway home and remembered to go back
for the sugar, we were running a little late. We both still had to change clothes, so as I pulled up to
Melissa's apartment she told me not to bother to come around and let her out of the car. We kissed
goodbye (quickly) and she jumped out of the car. At that moment I realized why men open car doors for
their dates. It's not to save the young lady the exertion of opening the door, but to save the car the
strain of her closing it.
Kerblam! The impact of the door's closing changed the station on my radio.
The Senseless Auto Mangling (SLAM) Syndrome isn't limited to just girlfriends. Studies have shown that
ninety-three percent of the population of the United States believes that a force of something less than
the takeoff thrust of a Boeing 747 is sufficient to safely latch a car door. And the other seven percent?
I have reason to believe that they ride with me when we go out for milk shakes after softball practice.
I'm like most people in that I believe that car door slamming is the root of most evils in the nation
today. I don't have any statistics to quote, but I would bet that an in-depth study into the backgrounds
of violent criminals, repeat offenders and general slime balls would reveal that they come from a
SLAM syndrome background. Anyone who would slam a car door would put things on top of a car while
they unlock the door. Anyone who would set things on their car would open their door into the car
parked next to them. It doesn't take a degree in Boolean Algebra to see what that could lead to.
I went home and changed clothes and hurried back to pick up Melissa. She was already waiting for me
out on the sidewalk and looking absolutely stunning--which may have contributed to my slow reaction to
Before I could get the engine shut off and get around to open the door, she was already in.
Barely too late I remembered. "Don't slam the door please."
Kerblam! The glass on my door bulged visibly and the needle on the tach bounced up to three thousand
She settled into her seat and turned toward me. "Pardon me?"
"The door. Please don't slam it."
The party was nice enough, but in retrospect, I should have realized that something was wrong.
There was enough going on that I didn't really notice that she didn't say a word directly to me all
evening or that she introduced me by the wrong name three times. But you would think I'd have gotten
suspicious when she accidentally spilled hot coffee in my lap, and no one at our table was even drinking
On the way home, I finally noticed the arctic silence. I immediately realized the sensitivity of
the situation and chose my words carefully to avoid any unnecessary unpleasantness in the relationship.
"All right, who turpentined your toilet paper?"
"I'm sorry, Honey. What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Melissa continued her careful study of a spot on the windshield.
"Come on. What's bothering you?"
Several silent stoplights later she blurted out "How come you don't love me anymore?"
"You love your car more than you love me."
"What are you talking about?"
"I didn't hurt your damn door."
Now we finally get to the root of the problem.
"Well, Baby Doll, I know. It's just that my car's not an AMC Javelin, you know."
"Now what are you talking about?"
"It's just that my car isn't a piece of junk. It doesn't look like a wreck, it's in good mechanical
condition. There's no need to slam the door to make it close."
"I just don't see what the big deal is. It's not like I hurt your car."
There are times in every man's life when the most marvelous analogies occur to him at the most unfortunate
"Well, maybe you didn't. But I think the issue here is something bigger. Let's say I got really upset
with you and backhanded you and made your nose bleed. Are you saying that it doesn't matter because once
your nose heals up there isn't any damage done?"
As usual, we were on exactly on the same wavelength.
"So you're going to backhand me for slamming your door, is that what you're saying?"
"What? No! I was merely making the point that the physical damage that may occur isn't the issue but
the fact that the action indicates an attitude that's harmful."
"Now you're comparing apples and horses. A car's not a living thing."
I carefully calculated my next move like an IROC driver skillfully choosing the line for his next corner.
She was glaring at me, which meant that she was still on the Mother Warned Me About You Parkway
and had probably already passed the exit to I'm Going To Cry Until You Apologize.
If I moved quickly and cautiously there was still a chance I could sideline her before the
Don't Touch Me, Slime Bait city limits. Or she could just take the commuter express to that
great dreaded grand daddy of debating parking lots: Well, Whatever.
"Well, now, think about it a minute," I reasoned. "A car is a lot like a living thing. Here you
have two tons of crafted steel in your driveway, and when you turn a key it all comes to life. It
breathes, it moves, it reacts to input, it even gets energy from chemical reactions, just like a
"But it doesn't have feelings."
I had come too far to give in. For a brief moment I did consider apologizing and forgetting the
whole thing. Then I happened to glance at the vacuum gauge and was sure I detected a pulse.
It was as though my helpless car was pleading that I protect her frail frame from door slammers
and the like.
"Well, now, there's no way to really tell that for sure. It gives feedback like it has feelings.
It tells me when I'm revving the engine too high or taking a turn too hard or working it too hard in
a particular gear. It lets me know when it needs fuel or gets hot. And it does have a personality.
Anyone who has ever seen a car scream its defiance down the backstretch or limp into the pits or
playfully turn doughnuts or rumble its cocky idle at a stoplight can vouch for that."
I was getting so wound up that I hadn't noticed that the spot on the windshield had once again captured
Melissa's attention. "As a matter of fact, it's the composite of literally thousands of personalities.
It's the product of the personalities of the designers and the engineers and the assembly workers and
the decision-making auto executives. And let's not forget the American car-buying public who over the
years have constituted the market and thereby determined its characteristics." I thought I could hear
America the Beautiful being hummed softly in the background. "It's the product of the dreams of many men
and the sweat of many more."
I thought I was waxing absolutely eloquent. She obviously agreed. "Yeah, well, whatever."
Four months later I received Melissa's wedding announcement in the mail. I think it was sent more in
spite than anything, but I went to the wedding. I even helped decorate the car.
It was an AMC Javelin.