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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

Won't Get Fooled Again

By Dan H. Woods

This morning, as I stepped on the scale, I realized that I was sucking in my gut. Apparently this was an attempt by my subconscious to trick the scale into thinking I had lost some weight. It was a nice try, but I don't think the scale was fooled.

It just goes to show you: never underestimate your capacity for self-delusion. For example, despite all common sense and past history, people still pay good money for squirrel-proof bird feeders, eat buffet food that smells "just a little funny", and trust their congressmen to behave properly in Washington despite ready access to booze and/or interns.

You would think, in this day and age, that no one would believe that it's possible to get flatter abs in just three weeks, that you can lose weight while continuing to eat bucket-sized portions of food that tastes good, or that it's possible to get rich in your spare time (which many people define as "during commercial breaks"). But apparently people still believe all this and more.

Let's get real. The only way anyone could get flat abs that fast would be to duct tape a piece of plywood to their stomach. For me, a "six-pack stomach" is when I park a half a dozen cans of beer on my belly for easy access while I'm lying on the couch watching TV.

And, as much as we would wish it were otherwise, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than we eat. That's what our pesky, old doctor means when he says "exercise more and eat less." Well, at least until the laws of physics are changed. (Which isn't a bad idea, if you think about it. Losing weight via traveling to an alternate universe seems a lot more appealing than exercising. But I digress...)

But why should we listen to ole doom and gloom Doc anyway? At the supermarket check-out display, there's an actress on the cover of a magazine (which is printed in color so we know it must be true) who promises to reveal the secrets of her new "Buttercream Frosting and Snickers Bar Diet." Who are we going to believe? She's beautiful (or at least professionally airbrushed) and let's face it, Doc is a bit of a schlub. Admittedly he's got a medical-type degree whereas she thinks she can channel Queen Victoria's poodle, but hey!, it's only our health we're talking about.

Finally, as far as "get rich quick schemes" go, does anyone really believe those cheap photocopied posters you see when you're driving around town? You know, the ones that promise you can "earn up to $5,000 a week while you work at home?" First, the only thing you can do at home to earn a quarter of a million dollars a year is either illegal or involves being an heir to the Kennedy fortune -- or most likely both. Even harvesting your own organs for sale on the black market won't make you that much money. Second -- and I don't think I'm going way out on a limb here -- it's never a good idea to take financial advice from a piece of paper stapled to a telephone pole.

It stands to reason that if someone can show you how to make millions, he should have at least that much money himself. Ask yourself this: if you had a secret method of making gobs of cash would you be A) flying around the country eating airline food just so you could tell people your secret for $10 a pop at the local civic center or B) lying by a pool in Hawaii with a six-pack of beer on your stomach?

If you picked A) please send me $10 in a SASE and I promise to send you a set of plans for a congressman-proof bird feeder that will make your abs flatter in three weeks.

Article © Dan H. Woods. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-02-25
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