Friday, April 15, 2011

Be Prepared

“You must have been a Boy Scout,” said the nurse, “because you came prepared." No, I was never a Scout, but if I’m going to have to wait (say, at a doctor’s office), I always have a book with me. And if I’m going to have a lot of down time, then I not only have a book but also my Discman and headphones. Sometimes, however, I am fooled--when I think I’m going to be taken care of quickly and leave my stuff behind. Last year, for example, because I trusted the words “You will be the first patient,” without anything to read, I was forced to endure an endless infomercial about a toothbrush on a waiting room TV.

The other day at the local hospital I was, as the nurse observed, prepared. I had to undergo a five-minute procedure that, because of the prior paperwork and subsequent recovery/observation period, took from six in the morning until one o’clock in the afternoon. But I had my book and my music. It was while I was resting after the procedure, listening to Bach through my headphones, that I noticed that someone had sneaked up beside my bed and delivered a tray of food, very welcome as I hadn’t eaten since seven the previous evening. And what was the delicacy underneath the black plastic cover? French toast. I hate French toast, and I don’t drink coffee, which was in the Styrofoam cup beside it.

French toast and coffee! Clearly, the hospital had adopted the Halloween Diet*.

*If you haven't already, read the previous blog entry..

Monday, April 11, 2011

Take It Off

Although it’s half a year away, Halloween has been on my mind recently. Certainly more on my mind than it generally is along about the end of October. And that is because in my neck of the woods Halloween has been a non-event. No little ghosts or witches have rung my doorbell for at least a decade. Back in the days when, though, I developed the perfect (for me at least) idea of how to prepare for the costumed crowd. I would not purchase Mars bars or M&Ms to distribute—because they would never make it to the door; I would, quite naturally, eat them all before the 31st. Instead, I loaded up on packs of Fruit Stripe gum. There was no way that that product, which never passed my yuck test, would ever pass my lips. So I could unbegrudgingly distribute it at my door.
Which brings me back to why I have been thinking about Halloween so out of season. The reasoning behind my former Halloween purchases of that icky gum has led me to develop the perfect diet—the Halloween Diet. Simply put: if you bring into your house only foods that you would never (short of an absolute famine in the land) let enter your mouth (in my case, mussels, sushi, macaroni-and-cheese, and rice pudding), you would be bound to lose weight.
Alas, I can’t help visualizing how good a container of chocolate chip ice cream, a Hebrew National salami, an Entenmann’s cheese strudel, and a couple of bagels look in my shopping cart.