Thoughts from the ammo line

To greet the new year Ammo Grrrll is WEIGHING IN. She writes:

It’s January First and the official close of The Eating Season that opened on Hallowe’en. Some perfectly-reasonable people contend that The Season extends all the way to Super Bowl Sunday, if not Valentine’s Day. In general, these people are not battling anorexia.

Mr. Ammo Grrrll just bought a fancy new digital scale, but I don’t like it at all. I don’t need an instrument so precise that it tells me that I am one-something-something POINT TWO. You can’t screw around with a digital scale like you can with an old-fashioned scale, finding that sweet spot to stand on to shave off a couple of pounds as you weigh nekkid AFTER going to the bathroom, but BEFORE putting on your deodorant. They frown on that at the doctor’s office. Evidently.

I should mention that my relationship with scales has not always been positive. And I don’t even count the one I threw into the basement that time when it was obviously lying its fool head off. My girlfriend Angela gave me a birthday card once with two adorable little toddler girls in the bathroom, and the one standing on the scale says to her friend, “Look! I’m standing on Mama’s crying machine.” Ah, truer words…

In my experience, weighing leads inexorably to a Hot Fudge Sundae. How so, you ask?

Listen and learn. IF you think you weigh, say, 138, and it turns out you only weigh 136, you say, “Woohoo! I am doing so great! I DESERVE a Hot Fudge Sundae!” On the other hand, if you think you weigh 138, and, God forbid, you weigh 139.4, you say, “I have been on this diet for over three days and have failed to achieve my goal weight. Nothing works. I am an abject failure and will always be fat. I MIGHT AS WELL have a Hot Fudge Sundae.”

See how I did that there? My advice: don’t weigh. Unless you really want a Hot Fudge Sundae.

It would seem to be no accident that “gluttony” made the cut for the Seven Deadly Sins. What is fine as a rare treat or even in moderation seems to plague us when we go overboard. And yet the impulse to go overboard in every realm is ever with us. Do NOT put a tray of Lemon Bars in front of me, go away for a period of time, and expect to find many on the tray when you return. I’m sorry; I’m weak. That will reduce me to trying to rearrange the remaining bars on the tray in such a way that it will make my gluttony less obvious, like some sort of pathetic culinary “comb-over” that hides a bald spot.

The Torah admonishes us to “not put a stumbling block in the path of a blind person,” and a reader might say, “Well, that’s a stupid rule – who would DO that?” Not so fast. We see it every day. The “friends” of the alcoholic who encourage their buddy to have just one little drink. The single guys who take their married buddy to a strip club when they know his wife hates it. The waiter who refills my chip basket in the Mexican restaurant even after Mr. Ammo Grrrll attempted to put them out of my reach before that unfortunate incident with my fork. The person who bakes Lemon Bars for a Friday columnist and then leaves the room.

The Indians smoked tobacco ritually, as I understand it, as a rare communal event with the peace pipe and all. They never envisioned that this could turn into a three-pack-a-day habit for a sane person. The late, great Jerry Garcia, who apparently tried to pack a hundred years of hedonistic pleasure into just 50, was reputed to be a five-pack-a-day smoker. As a former smoker, who not infrequently lit the new cigarette from the dying embers of another, “chain”-style, I still only managed to go through three packs.

When I read about the mind-boggling sexual appetites of some people – 10,000 partners for this NBA star, a paltry 5,000 for that relative piker of an actor – nothing about that sounds fun or even interesting. It could be one of those gender things, like finding The Three Stooges amusing. But to me, 10,000 different partners mostly sounds busy, dangerous, empty and sad. Ten THOUSAND? Seriously? The math alone is daunting. One a day for 30 years? 4 a week for 50 years? 10 a week for 20 years? The score-keeping is problematic as well. A notch on the bedpost would reduce your bed to splinters within weeks.

Without a spreadsheet (This is a family column. No obvious puns, kids. Tracy, Alasdair, Jay C, this means you), how would you even be certain you hadn’t counted some lucky partner twice or, God forbid, skipped one?

But, 10,000 Lemon Bars – now, we’re talkin’.

A very Happy New Year to the Power Line family of bloggers, commenters, and readers. Praying for a year of peace, prosperity, good health, laughter, and conservative victories. May all your personal resolutions for good be accomplished with relative ease. Especially the ones still standing by, say, January 3.