By Jack Edwards
Willpower and “grit” are the keys to success. Sadly, I am in embarrassingly short supply of either. But it’s not entirely my fault. My wife goes nuts when she catches me bringing any grit into the house. As for willpower, let’s just say that today was to be the first day of my new diet; however, theory didn’t meet reality, and I am currently in the process of polishing off my second bowl of M&Ms. (In my defense, guilt prevented me from filling the first bowl properly, which resulted in it emptying far too quickly, and thus the second “properly” filled bowl, which, may I add, is going down quite smoothly.)
My previous diet was a variation of the Atkins Diet, which I dubbed the “Fat-kins” Diet. The effectiveness of any diet is judged by whether it delivers clear and consistent results. And, boy, did it ever. I’ve never put on so much weight, in a clear and consistently manner.
All of this leads me to my current concern: Cruises. More precisely, that my wife wants us to take a cruise. We’ve taken three previous cruises, which I have enjoyed, but as many of you know, taking a cruise is a lot like being locked in a Golden Corral Buffet for a week. It’s an “all you can eat” breakfast, followed by an “all you can eat” lunch, anchored with an “all you can eat” million course dinner. And, of course, conveniently located snack bars to tide the gorged passengers over in between these healthful meals. Best of all, it’s ALL INCLUDED! That’s right, it’s FREE, if you ignore the fact that you actually paid for it. I once rolled my bloated body back to my cabin late one evening to lay down, and just as I was dozing off, my wife and kids marched into our “stateroom” to ask if I wanted to accompany them to the ship’s ice sculpture inspired midnight buffet. Yes, to confirm to the uninitiated, the feed trough is open 24/7. I estimate that the average cruise ship is riding 4-6 feet lower in the water when it docks at the end of the week.
I’ve decided to make an offer to the cruise industry. In exchange for being the first cruise line to make the following modifications, I will immediately book a cruise with your company.
- As those of you who have ever taken a cruise know, when you first step onboard, the ship’s purser announces your name. Ironically, no one is really listening to this announcement except a handful of uniformed cruise line employees ordered to stand there and look thrilled that “The Smith Family of Omaha, Nebraska” as finally arrived. Well, here is my modification. Instead of announcing names, passengers step onto a nautical looking scale, and the purser announces their weight. This number is then entered into the ship’s operational database for the purposes below.
- Cruise lines already assign everyone a key card, but now, the key card will keep track to two things, first, the number of calories you burn during the day, and second, the number of calories you burn off using the many treadmills which will be stationed throughout the ship. Watching the kids play in the pool? Do it on the treadmill. Enjoying the Broadway style show? Do it on a treadmill. Your card cuts you off at the combined number of calories burned. You keep swiping your card in front of the cheesecake display, but the light continually shines red? Head for the nearest treadmill!
- All treadmills will be connected to the engine room to help power the ship. ATTENTION CRUISE LINES: I’m talking sustainable “green” energy. That means that Obama will happy “invest” hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the ships you have registered in Panama to be modified with this technology using “stimulus” money. (It’s called “stimulus” money because it stimulates votes). It’s a win-win. In fact, I have no doubt that the first family would join me on the first cruise.
Of course, as a practical matter, if any cruise line does implement this idea, it means one thing: I will need to carefully prepare for the cruise by using grit and “will power.” I intend to stuff myself like a sumo wrestler immediately prior to boarding to give myself a little flexibility. I’ll be the first person in history to disembark weighing less than when I boarded.