The New Fatkins Diet, Just Like Atkins, Only Greater Results

The new Fatkins diet is a piece of cake.  I mean this literally.  It is a piece of cake, as in, “Have a piece of cake.”  I have steadfastly maintained this innovative diet for the last two years, and I can tell you:  It gets results!

The Fatkins diet is a simple modification of the famous Atkins diet.  Atkins is that diet where you avoid carbohydrates by only eating cheddar cheese and bacon.  Fatkins blows Atkins away.

Here’s how Fatkins works-

Like the Atkins diet, go ahead and enjoy high fat and protein-based food.  However, supplement this with high carb, starchy, sugar-based items.  In fact, sugar-based items play an essential role in the Fatkins diet.  You are less likely to see the impressive results you might otherwise achieve without eating sufficient sugar-based foods (and tasty snacks).  Don’t hold back.  Dive in!  The results are startling.

You know a diet is working when others take notice.  My wife has been commenting almost daily.  Staring in disbelief at times.  Here is her most recent statement: “If you keep this up, people aren’t going to recognize you.”

My nephew, who for the purposes of this column I will refer to as “Joel,” because his name is Joel, has been on the Caveman diet.  Technically, the Caveman diet is called the Paleo diet.  The Caveman diet lets you eat anything that a caveman could back when men drug women around by their hair and pooped randomly about the campsite.  I am not a fan of the Caveman diet, because if getting a C- in Anthropology taught me anything, it taught me that cavemen only lived into their twenties.  In fact, a 25-year-old caveman was a toothless, arthritic codger.

Look folks, we are only allowed so many precious days on Earth, so we must use our time wisely.  We must focus our time on meaningful activities that bring true value to our lives.  That’s why I never miss an episode of Survivor.  A very “traditional” diet is extremely popular on Survivor.  It’s called the “Starvation” diet.  It works like magic.  Pounds melt off the contestants.  The contest only lasts 39 days, but many of these folks transform from roly-poly to beanstalks by the time they go to the final Tribal Council stinking of fermented coconut milk.  The Starvation diet is almost as effective as the Fatkins diet.

So for now, I’m sticking with the Fatkins diet.  Cake anyone?

The World’s Hairiest Baby

My daughter got married last summer.  I would have written a column about it, but after selling my extra kidney on the Chinese black market to pay for the nuptials, I didn’t have any money left for ink.  For the purposes of this column I will refer to my daughter as “Zoe” and her husband as “Will,” because their names happen to be Zoe and Will.  But I digress.  My newly impoverished state is not what this is about.  This is about what the parents of every young bride hope and pray will come next.  This is about the special gift that will fulfill their purpose in life.  I am referring, of course, to a minimum of five to ten years of ABSOLUTELY NO BABIES!  ZERO!  This is why my wife and I were thrilled to learn that we were the proud new grandparents, to their new dog – our “granddog.”

If anything can snap a starry-eyed couple back to the reality of caring for a newborn, it’s a puppy.  As everyone knows, having a puppy is exactly like having a baby, that is, if you could lock your baby in the garage for two or three hours while you went out to dinner.  In other words, the stark reality of caring for a demanding puppy is the most effective form of birth control.

Our granddog is a one-year old mongrel named Milo.  They “adopted” Milo from a humane society.  My daughter is pretty sure that his first owner was homeless.  This is because every time Milo spots a homeless person he makes a b-line for them.  Milo LOVES homeless people.  That, and he loves to dig through garbage.

If he was once homeless, Milo has hit the jackpot.  As my loyal readers know, I grew up in Alsea.  Years ago, one of my daughters asked me after visiting the orthodontist, “Dad, did you have braces?”  My answer, “Zoe, kids from Alsea don’t get braces.”  In fact, we were lucky to get a couple of off-brand jeans at the beginning of the school year.  Milo’s life is now like that prostitute from Pretty Woman after Richard Gere took her on that shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.  His wardrobe is enormous.  No off-brand attire for Milo.  Only the finest tweed coats and breathable rainwear.

Here is Milo sporting something stylish and catching some Z’s after an exhausting day of being spoiled –

As the old song goes, “Zoe and Will, kissing in the tree.  K-i-s-s-i-n-g.  First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Milo in the doggy carriage.”  Welcome to the family Milo!

My Pop-Up Potty Shark Tank Idea – Don’t Steal It!

There are three levels of personal discomfort of the bathroom variety.  The New England Journal of Medicine has given each a technical name, or “alert level.”  They are: Yellow Alert, Red Alert and Neon Flashing Orange Alert with Blaring Sirens.  Here are their formal definitions –

Yellow Alert:  A mild but noticeable sensation of pressure on the bladder or “lower GI.”  It is advisable to visit the lavatory to (I’ll use the technical, scientific terms) take a “leak,” or drop a “load.”

Red Alert: The enemy is fast approaching.  If you’re at a cocktail party, it’s time to wrap up the conversation, identify a target restroom and make haste.

Neon Flashing Orange Alert with Blaring Sirens:  The enemy is at the gate.  In thermonuclear terms, the threat level has reached DEFCON 1.  Something REALLY, REALLY BAD is about to happen.  Something of extreme danger, embarrassment, and above all, odor.

My new million dollar Shark Tank idea will eliminate this danger.  My product looks like a piece of flat plastic about 18 inches square.  It works by grabbing a tab on the top and giving it a quick shake.  It flips open into the shape of a small tent-like structure with a sling-like pocket suspended on the inside for single use restroom needs.  Privacy and relief with the snap of the wrist.  After taking a “relief,” simply fold it up, slide it back into its pouch, and drop it in the nearest waste receptacle (or on some deserving person’s door step).  It’s that easy.

Let’s say you’re enjoying a family trip heading east on I-84 with no rest area in sight and Johnny’s about to BLOW?  Pop-up Potty to the rescue!

Let’s say you’re hiking along a popular trail and the pasta primavera you had for lunch sets a land speed record to your colon?  YOU are about to BLOW!  Pop-up Potty!

You’re at a fundraiser at the La Vista Hotel and Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and ALL the restrooms are out of order?  Simply snap open your Warren Buffett special edition, Pop-up Potty!  Relief in seconds!

I strongly suggest you get in early on my Pop-up Potty Kickstarter campaign and watch for it on Shark Tank.  Mark, Barbara and Robert will love it.  And while I’m sure that “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary will ______ all over it, isn’t that the point?

Next idea?  The Pocket Pooper!  It looks like a ziplock bag.  All the convenience and relief of the Pop-up Potty, minus any privacy.

Cards Against My Humanity

Peer pressure is the greatest challenge facing middle school children.  These kids know right from wrong.  They know when an idea is bad.  But the pressure is often too much to bear, so at the tender age of 12, they cave into it.  The need to belong overcomes their common sense.  So imagine how I felt caving into peer pressure at the tender age of 57.  In fact, not just caving in, but folding like a cheap card table.  Who were these culprits taking advantage of my youth and naivete?  They were a group of “well-oiled” friends.  (Clue: oil is code for the nectar squeezed from the precious agave plant.)

This tragedy began suddenly, and without warning.  Someone casually suggested, “Let’s play Cards Against Humanity.”  I had never heard of the game.  I opened the box and looked at an “answer” card.  The answer included a crude and overtly graphic description of a popular female body part.  I immediately knew this was wrong, very wrong, and voiced my opposition.  The crowd turned on me.  The word “prude” was mentioned.

Cards Against Humanity involves a player selecting a “question” card.  The player reads the question aloud, and then each of the other players chooses one of their answer cards to match it.  A player scores a point if the player who read the question picks their answer as the best.  To avoid being sued by the multinational corporation that owns this wholesome, family friendly game, I will make up a sample question: “Bill Clinton would like nothing better than to dive into to a vat of ___________.”  Answer cards might be as benign as “bar room peanuts,” to other answers involving excrement or sexual parts (Example: “A bag of [famous male body parts]”).  Note to legislators: Please pass a law outlawing this game for anyone under the age of 45.  This age limit is premised on the assumption that anyone older, at least those with a shred of dignity (a group which I have sadly demonstrated does not include me), would cringe at the notion of playing it.

Let me summarize the experience this way: Run!  If you see this game in a store, or someone even mentions it, get the “H – E – double toothpicks” out of there.  There is even a warning on the box-

It’s a game for horrible people!  It says so RIGHT ON THE BOX!

As someone always trying to keep an open mind, I must point out a possible exception: If you are a college fraternity freshman who has recently shot-gunned a six pack followed immediately by a “major” bong hit, this might be the game for you.  But even so, please refrain from putting peer pressure on any nearby 57-year-olds.

Is There A Mrs. God?

My confirmation into the Catholic Church occurred at the age of 12 by a priest who soon thereafter took off with a waitress from Newport, Oregon (or so I’m told).  So you have every reason to question my religious training.  In fact, I strongly suggest that you do.  My point is, we may be making a theological mistake.  An incorrect assumption of Biblical proportions.  That is: Does God have a wife?  Is there a Mrs. God?

The Bible is filled with clues supporting this conclusion (albeit taken slightly out of context).  First, in Genius 1:27, “So God created man in his own image….”  (Humm… a thought provoking clue.)  Second, in Genius 2:18, “And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone….”  (Putting two and two together, the plot thickens.)  And finally, in Genius 2:25, “On the eighth day, God sayeth His first joke to Adam, and the punchline was, ‘Take thy wife… please!’ And then God slapped his knee and howled at His own joke.”  (Okay, this last quote was Fake Bible News, but my scriptural argument was running a little thin.)

If God has a wife, this creates a number of deep theological questions.  First, does she work outside the home?  Second, is Mary her mother-in-law?  Finally, wouldn’t her house be the universe?  Light travels at 186,000 miles per second.  We live in the Milky way galaxy which is 100,000 light years across.  There are 2 trillion galaxies in the universe.  And the universe is 93 billion light years across.  So my very technical and theological point is this: That’s a lot of dusting.  Mrs. God must be exhausted.  And before you call me sexist for suggesting that she is in charge of the cleaning, let me explain.  I’ve read the Old Testament.  I’ve watched God in action.  And let’s just say that he doesn’t exactly strike me as the type who spends a lot of time pushing the Hoover across the family room carpet.

I’m not saying that there is a Mrs. God.  I’m just tossing it out there.  I am a “Mrs. God agnostic.”  But, if there is a Mrs. God, my formative religious training makes me wonder.  Was she was once a waitress in Newport?

The $100 Calzone Showdown at the Steelhead Corral

Saying my wife has a “competitive nature” is an understatement equivalent to saying Donald Trump has a “bit of any ego.”  This is the woman who, whenever I step my fat butt onto an escalator, will routinely race up the stairs next to it and beat me to the top.  This is the woman who, if you are ever stupid enough to play poker with her, will bleed you of every penny, and smile sweetly while she does it.  If you ever find yourself thinking about competing with her in anything, I have three words for you: “Give up now.”  She is a human D10 Dozer that will crush your every hope of victory.

This leads us to last Saturday night.  It will live forever in infamy as “The Calzone Incident.”  It began so innocently, just five couples getting together for dinner.

My wife ordered a calzone.  When it arrived, everyone marveled at its enormity.  It was the size of a Buick Regal.  A discussion quickly ensued about whether she could ever finish it.  The group’s consensus:  Not in this lifetime.

Then it happened.  Someone I will refer to for the purposes of this column as “Skip,” because his name happens to be Skip Hanson (that’s with an s-o-n), of Omaha, Nebraska, lit the match that ignited The Calzone Incident.

“I’ll give you $100 if you can finish the whole thing,” he dared her, fanning out five $20 bills.  It was a red cape to the bull.

My wife gave his challenge careful consideration for about half a nanosecond, and quickly accepted.  She announced that she would donate her anticipated windfall to her favorite charity, Love Beyond the Orphanage.  Thus, the gastronomical marathon ensued.  And she did not simply accept the challenge.  Oh, no.  That would be too gentle on her victim, Skip.  No.  She would twist the knife.  We sat mesmerized as she cut each piece, dipped it into a cup of marinara sauce, picked up a tabasco bottle and gave it a few shakes, then slide it down the pipe.  Like a machine.  Bite, after bite, after bite.  The cutting.  The dipping.  The shaking.  The chewing.  The sliding.  By my estimate, about one-million times in a row.  And she smiled sweetly the whole time she did it, and especially as she held out her hand for the $100.

 

My Cage Match Moment at the Red Dress Gala

When I approached the octagon at my daughter’s sorority fundraising gala, it was an especially uncomfortable moment.  The fact that my opponent was a middle-aged woman wearing an evening gown made this especially so.

Let me explain.

My daughter is a freshman at Oregon State University – home of the Beavers.  Motto:  “Dam Right I’m a Beaver!”  Also, “We don’t give a dam!”  And so forth, and so on, with the “dam” comments.  Anyway, she recently pledged a sorority, which for the purposes of this column, I will refer to as “Alpha Phi,” because the name of the sorority is Alpha Phi.  (Side note, the “Phi” is not pronounced “fi,” as in “pie,” as you might expect by employing rules of normal English, but rather, “fee.”  So it’s “Alpha-Fee.”  Yeah, it’s irritating.)

One of the first sorority events of the year is the Red Dress Gala.  All the girls wear bright red dresses.  The event unceremoniously begins with all the girls attacking the buffet station like the marines hitting the beach at Normandy.  This is followed by the “guests” (code for dutiful parents) wandering up to see whether the girls have carelessly missed a crumb or two among the buffet tables.  Answer: No.  (These girls were as thorough as Hoover vacuums.)  Now, while some may take my very true description of this event as criticism, please note that anyone familiar with the circumference of my belly, will understand that I owe these girls a debt of gratitude.  That, plus they were kind enough to begin serving alcohol at 11 a.m.

Anyway, back to the cage fight.

The gala included a silent auction.  Mostly themed baskets.  But among them were three bidding sheets for a private parking spot next to the sorority.  One for each school term – fall, winter and spring.  The sorority has very little parking, so this parking space is a coveted auction item.  I wrote down a bid on fall and spring, but winter was already getting pretty steep, and my cheapskate DNA prevented me from initially placing a bid.  After walking away, however, and reflecting on my many, and well known, failings as a father, I ventured back and wrote down a bid.  This is when I noticed a woman, not so subtly, standing guard next to it.  She immediately swooped in (actually, she just leaned over – she was practically standing on it), and wrote down a greater bid.  Then she looked up at me and announced that she had been the FIRST person to bid on the item.

I walked away, and figured I’d swing back later when the countdown began.

At the three-minute warning, I walked back over.  Standing at the bidding station was the same woman.  Only she was now holding the bidding sheet for the winter term parking spot.  She had apparently decided that her last bid would, de facto, be the final and winning bid.  I smiled and reached over to take hold of the edge of the paper.  She hung on and flashed me that look that Hillary gets when someone mentions Monica.  I gave the sheet a slight tug, and she finally released it.  I wrote down my new bid, and not surprisingly, she immediately snatched the paper back and wrote another bid.  A final thirty second announcement came across the speaker, and I considered, but only for a moment whether I wanted to find out how she would react if I were writing down the top bid when time was announced.  This is when I decided to employ one of my life philosophies: “When you encounter an insane person, don’t walk away, run.”  I turned and got the H-E-double toothpicks out of there.  I may someday enter the octagon, but not this day, and not with this crazy lady.  Frankly, I think I made a dam good decision.

A three minute vacation for your brain.