October 1, 2003
make a grown man cry
Sixty percent of Americans are obese
or overweight. How do you just sit there and swallow that?
- Vent in The Atlanta Journal - Constitution on September 8.
And nothings working to solve the problem. Regular diets
dont work. Fad diets dont work. Diet pills dont
work. Weight loss centers dont work. Hypnosis doesnt
Yet we are spending billions on that stuff to make us thinner,
and the only thing getting thinner is our wallet. (Wonder if
it would help if we spent a little less on food?)
We spend almost as much on weight loss stuff as we do on pet
food for our cats and dogs.
By the way, did you read in the paper the other day that our
cats and dogs have the same problem we do? They are fat, too.
Nowadays, when somebody mentions fat cat, you dont
know if hes talking about your cat or some rich guy who
expects special comforts or privileges because of his wealth
Im not interested in your fat cat (or dog), but I do care
about you. About two years ago I came up with a program that
guaranteed to help you lose weight and, at the same time, save
money. I have presented this foolproof, surefire program several
times in this space.
As part of my ongoing research, I regularly visit the mall, sit
on a bench and observe people as they pass by. They are getting
However, I shall not give up. One more time, heres the
Double up on your exercise and cut in half the amount of food
Why is it I feel this isnt going to work this time, either?
Its enough to make a grown man cry.
* * *
As the number of fat folks in America increases, so does the
number of illegitimate children. (No, I dont think there
is a connection.)
Anyway, thats what we used to call them. Among other things.
(We ought to be ashamed for calling any of these kids anything
other than a child of God; they didnt have anything to
do with what happened to them.) These days, the way things are
going, its hard to come up with anything thats illegitimate,
illegal or wrong. Even out of wedlock is old fashion.
Now the proper phrase is outside of marriage. (And
whatever happened to the shotgun?)
Anyway, in 1999 ( I hope its improved since then), 22 percent
of births to white women, 42 percent of births to Hispanic women
and 69 percent of births to black women occurred, as they say,
outside of marriage.
Thats a lot of illegitimate children. Somethings
In 1999, abstinence didnt work because a lot of white,
Hispanic and black women (Why do I think we should call them
girls?) didnt try it. I doubt many of these
girls can spell abstinence, much less understand what it means.
The shorter abstain wouldnt work, either. Just
say no didnt work with drugs and a flat out NO
doesnt stand a chance up against hormones and sex or sex
and hormones. (Its another of those which came first things.)
The predators, the other participants in this tragedy, understand
what no means, but they arent about to take no for an answer.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists and other smart people
spend an awful lot of time trying to determine the cause of all
this fooling around. They blame poverty, lack of education, environment,
heredity, discrimination, racism, society, culture, war, peace,
the times, music, television, ad infinitum.
Im not all that smart, but it seems to me that, if we could
just do away with sex, the problem would go away. Thats
what the Shakers did, but because of abstinence, they did away
Some folks say parents are the answer. Im not sure. Half
of them are divorced.
Some folks say finances (arguments over money) caused most of
those splits. Im not sure. Sex and hormones or hormones
and sex cause grown-ups, even parents, to go astray.
Somebody suggested we need to come up with a pill that has the
opposite effect than Viagra. How many twisted-steel-and-sex-appeal,
macho, redneck, white, black and Hispanic predators do you think
would voluntarily take one? It would take a Marine battalion
to force one down their throat.
The problem may be getting worse, but if its any consolation,
its not a new one. How many of you old World War II veterans
remember saltpeter?They laced our dried eggs with it. Remember?
Didnt work, did it?
Anyway, were still in a mess, Its enough to make
a grown man cry.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.
Comments From The O-Zone
By: Oscar Weinmeister
October 1, 2003
In A New Babysitter
Amy and I were nervous last Thursday night,
not because I would be handing over the Kiwanis gavel to Chas
Hardy, but because our tried and true staple no-worries, fully
grown-up babysitter had to cancel because of another obligation.
We love her because shes automatic. Many times weve
called her the day we need her and she comes over without any
complaint. Jack loves her and she loves to play with him. Shes
even spent the night in a pinch, so you could say weve
been a little bit spoiled over the last two years.
So, you can imagine the nail-biting that occurred when we contracted
the services of a young person to watch both our 2 year old Jack
and our 4-week old Turner for the two and a half hours wed
be two blocks from our house at the Kiwanis banquet.
She arrived early so that Jack could acclimate himself to the
new situation. Im not allowed to say so, but my wife Amy
described the young lady as attractive, which we discovered has
an effect on our sons behavior.
She had been there not one minute before Jack started smiling
and kicking his chest of drawers loudly, apparently showing off
his ability to make noise in a manly way. Not one minute after
this display, he had picked up a stick and was banging it loudly
on other furniture in his room. I explained to the babysitter
that hes normally not like this, all the while hoping that
she wouldnt run screaming from this house where the nightmare
child was just getting started.
We shouldnt have worried, since once Jack got past the
need to show off, he settled down a bit, though while we were
in the other room getting ready, we heard a small bump. Normally,
when Jack gets a boo boo, a scrape on his knee or a knot on his
head, well kiss it for him. This time, however, Jack announced
that he had hurt his bottom. When I walked in to check on the
situation, he was not crying or even remotely injured based on
his outward appearance, but he was urgently trying to convince
the babysitter to kiss his allegedly hurt bottom. He had the
left leg of his shorts hiked up in the back and was saying, Kiss
it. My hurt my bottom. Kiss it.
Im glad she was laughing, because I was thinking at that
point that she had grounds to contact a lawyer. We left with
the three of them in front of the T.V. watching and singing along
to The Jungle Book.
Two and a half hours later, when I was freed from my obligations
as president of Kiwanis, we arrived to find that Jack had had
his bath and was ready for bed, just as wed hoped. Now
we know that anytime were in a bind for a babysitter, we
can rely on someone Im not allowed to say is attractive.
Oscar Weinmeister is the assistant administrator of BJC Medical
Center. He lives in Commerce.