More Jackson County Opinions...

OCTOBER 1, 2003


Column

By:Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
October 1, 2003

Enough to 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 nothing’s working to solve the problem. Regular diets don’t work. Fad diets don’t work. Diet pills don’t work. Weight loss centers don’t work. Hypnosis doesn’t work.
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 don’t’ know if he’s talking about your cat or some rich guy who expects special comforts or privileges because of his wealth or position.
I’m 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 fatter.
However, I shall not give up. One more time, here’s the deal:
Double up on your exercise and cut in half the amount of food you eat.
Why is it I feel this isn’t going to work this time, either?
It’s 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 don’t think there is a connection.)
Anyway, that’s 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 didn’t have anything to do with what happened to them.) These days, the way things are going, it’s hard to come up with anything that’s 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 it’s 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.”
That’s a lot of illegitimate children. Something’s not working.
In 1999, abstinence didn’t work because a lot of white, Hispanic and black women (Why do I think we should call them “girls?”) didn’t try it. I doubt many of these girls can spell abstinence, much less understand what it means.
The shorter “abstain” wouldn’t work, either. “Just say no” didn’t work with drugs and a flat out “NO” doesn’t stand a chance up against hormones and sex or sex and hormones. (It’s another of those which came first things.)
The predators, the other participants in this tragedy, understand what no means, but they aren’t 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.
I’m not all that smart, but it seems to me that, if we could just do away with sex, the problem would go away. That’s what the Shakers did, but because of abstinence, they did away with themselves.
Some folks say parents are the answer. I’m not sure. Half of them are divorced.
Some folks say finances (arguments over money) caused most of those splits. I’m 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 it’s any consolation, it’s not a new one. How many of you old World War II veterans remember saltpeter?They laced our dried eggs with it. Remember? Didn’t work, did it?
Anyway, we’re still in a mess, It’s enough to make a grown man cry.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.

Jackson County Opinion Index

Column

Comments From The O-Zone

By: Oscar Weinmeister
The Jackson Herald
October 1, 2003

Breaking 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 she’s automatic. Many times we’ve called her the day we need her and she comes over without any complaint. Jack loves her and she loves to play with him. She’s even spent the night in a pinch, so you could say we’ve 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 we’d be two blocks from our house at the Kiwanis banquet.
She arrived early so that Jack could acclimate himself to the new situation. I’m not allowed to say so, but my wife Amy described the young lady as attractive, which we discovered has an effect on our son’s 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 he’s normally not like this, all the while hoping that she wouldn’t run screaming from this house where the nightmare child was just getting started.
We shouldn’t 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, we’ll 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.”
I’m 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 we’d hoped. Now we know that anytime we’re in a bind for a babysitter, we can rely on someone I’m not allowed to say is attractive.

Oscar Weinmeister is the assistant administrator of BJC Medical Center. He lives in Commerce.


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