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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

The columnist divulges one of his major life challenges.

“Calvin: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man? Hobbes: I'm not sure that man needs the help.” 

I have a problem. I can never go into the shop in Norton again, or at least not as long as they have the Monte Cristo breakfast sandwich on the menu! Have you seen this thing? It’s ham, egg and Swiss cheese on French toast. I mean, what’s not to like? 

I also have to do my best to avoid . It’s not so much the hot dogs I have the problem with as it is the "more"; yummy cheeseburgers, super-crispy French fries, fried clams, onion rings, fried scallops, fish and chips; pretty much all the members of my favorite food group – fried! 

You see, I can’t be around that stuff. I’m not supposed to eat that kind of stuff, but I’m weak and if I put myself into a situation where I’m tempted and I blow it, it’s my own fault. It’s my responsibility. 

That’s a real challenge for me because I’ll eat just about anything that doesn’t eat me first – especially if it’s deep fried.

Why is it that most every food that’s guaranteed to shave a few years off our lives tastes amazingly scrumptious while every food that’s deemed healthy and nutritious either tastes like horse feed or has no discernible flavor whatsoever. 

I’m exaggerating just a bit to make a point; hopefully a cogent point, though I’m certainly making no promises in that regard. Hey, I do what I can, ya know? That’s really all any of us can do regardless of the lofty expectations of others, but that’s another topic for another day. 

Choosing healthy foods isn’t an easy task. Let’s be honest. Who in their right mind would prefer a Sprouted Mung Bean salad over a nice fried clam plate with onion rings and a great big bowl of creamy clam chowder with a couple big chunks of butter floating on top? Throw in a few draft beers and you’ve pretty much created the perfect meal. 

Lobsters, crabs and shellfish are bottom-feeders, meaning that they eat all the junk sitting on the bottom of the ocean [whale poop and the like], yet nothing tastes sweeter than a nice, big chunk of lobster meat, a King Crab leg or a Cherrystone on the half shell. Go figure! 

So, given the fact that the aforementioned crustaceans that eat the most disgustingly unhealthy diet one could envision are among the best tasting and most desirable of all the bounty of the sea; doesn’t it make sense that we should follow suit and eat just as unhealthy? Should we be less desirable than an oyster? 

And what’s this whole vegan lifestyle about? Cows, hippos and elephants eat a strict vegan diet. Do they look healthy to you? They’re huge!  Would you like to be told you look like a hippo? Of course not! 

A few years back my wife and I spent a long weekend at an inn in New Hampshire. We were in the dining room eating breakfast when two couples whom I’d guess to have been in their mid-30s sat down at the table next to us. 

One of them, an extremely gaunt, pasty looking woman, was carrying a large tote bag that appeared to be made of hemp, reminiscent of something you’d have seen back in the 60s. Come to think of it, she kind of looked like something you’d have seen back in the 60s. 

Rather than attempt to describe this woman’s overall appearance, let’s just say she was what I’d describe as an extremely ‘crunchy’ type; a female Euell Gibbonsdrinks wheatgrass – heavily into recycling - grows her own medicinal herbs on a windowsill in the kitchen - doesn’t shave her armpits or legs – uses pure baking soda for deodorant – reeks of patchouli oil - a dedicated devotee of NPR [National Public Radio}. Got the picture? 

So, Pioneer Girl reaches into her magic bag and pulls out a box of cereal. I can’t recall the name, but it was one of those types only available in stores frequented by people with more money than brains. You know - the stores that only sell "whole" foods and by the time you leave they have your "whole paycheck."

You have to picture this in order to really appreciate it. I’m sitting there eating my sausage and eggs with a side of nice, greasy home fries and a butter-soaked English muffin, watching this stick figure of a woman pour her cereal into a bowl. It looked like twigs and dried tree bark with a few other unidentifiable colorless chunks of God-knows-what thrown in for good measure. 

Okay, let’s be real here! Number one – under no circumstances do I ever want to look like this woman, no matter how "healthy" she may be. Secondly, I have no desire to be on any eating regimen that requires me to haul my own food everywhere I go. And lastly, I don’t eat any food that’s designed to scrape the interior walls of my intestinal tract and exit my body within eight minutes of it being ingested. 

When my time on this earth has ended and I go to be with God, I have a couple of questions for Him; things that have been bothering me for quite some time – heavy questions – questions of great consequence. 

My questions are………. 

1) Why is it that, as we grow older, we lose hair where we want it to grow and grow hair where we don’t want it to grow? 

2) Why is it that all the really tasty food is bad for us and all the terrible, disgustingly bland food is good for us? 

Oh, and one more thing………. 

3) God, is this a test? Because if it is, I have to be honest with you. I didn’t study!        

Make it a great week! 

Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker. His column, The Way I See It, runs every other Wednesday at http://norton.patch.com

Jasmine May 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM
LOL my goodness this is so funny. I can actually see ur reaction to that poor lady! Eating healthy can be tasty if u know how to make it so. However I will give u ur point in that all the really good scrumptiously DELICIOUS food is not good for you and I do miss it times. I will send u some of my will power so u can actually leave ur house from time to time! I miss our conversations no one to make mr laugh anymore!
Vilma Sceusa May 09, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Funny! I love the part about "whole food" for your "whole paycheck!"
Bob Havey May 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM
You're trying to make me hungry, aren't you Pat!
Bob Havey May 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Miss talking to you too, Jasmine. I don't know how you can live in Florida and give up all that tasty deli food in New York.
Bob Havey May 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Thanks, Vilma. Great to hear from you. I always wondered why 'healthier' foods cost so much more. If they don't have to process them and put in all kinds of additives, shouldn't they be cheaper?

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