2008-04-24 / Sam Bari

Why we wear pie

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

Not long ago I finally broke down and went on a diet. I even did the right thing and consulted my doctor before embarking on anything too drastic, like the "eat what you want and lose pounds fast through cosmetic surgery," type of weight loss solution.

My doctor, who was never one to mince words said, "I wondered how long it was going to take for you to wise up."

"It was simply a matter of economics," I quipped.

He, being the sarcastic, skinny little jogging fanatical runt that he is, replied, "What - you couldn't afford to feed yourself?"

I, being the obnoxious and even more sarcastic columnist that I am, said, "No ¬ it's because you were slightly less expensive than a new wardrobe."

He could not possibly leave that little witticism alone and added, "Or a funeral, the costs of which your kids would probably inherit."

I certainly was not going to allow that to go by untouched and said, "Absolutely. My son has an actual job and can afford it."

That seemed to shut him up, but I knew he would not let me get away unscathed. He retaliated by sending me in to see my second least favorite person in the world- Nurse Ratchet.

She, who is just slightly less charming than the Antichrist, gleefully administered a battery of annoying tests that allowed her to pinch, prod, poke and stick assorted parts of my corpulent body at will. Her methods were big on the battery part.

I believe her objective was to deplete me of all bodily fluids by using the most uncomfortable techniques known to the medical profession. Trust me, she took pride in her work.

For the better part of an hour, I sat bare-bottomed on a stainless steel table that was refrigerated for comfort, waiting for Mr. Personality. He finally walked in, smiling. His expression said it all. I knew - this was not good.

"Everything seems to be in order," he said. "Normal blood pressure, good EKG, strong steady heartbeat, no cholesterol problems- I'm impressed. The only problem I can see is (he paused for effect here) you're fat." Add smirk.

"Did you have to go to medical school to figure that out?" I shot back. "You should get your money back. You have grounds to sue."

Then he got me, and he got me good. He scrawled something on a piece of paper and handed it to me as he smiled even more broadly than before and said, "Follow the instructions closely."

The instructions said, "Here is your diet: If it tastes good, spit it out."

Okay, so he got the last laugh. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. Nonetheless, the first few weeks weren't so bad. The first ten pounds all but fell off. However, I couldn't help but wonder why I could eat a pound of broccoli, cauliflower, and assorted other icky tasting vegetables and lose weight, but if I ate six ounces of pie, the weight would come right back.

I even tested the theory just to make sure I was right. I ate nothing but vegetables for two days and lost weight. Then I ate half the amount in pie for two days and didn't lose anything. It didn't make arithmetic sense.

Then it dawned on me. The explanation is so simple that people have been missing it for years. I remembered when my son was little he would leave half of his dinner on his plate and say, "I'm full." Then I would say, "Oh, that's too bad. You don't have room for dessert."

He'd say, "Yes I do." I, of course replied, "But you just said you were full." He came back with the old excuse, "Just the dinner compartment is full. The dessert compartment is empty." That line of non-reasoning has been used for generations with no positive results.

However, don't be so quick to laugh. There is some truth in that seemingly unscientific way of thinking. I believe our bodies concur with our minds. We send pie down to the stomach and the body thinks - Wow! That tastes good. I think I'll keep that. Then we send a bunch of broccoli, cauliflower and yucky vegetables down, and the old stomach thinks - Yuck! That's awful. And eliminates the veggies.

That means we wear the pie. It's obviously a design flaw. Hey! That's as good an explanation as any. It's either that, or, it's just another part of that system we can't understand.

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