Friday, May 15, 2009

The Most Important Thing

(Pre-Script: This post will be best digested as the song, "Gone," #50 on the playlist, plays in the background, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

If you really want to know what the most important thing in the world is, do not ask anyone; you will hear a lot of great essay worthy, pulitzer prize worthy answers, but if you really want to know what matters to the people of this country, all you have to do is read the covers of the magazines at the checkout stands in any store. I did this just today, and I learned that the most important thing in the world is People Who Have Lost A Whole Lot of Weight. This is only slightly more important than People Who Have Gained a Whole Lot Of Weight And Have Vowed To Lose It as We All Watch.
Americans are all so fascinated with these stories of "How I lost 500 lbs,. Or "How I Stay In Such Good Shape," The cover is always some starlet who was always skinny to begin with because she is only 19 years old, or because she is anorexic, but will never admit it, and I don't blame her, why would she admit that to all of the flashbulbs who are making assumptions, judging her, and objectifying her, anyway, just so they will have one more thing to pick apart and criticise about her? or she has a personal trainer and chef, or because all she does is party, drink red bull, and pop ritalin pills all day. But if you open the magazine, you can read all about how Mary Joe Grace ate egg white omelets, not whole egg omletes, but just egg white omelets, for apparently losing the yolk is an essential part of weight loss. (I am a whole egg opportunist myself, and concider the yolk of the egg to be "the jackpot." espescially if it is a deviled egg we are talking about. That is straight up goodness, but the starlet who is avoiding egg yellows would gasp or faint if she were to ever read that. The fainting is understandable, what with the partying and red bull and anorexia denial.)
For lunch, Our Little Starlet has a salad with balsamic vinegar, chicken or salmon, and for dinner, chicken or fish with vegetables. Read the magazines, the diet is always just what I wrote, maybe a slight variation, like for example, sometimes she has an apple and string cheese for a snack. Sometimes she has a handful of almonds. And then there is a list of her exercises that her personal trainer coached her through, if you ever want to follow her personal routine of lunges and core work on the exercise ball. And then her trainer adds something cheeky, innovative, cutting edge, and new that no one else has ever thought of yet.
I don't know how many people just read the article in awe, and how many follow the eating and exercise routines of famous and not so famous people who have managed to do the most important thing ever, which is to LOSE WEIGHT, if you believe the magazines.
I used to volunteer every Monday at the local downtown homeless rescue mission, preparing and serving lunch. The food was usually some sort of casserole mash, with plenty of nutricious butter. It was grubbin'. I would often stay and eat with the peeps. It was certainly not diet food, would not fit on either south beach or the zone diet, but I don't think that any of the people eating it were complaining. I think that they were relieved to have something to eat, plus they were mostly thin already from their other addictions, heroin, nicotine, alcohol, and such, and also had other things to worry about, like where to sleep, and how were they going to get through another day, and was it worth it if the addiction wasn't there to back them up, but how could they ever get through it without the addiction, too. These are the things that weigh the balance of a heart, the kind of heart that is never featured on the cover of the magazines and is also unaware that Kirstie Alley gained all that weight back and is now going to lose it all so that she can walk on Oprah's stage in a bikini again.
After the lunch shift at the rescue mission, there was a group of chiropractic students who would set up their tables to get practice hours adjusting the backs of the homeless and destitute for free. So I would stay and get my back adjusted. Some of the students were better back crackers than others; some skillfully pressed, cracked, then thanked you very much and very professionally for your time as they nodded you out. Others took the time to notice when the muscles around the vertibrae were also tight, and would rub and loosen out knotted muscles. These were the ones I predicted would have the most successful practices someday; they did not only touch, but they chose to readjust and knead out ,the dirtiest, smelliest backs in town, backs that had been beaten and trodden down, some permanently bent, even though these people lived in America, the land of every opportunity, like Disneyland, or the Garden of Eden, who's many delicious fruits were just out of reach.


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