Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

July 6, 2013

The temptation is still there, but easier to resist

Goldy’s Rule 144: When people tell you to behave, or ask if you’re behaving, tell them this: It gets easier every day. (My dad once told me, “Wait ‘till you’re 80, and see how damn easy it gets.”)

One of those diet plan commercials was playing on the television, and it featured several women of various ages in their before-and-after modes.

The “before” mode showed photos of them looking like average folks, maybe a bit on the plus size.

The “after” mode showed women in bikinis who looked like they never woke up fat one day in their lives.

One of them, a quite attractive lady, said she had done something she hadn’t done in years: go to the pool with her kids in the aforementioned bikini.

She pronounced it “poo-ul,” which is one of the American grammatical quirks that reacts upon me like fingernails scraping across a blackboard.

“Pool” is a one-syllable word, and so are “cool” and “school.” (“Cavalry” is pronounced the way it’s spelled: Christ died on the cross at Calvary; Custer died at Little Big Horn in the cavalry. And there is no such word as “mischeevious.”)

But I digress. The lady in the bikini said she was 50.

A friend who is more or less my age chuckled and said, “For some reason, older women get better-looking all the time.”

I told him my father explained to me that this would happen, and he was right.

What Dad said was that as I got older, I would find a that wider range of women appealed to me, in regard to both age and configuration.

This from a man who, being smart enough to realize that he had found the best woman in the world, was abjectly faithful to my mother. (My life would have been a lot simpler and easier if I had started listening to my father sooner than I did ... and to my mother, as well. She was one of the wisest people I’ve ever met.)

Some of the “before” ladies in the commercial looked just fine, as far as I was concerned.

I told my buddy another thing I’ve noticed is that when I was younger, I frequently encountered women I might enjoy getting to know.

But the older I get, the more women I see that I wouldn’t want anything to do with ... for a variety of reasons, iding the fact that some have vocabularies that would have put to shame any of the male patrons in my grandfather’s barbershop.

 Coarseness can be useful for amusement purposes or to achieve a desired effect now and then, but there’s little to be said for it as a way of life.

As Mister Spock once said, the biggest difference between a civilized man and a barbarian is that it is far easier for a civilized man to behave like a barbarian than it is for a barbarian to behave like a civilized man.

I suppose that everything I’ve said here about women applies equally to men. This, at least, is the impression I get from talking to my female friends.

What I refer to as Goldy’s Rule 84 goes hand-in-hand with Rule 144:

Rule 84 says: One of the injustices associated with growing older is that even though your stomach gets bigger, it can’t hold as much food as it once did.

The temptation to misbehave in gastronomic fashion is still there, but the ability to yield to it has diminished greatly.

Two of my co-workers and I were discussing this fact recently.

“I wish some of these restaurants would serve smaller portions and charge less money for them,” said one.

(By contrast, some restaurants expect you to pay big bucks for miniscule portions. What may be a quirk of human nature compels folks to rave about expensive meals in a top-end restaurant that would have brought complaints if they’d paid a cheap price for the same thing at a less-fancy joint.)

One eatery he and I have both patronized is notorious for its huge meals.

It reminds me of how Norm Peterson on “Cheers” used to talk about going to The Hungry Heifer and getting The Feeding Frenzy Special (for two).

What you usually get in the place my friend and I were discussing is The Feeding Frenzy Special For Three. I told him I’d like to know how many to-go boxes it goes through in a week.

“At least their prices are reasonable,” he said, and they are.

Obesity is said to be one of America’s greatest health problems.

My feeling is that there are two reasons for this:

Younger people probably are fat because most of their physical activity is limited to moving their fingers across a keyboard of some kind, either texting or playing computer games.

My compatriots and I largely spent our free, non-school time looking for a baseball, football or basketball game someplace (and walking or riding our bikes to get there), or simply playing in someone’s yard.

We ate junk food, too, but burned off the calories. There weren’t many fat kids in our schoo-ul.

Here’s why I believe older people get fat:

We’re sitting at home, glued to the television. There’s not much on worth watching, so we turn to one of those channels that features food shows.

My favorite is Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” which takes him to wonderful small-scale eating places across the country. I like Guy. He not only is funny and gracious to these folks, but he promotes their restaurants and even mentions them in subsequent shows.

The problem is that I frequently see something he’s eating and tell myself, “THAT’S what I want.”

As he said in one of his shows, “You’re Jonesing at home, aren’t you? Right now, somebody’s running downstairs to make a sandwich.”

I can tell you from personal experience that this is how it works.

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Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

  • He made a big splash by asking this question

    “I don’t know who you were talking to last night,” said Capt. Gary, “but you were talking and moaning in your sleep. Never heard you do that before.” Neither has anyone else, I said. Besides, I had told him not to be surprised if we had visitors. I wasn’t at the top of my game for a couple of days, and he said some of our friends asked him if I was all right. It’s not the first time for this, so now I’ll know to watch out for it. It can affect you and is not something to play around with — as our friend Cathy found out.

    May 18, 2014

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