Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

September 7, 2013

You ever tried to cut one of these in half?

There’s a common saying you probably have heard in one version or another (and they usually are unprintable, so I will let you fill in the blanks):

“That’s about as useless as (____) on a (____).”

One of the more useless things I’ve run across lately is the listing of nutrition facts on a package of M&M®s.

I mean, come on. It’s chocolate candy. People who eat candy aren’t going to care about the calorie, fat gram or fiber content of what they’re about to snarf down.

If they care about anything, it’s probably the reassuring idea that M&M®s melt in your mouth, and not in your hand.

M&M®s were introduced in 1941 and sold to the military for inclusion in ration packages. Soldiers who served in warm climates probably appreciated chocolate that was still in manageable condition by the time they opened their vittles.

My package of M&M®s contains 3.14 ounces or 89 grams of product (at least it did before I got hold of it), and it’s described as a “Sharing Size” that contains two servings.

One of my co-workers gave it to me in appreciation because I sent two of his pages to the processing machinery after he went home.

He didn’t need to do that. We copy editors in Dilbertville (we work in cubicles) do this for each other all the time, but I thanked him for it and said I appreciated the gesture.

A former graphics artist of ours who was — and still is — as cute as a whole row of buttons reminded me some time back that she and I occasionally shared packages of M&M®s.

It was a chance encounter, and she asked if I had any M&M®s. Unfortunately, I did not. Giving chocolate in any form to a woman can have beneficial results — a pretty smile, at least.

The containers of candy or most other consumables contain nutrition information because the Yankee Government requires it.

It IS useful to know the alcohol content of your beer. Beer that contains 12 percent alcohol packs a more significant wallop than 3.2-percent beer.

This is something I discovered during a fishing trip to Canada in the early 1970s, and the information would have proved useful to one of my buddies.

During the course of a single evening, he drank six Canadian 12-percent ales, which put together contained roughly the same amount of alcohol in a 24-can/bottle case of what we were used to drinking in West Virginia.

Those six Labatt 50s did the same thing to him that my cousin Thomas Jonathan Jackson did to the Yankees at Chancellorsville.

The Federals were relaxing at night around their campfires, recovering from the day’s battle while eating dinner, smoking their pipes and doing whatever, when deer began running out of the woods like all the hounds of Hell were after them ... which they in fact were.

The Stonewall Brigade’s cavalry emerged next, whooping and shooting at full gallop.

As Jimmy Hatlo used to say, That’s When The Fun Began.

The Labatt Cavalry sprang unexpectedly upon my buddy and kicked his (beast of burden) in similar fashion. He backed up to his bed, dropped his pants, sat down and kept on going. We lifted his legs onto the bed, turned him 90 degrees and covered him with a blanket.

My buddy backed up to his bed, dropped his pants, sat down on the bed and kept on going. We lifted his legs onto the bed, turning him 90 degrees, and covered him with a blanket.

He remained that way until morning, when he regained consciousness and began to wonder what Leviathan had thrashed him.

Thanks to the Yankee Government, we know (if we bother to look) that a 3.14-ounce (89-gram) package of M&M®s contains two servings of 45 grams each that provide 220 calories (80 from fat), 32 grams of carbohydrates, and so on.

I hear you. If there are 89 grams total, how can you have two 45-gram servings? And how do you divvy it up? Do you count the pieces? The package doesn’t say how many there are. If there is an uneven number, do you cut one of them in half? Good luck with that.

(How can you tell if a blonde is baking chocolate-chip cookies? There are M&M shells all over the kitchen.)

There also is 1 gram of fiber per serving, which amounts to 4 percent of the recommended daily value. By my calculations, eating 12 1/2 sharing-size packages of M&M®s, would give you 100 percent of your daily fiber needs — not something I would recommend.

Tacked to my wall at Dilbertville is an item I ran across some years ago. I have no idea where it came from.

Wine and coffee tasters take a sip of product and then inhale through their mouths, aerating it while letting it contact each of the different taste-bud areas in their mouths. This does work, but try not to breathe in too vigorously.

Here are the instructions for tasting Life Savers Five Flavor candy.

1. Good Looks: Don’t forget to consider the color of the Life Savers candy. Think about whether the flavor you’re sampling has the right flavor and color to be to be considered for the top five. Is this Life Savers piece a finalist for the Life Savers final-five combination?

2. First Impressions: The most important quality of a Life Savers is its flavor. When sampling a Life Savers candy, place the candy piece on your tongue and note its initial taste.

3. Mouth Maneuvers: When tasting Life Savers candy, roll the candy piece around in your mouth to allow your taste buds to appreciate the final quality of that particular flavor. Not everyone eats a Life Savers candy the same way. 19% of consumers bite their Life Savers, while 74% suck them. Others try to stick their tongue in the hole. Feel free to eat Life Savers candies whichever way you prefer.

Folks, that is exactly how you eat Life Savers. I will reserve further comment, save to say that I prefer the basic mint-flavored versions. You can form your own opinion.

Like the lawyers say about certain forms of evidence, it speaks for itself.

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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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