Please, don’t sweat on my doughnuts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

We’ve all seen them in our travels here in the Roanoke-Chowan area or during our visits to other areas of the state and nation. Their actions are more than enough to make one strain their neck sideways, pivoting the head in an unnatural position in order to catch a quick glimpse of the focus of attention.

What possesses a person to pull on spandex so tight that it would suffocate every blood vessel in a normal person’s body and then, under a sweltering sun, go out and pound the pavement?

With all the different modes of transportation these days – cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, etc. – why must we run? Why ruin a perfectly good day, not to mention a nice bath in the morning. Heck, I’ve seen runners with so much sweat dripping off their bodies that it makes the water coming over Niagara Falls look like the amount flowing through a garden hose.

Folks may look at my portly shape and think – &uot;gee, he’s one that should keep his mouth shut – if anyone needs to lose some pounds, it’s that Cal Bryant.&uot;

To that I will reply that the difference between a runner and me is from the Adam’s Apple up. We both know that the temperature outside is 95 degrees. We both know that the heat index is over triple digits. However, the difference in brain patterns surfaces when the runner chooses to ignore certain death by running in these hot, humid conditions. Meanwhile, I sit comfortably in an air-conditioned room, sipping a nice, ice-cold Mountain Dew and nibbling on a Mounds bar.

Think about this – have you ever heard of anyone dying while choosing the latter of those two previously mentioned scenarios? On the other hand, I’ve heard many stories of men and women kneeling over while exercising.

That’s why you’ll never find me joining a health spa. For starters, I’m not kind to the word – spa. It sounds too upscale for my redneck tastes (Bud, porkrinds, rasslin’ and racin’). Secondly, they don’t allow smoking in a spa. I have yet to see an ashtray attached to one of those fancy stationary bikes.

While on the subject of stationary bikes, I don’t like them either. Why put in all that energy and can’t move from place to place? At least those who run to get into shape do get to experience a change in scenery.

Another &uot;health-crazed&uot; notion that crawls under my skin and hitches up my shorts is all this fuss about healthy eating habits. Have you ever noticed what’s on their plates – basically nothing; three ounces of lettuce, tiny peeled carrots, a lump of cottage cheese and a small serving of wrinkled fruit. All this for $7.95.

For eight bucks, I can get a whole bucket of fresh fried chicken. Or I can choose a four-piece fried chicken meal with mashed ‘taters (with double gravy), cole slaw and a big old homemade biscuit with real butter dripping out the sides (not that wimpy &uot;I Think This Is Butter, But It’s Really Not Butter&uot;).

On the other hand, I can, for eight greenbacks, choose a medium pizza with plenty of palate-pleasing toppings (no veggies; real meat for me please). Or how ’bout a mouth-watering double cheeseburger (double chili, mustard, onions and slaw), a large order of fries and an extra thick chocolate milkshake.

My health-nut friends may ask, &uot;Cal, do you know what eating that type of food will do to you?&uot; Sure I do, it will fill me up!

If they press the issue over my eating habits, I’ll tell them that I’m staying fat in order to maintain the strength to be a pallbearer at their funeral after they drop dead from all that exercising.

Heck, we’ll going to all die from something one day. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll leave this world with my belly full and a smile on my face.

Anybody going running today? If so, do me a favor – run by the doughnut shop and fetch me a dozen chocolate-covered delights. But please, don’t sweat on my doughnuts.