Matter of Laugh or Death
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
DONUTS SAVED MY LIFE
I owe my life to donuts. If it wasn’t for those luscious lumps of grease and sugar, I would not be here today.
Hmm, you seem a bit skeptical. Let me explain. I was doing some research on the Internet the other day (my motto: “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true!”) and discovered two important facts. First, the average glazed donut contains 235 calories. (But of course, there is no such thing as an average glazed donut. They are all simply wonderful!) Second, it takes approximately 3,500 calories to produce one pound of body weight.
Estimating that I consume at least six donuts in a typical week, I got out my calculator and started crunching the numbers. During my adult life, I have ingested over 1.8 million donut calories. This translates into 523 pounds of body weight.
Since I currently weigh 215 pounds, it is clear that if I had never eaten any donuts in my life, I would currently weight minus-308 pounds. As we all know, when your weight drops below zero it can only mean one of two things: either you’re a fashion model, or you’re dead.
One look at my face makes it clear I’m no fashion model. So, there is only one undeniable conclusion to this scientific study: Without donuts, I would be dead.
I understand it may be difficult to think of donuts as a life-saving health food. After decades of anti-donut propaganda from the Health Nannies (their motto: “If it tastes good, it will kill you”), it is natural to view those yummy little cakes of fun as something harmful.
But the pages of history are replete with visionaries whose breakthrough ideas met with stiff public resistance. When Galileo announced that the earth revolves around the sun, his friends said, “Yeah right. When are you going to get a real job?” (Other less friendly folks said, “Go to confession, you heretic!”)
When Orville and Wilbur Wright announced they were building a machine which would fly, their friends said, “Yeah right. That’s why we call you the Wrong Brothers.” (Other less friendly folks said, “I bet the food will be awful and you’ll lose my luggage.”)
When Johnnie Cochran announced, “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit,” most people said, “Yeah right. It’s obvious that O.J. did it.” (Other overly friendly folks—namely the jury—said, “Who knows? Maybe the Wright Brothers did it.”)
With this breakthrough announcement that donuts saved my life, I am fully prepared for an onslaught of cynicism and derision. And it surely will begin at home, specifically with a lovely woman to whom I promised that I would not identify in print. (Her motto: “Why did I marry such a knucklehead?”)
There have been some very spirited debates in my house over the years, with the lovely unidentified woman insisting that America’s eating habits—personified by me—are simply awful and a sure ticket to an early grave. I usually offer a thoughtful, two-part response. First, I say, “Oh yeah?! How come the average life expectancy of Americans keeps increasing?” Then, before she can answer with a litany of modern medical breakthroughs, I grab the nearest jelly donut, take a huge bite, and in my best Homer Simpson voice, moan with ecstasy, “Ummm…heallllth foooood.”
At this point, her blood pressure skyrockets and her face turns red, partly because of my “bad attitude” and partly because of the donut powder I just left all over the floor. Which brings up an important point: good health is much more than simply diet. There are also emotional and spiritual components to good health. When I eat donuts, my blood pressure does not skyrocket; my face does not turn red. I am happy and content. I won’t go so far as to call it a religious experience, but… it’s darn close.
On the other hand, people can eat nothing but vegetables and bird seed—or whatever it is the Health Nannies recommend—but if they are emotionally frazzled from, say, the arduous crusade of changing the eating habits of an entire nation (or dealing with a knucklehead husband), then their overall well-being is far worse than even the winner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken all-you-can-eat contest. (I came in third this year.)
I know my views are unpopular. I realize some people are seething at this very moment and wish to pummel me into unconsciousness with stalks of raw celery and broccoli. But someday modern medicine will finally acknowledge the health properties of donuts. I may not live to see that day, but I’ll have a better chance of seeing it if I continue to visit the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru on a regular basis.
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