Monday, June 26, 2006

Justice served

“How do you plead?” demands the blaringly bright bold LED screen on the floor scale. The panel flashes “0-0-0” taunting me to stand upon the platform if I dare. Scale knows all; it sees my hidden places. Decision are at hand.

It is my rationale that those who design diets recognize they’re working with folks who are fond of eating. (No duh.) Logically then, they must include an unpublished (but common knowledge) “fudge factor” (pun not intended - or maybe it is). It is my assignment to find this limit.

For example, since childhood I was taught to “clean my plate” because “children in Africa were starving.” I never understood how my spotless dishes helped others across the globe, but being a youngster, I obeyed. As an adult interested in a healthier global community, I now also clean my son’s plate and wife’s plate. Oft times, I have toyed with cleaning the plates of diners in the restaurant, but - so far - have resisted.

Since confessions are on the table, I admit that maybe those “couple of tastes” when making cookies would make clear why my recipes yield only 14 cookies - instead of the 24 promised by the cookbook. (I always assumed cookbook editors simply prefer undersized cookies.) Then there’s licking the frosting around the perimeter of unused birthday cake. It’s unthinkable that would add up, especially when it’s well-known that calories migrate to the center.

“Spillage consumption,” is another transgression. You know, when emptying cereal (as an example) into a bowl and the “over-pour” spills on to the table. It is unhealthy and bad etiquette to replace it into the carton.

Prospects for bites, licks, and tastes proliferate: the sad, final, pair of broken crackers stranded in the box, a remaining dollop of ice cream in its carton, a quick swallow of soda covering the bottom of the two-liter jug. It drives me off my rocker when others put back an unusable smidgen of a container into the fridge or pantry! In the interest of domestic sanity, I am compelled to nibble.

I reflect on my diet, no longer confident of the verdict. The scales of justice - or more accurately, the justice of the scales - wait to make its pronouncement. I request a recess and leave the room to eat.

No comments: