Should I be anointed Grand Poobah of all things earthly, I would make significant changes.As a benevolent leader, I wouldn’t be “mean;” but be confident I’d wield my power to appropriately mete out consequences to society’s ne'er-do-wells.
My first task would be to create a “discomfort pistol.”
Whenever someone did something rude, totally self-absorbed, or incredibly inconsiderate, they would be tagged with an invisible beam by this gun. It wouldn’t cause any damage — but for the next 24 hours, they wouldn’t be able to get physically comfortable, no matter what they did. A good analogy would be a stiff neck or a Charlie Horse. It’s not enough to incapacitate you, certainly not enough of an issue to go to the doctor. Yet, all day, it nags at you and the ache doesn’t quit until you get a night’s sleep.
We would use it on people who talk on cell phones or text in theaters, or aim it at the jerk tail-gating us on the freeway. It would exceptionally appropriate for ignoramuses who park in handicapped parking spaces and don’t need to. Give them — on an extremely minor level — a bit of poetic justice.
Anyone shot with the beam would be all right the next day, but at least for 24 hours, there would be justice. Maybe, eventually, they’d learn.
Of course, since fitness is such an issue for all of us, I’d make getting fit more fun.
Stationary bicycles would actually transport you to your favorite places — only as long as you were exercising. Instead of pumping away while staring at four walls, you’d be transported to the warm sands of Maui or peddling along the Yamuna River to the Tajmahal. The more you rode, the more places you visit! When you stopped pedaling however, you’re back in the garage staring at the water heater. If that were the case, I’d never get off my bike. Would anyone?
While on the subject of health, I have to admit that I think God doesn’t like dieters. I mean no disrespect to the Almighty, but why does He (or She) make it so easy to pack on a few pounds, yet seemingly impossible to lose them?Think about it. One of the main reasons we eat too much is to seek comfort. We’re stressed. We’re overloaded. We want to escape. So we pull out potato chips, ice cream or chocolate. These high-calorie foods add on the inches — which, when we see what happens to our weight, cause us to stress even more, driving us right back to the kitchen. As Voltaire said, “God is a comedian playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh.” I’ll admit I’m missing the humor here.
So, if I wielded unlimited clout, celery and spinach would be comfort foods.
I mean, how healthy would that be? Picture the possibilities. At the end of a tough day (easily validated to others by how much time it takes to recharge your discomfort pistol), you would race home, hug your spouse or partner, kiss your kids, throw on your sweats and hop on your bicycle to relax by pedaling happily down the Champs-Elysées or in awe of the view along the Great Himalaya Trail, all the while happily munching on a soul-satisfying, heart-warming bowl of kale and chard.
I know there’s a lot to do, but after I’ve tackled these easy issues, I’ll move on to the more difficult stuff – like banning 24-hour news coverage of drunken celebrities.
To hear the back story about this column - and to hear the podcast, follow this link.