Three Things I Don’t Understand

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Life is full of imponderables, maybe mine more so than other peoples’. Rather than go off on a rant this evening – which would be very satisfying – I thought I’d see if anyone out there can tell the old Poobah if they understand these puzzlers:

Why Do People Pay to Exercise?
A century or so ago peoples’ lives were an unending struggle with the elements. There were fields to plow, wood to cut and water to tote. Hell, even baking an apple pie required enough physical exercise to burn off the excess calories before they were even baked into that wonderfully gooey, cinnamon-scented creation. Think wood chopping, apple tree climbing, fire starting and lots of aerobically sound dough-kneading. A minimum of 400 calories off right there. Even before the scoop of hand-churned ice cream.

Today, perversely, people pay big bucks for the privledge of running, squatting and grunting on all manner of Goldbergian contraptions at the local “fitness center“. They hook themselves to electronic doo-dads to make sure they are getting their heart rates up (and therefore their money’s worth). They watch themselves in mirrors, forming a gaggle of sweating, red-faced narcissists that look pretty damned foolish when you think about it. They watch TV in the ultimate couch potato tradition. They spout slogans like, “no pain. no gain”.

No pain, no gain?! Just tell me, wouldn’t baking a pie ala 1876 be more rewarding and less expensive?

Why Do Famous People Do Such Stupid Things?
We live in an era when “Breaking News” could mean anything from overly religious hoohas crashing airliners into big buildings to Michael Jackson taking a dump, so why do famous people think they can get away with doing something incredibly stupid while avoiding scrutiny?

Just ask Mr. Bill. “Mr. President, did it ever occur to you that a horny, 20-something woman might be inclined to blab to her friends about the world’s most powerful man schtupping her with a cigar? Have you seen Girls Gone Wild? Of course you have. What were you thinking?”

Just ask Michael. “Mr. King-O-Pop, what the hell were you thinking when you fed some kiddies the Jesus Juice and twiddled their giggly bits? Did you really think you – a person who looks like a plastic surgeon’s worst nightmare, sleeps in a coffin and bought the bones of the Elephant Man – could travel incognito (even wearing a glittery surgical mask?)”

Is There a Toothpaste Conspiracy?
Despite this question, I’m not usually a second gunman, Roswell UFO, Who Shot JR? kinda guy. But, could Procter & Gamble be peddling toothpaste containing sugar? Before you just dismiss this particular conspiracy theory out-of-hand, listen to where I’m going with this.

Who hasn’t had a dentist tell them they need to brush more often or for longer? Now suppose they put sugar in your favorite dentifrice? No more artificial sweetener – sugar! The more you brushed, the more damage you would do to your teeth. The more damage to your teeth, the more your dentist would cajole you to brush more. The result? Rotten teeth that would make a meth-head blanch.

Sure, this plot would need extremely close cooperation between P&G, the ADA and the government, but that’s happened before (well, thinking back to stopping the overly religious hoohah plane crashers, maybe not). But still, think smoking! Think weapons of mass distraction! A little lie about sugar in the toothpaste would be small potatoes for these punks, especially with the revenue stream it could bring in.

Stranger things have happened. Trust me.

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