Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Mitten Diet

I went out fishing on Friday. The season is rapidly coming to a close and I wanted to eleviate any feelings of guilt that I will most certainly experience this winter for not putting enough time or effort into the season. As often happens with me, I go through these long droughts with no fish during the typical day. Sometimes, if I happen to have a good book to read, I can just put the boat on auto-pilot, aim for the deepest part of the bay and start reading, occasionally looking up to see if the lines are jiggling. Depending on how long it's been since my last bite, and how interesting the book is, I'll either jump up and run outside to go pull the fish, or I'll reluctantly put the book down and walk slowly out to the cockpit, put on my wet, stinky gloves and proceed to pull up the fish, cursing it for not biting sooner, before I got so engrossed in my story. If the fish is especially big, to where the tattle -tale springs are really pounding, the adrenaline spikes and I can get pretty excited and charge out the door. On more than one occasion I've walked forcefully into the steel boom that stretches from the mast back to the hayrack. I know that it's there, it's been there since I bought the boat back in 1990, but somehow in my excitement I still forget. I've hit it so hard that I've nearly knocked myself out, but the beautiful ringing sound that bone makes when it connects with hardened steel is almost like a church bell. Most days though, when fishing is slow, I find myself searching for something to eat. Usually finding something isn't all that hard, because I know from experience that there will be at least part of the day when the fish aren't biting and I'm quite certain I will want something to munch on. Lately, my snack of choice has been grahm crackers. I justify buying the large package by saying that they have less calories than, say, fudge striped shortbread cookies or chocolate mint squares. Plus, if I buy the large pack, I don't have to shop quite so often... right? Anyway, I was in the middle of a slow day the other day, so I grabbed a cup of instant coffee and a package of grahms. The better brands are wrapped in cellophane by deviant terrorists who conspire to drive honest Americans mad while they attempt to participate in their favorite pastime, eating. I first ran across this phenomenon some years back with potato chip bags. They cleverly put a picture of the chips on the outside of the bag, thus whetting your appetite. It's only after you've purchased the chips that you realize that they have greased the outside of the bag with a fine coat of invisible oil, making it impossible to get a good grip on the special paper the bag is made of. If for some reason you are finally able to penetrate the bags first defenses, you are then left with the demonic stretchy paper at the top of the bag, where you are led to believe you are supposed to access the contents. You pull and pull, using enough strength to dislodge a "62" Volkswagen from a slime pit. At the last possible moment, right before you pass out from exhaustion, the top separates, causing some of the chips to launch into outerspace and the rest to fall upon the ground, where ravenous dogs challenge you to your right to pick them up. It's all quite wearying. Well, as I was saying, it was after a bout with the package of grahms that I had the idea for the Mitten Diet. By simply donning a pair of soft woolen mittens, you can render the job of opening practically any junk food package almost impossible. The mittens will simply slide over the cellophane or plastic demon stretch paper for almost as long as you care to try to open it. The harder you try, the more calories you burn. If you keep in mind that the simple act of trying to get a snack is in fact causing you to lose weight, you can keep your cool, thus robbing the snack terrorists of their victory. I think this is one of the best things that I've thought of in quite awhile. The last idea I had that was this revolutionary was the Taco Bell dining pants- they're like bib rain pants with a trough around the middle, about stomache height. They would issue them when you placed your order. Then, when the contents of the taco you were eating slid out,as they are prone to do, you simply retrieve them from the trough and continue eating- no waste, no messy clothes. Don't worry, I can almost guarantee I'll have more great ideas like these in the years to come. I have more than my share of slow days- plenty of time to think.


  1. Awesome stuff! Your blog is a great read.

  2. Love the dining trough pants idea, Tom! We had a hard plastic bib we used on Sam called a Kangaroo Bib that had a trough that caught all dropped food. As I age, I think I need an adult-sized one to catch the drips when I miss my mouth - hard to believe I do that! Guess we come full-cirle after all, aye?

  3. I will expect to see you in a pair of mittens and giant trousers when I come home. I also recently saw that they have muffeling underpants...I'll pick you up a pair of those as well! :)