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Pork chop, salad or diet dog food? Tough call

POSTED: January 22, 2012 1:00 a.m.

Getting old is not a sport for the faint of heart.

To be honest, a faint heart is often one of the telltale signs of getting old. I am not my heart's best friend.

Today, I enjoyed a pork chop that was close to 2 inches thick at a place called "This Little Piggy" (ironically, that is the same thought that comes to mind when I look at my jowly countenance in the mirror).

It was a great pork chop and tasted so good. I should have gone for the salad bar, but this was a barbecue joint and they didn't have a salad bar. If you go to a restaurant that calls itself a barbecue joint, it doesn't qualify if there is a salad bar present.

I digress.

Paula Deen, the star of a multitude of food shows, is also getting a tad older. Paula announced to the world recently that she suffers from diabetes and is now endorsing a diabetes drug. She also endorses brands of chicken and ham. Some folks have complained that Paula should not be endorsing a medicine when her style of cooking may have been a contributing factor.

I disagree with them. Paula may offer an unnecessary utterance of "y'all" in her sometimes overdone Southern accent, but she is not force-feeding anything to anyone watching her shows.

The TV at our house seems to find its way to the cooking shows (especially when I am not in charge of the remote). But I don't think we've ever prepared anything that a TV chef has offered up. There are several things that looked good, but I didn't write down the recipe.

My step-dog, Buttons, is now 15. She is mostly deaf and blind. If we rearrange the furniture, she is going to walk into it. I take her outside most mornings and she sometimes gets confused on how to get back to the house. She is not in pain and sleeps a good portion of each day.

A few years ago, Buttons was significantly overweight and the veterinarian put her on some kind of low-fat dog food. Sure enough, she has cut her weight in half and I'm pretty sure it has bought her a little extra time. I'm not sure if spending your days eating low-fat dog food and walking slowly around the house to avoid hitting walls, doors or furniture is a great way to extend your life, but Buttons seems happy.

When my daughter was a baby, I would sometimes taste a little of her strained carrots and other tasty baby food items to make sure they were not too hot. I didn't think it was the best stuff I had ever put in my mouth.

I guess the same is true for diet dog food. I'm not going to try it, but I know it can't taste as good as the stuff they advertise on TV that is supposed to taste great.

Pogo, the famous cartoon possum who lived in the Okeefenokee Swamp (by the way, his full name was Ponce de Leon Montgomery County Alabama Georgia Beauregard Possum), once made this profound statement that fully summarizes the plight of those, like me, who fight the battle of the bulge.

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.



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