Preparedness Corner
January 2003
By Paul Vircsik

Hi Neighbors,

Now that the holiday cheer has leveled off, I wish to impart some words of wisdom.  Or to put it another way; since my diet is back to normal after all the huge feasts of turkey, ham, prime rib, cookies, candy and, oh my gosh the chocolate, I have some ideas to help make you a happier, healthier, and more socially responsible ranch dweller.

I remember that not long ago Wally World used to offer dry ice to customers with a long distance destination to protect the ice cream and milk products.  I remember the media flooded with human-interest stories regarding the dangers of eating and driving and the lawsuits that followed.  Why do fast food restaurants serve such hot food anyway?  Because cold coffee and hamburgers don’t sell as well.  Nor do they slide down the gullet as well as hot does.  I think I have found some solutions to the problems that purchases for consumption needs can cause.

I know that as soon as I mentioned the word chocolate, some of you read no further with a full tank of gas.  Your eyes glazed over and the rest of this column went blah blah blah.

Well, lets go with the theme.  Chocolate is derived from the cacao bean.  If you have never been exposed to this bean’s elixir you are not alive.  I have seen many women crying at the movies holding onto a 1-pound bar and realized that the hunk sitting next to them was not going to be the equal emotional pillar for her.  I know this from the same feelings of calm from eating my own bar.  Side note: from your earliest days in school a dedicated teach probably tried to give you a fighting chance of surviving in today’s world by educating you about food groups and balanced diets.  Fruits, veggies, nuts, twigs.  You know, Euel Gibbons.  Who am I kidding.  It is physically and emotionally impossible to get through life without chocolate.  Now for the help.

The cacao bean comes from the vegetable family.  Sugar is made from either sugar cane or sugar beats.  All three plants, all three veggies.  Ergo chocolate is a vegetable.  I can also prove that it is health food.  It contains milk, which is dairy.  Cover raisons, cherries which are fruit, with milk and vegetables and you get health food.  Your teacher would be proud.  This health food is best enjoyed melting in your mouth and not on your hands.  Well, not always… Sorry I digressed.  If it is melting on your hands while driving there are two problems.  One is safety and the other is you are eating too slowly.

More help.  I ask this; how do you get large amounts of chocolate home from the store in sweltering heat?  The answer is obvious.  Eat it before leaving the parking lot.  This eliminates the danger of chocolate covered digits, smudged car parts that leave evidence, and unsafe driving conditions.  Also the bears won’t be able to follow the smell to your house if it never gets there.  Now you can leave the windows open for ventilation.  Your spouse will think you both insightful and caring for her well being.  An added bonus is the extra energy from the mass consumption of sugar.  And you will need it to help in completing more projects around the ranch late into the night since due to the caffeine your eyelids will not close.  For those who are retired, you now have the energy to skip the early bird dinners and eat with the rest of us.

You may be asking yourself “Self, what about my well toned body from 30 years of over eating and drinking”.  Gather round, I have the answer.  Mom always said don’t eat before dinner because you will ruin it.  The less the hunger pangs, the less you will eat.  The body stays in the shape you left it.  But I’m worried about calories.  Are you aware that a chocolate covered Dove bar is 300 calories? They come three to a box.  If they should make it to the freezer, you failed the parking lot test.  But should they and you eat the whole box at one sitting, that’s 900 calories.  Bad for the thighs.  Now here is the ingenious and somewhat scientific part.  Eat one bar, 300 consumed.  Place the other two back in the freezer.  That’s a negative 600.  Subtract the 300 you ate from the 600 you didn’t and you get a negative 300 calories.  I have to run for an hour to burn that kind of count.  I think I’ll write a book.  The shear genius of this philosophy is astounding.

Now for a balanced diet because such negative calorie intake can lead to anorexia.  Eat equal parts of white and dark chocolate.  This will provide equilibrium so to speak and for politicians, prove that you have the global picture in mind.  Chocolate also has many preservatives.  Preservatives have long been noted to help you look younger.  The people who look old for their age just aren’t eating enough… chocolate.

I eat chocolate daily as it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  At the same time I have consumed a day’s worth of calories.  I see that as productive and a very good use of time management.  This month’s column touched on diet, living with bears, dealing with heat emergencies, driver safety and math.  I hope these pearls have helped in some manner to give you a wonderful outlook for the year to come.

See you all soon,

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background