My wife blames it on my addiction to Pepsi Cola, but I point out that Hugh Hefner drank Pepsi his whole life, and he's still slender. Or look at Joan Crawford. She sat on the board of Pepsi, Inc. but "Mommie Dearest" never got pudgy. I've tried the diet versions, but they taste like medicine and I need my cola fully loaded. I also attempted switching to ice tea in a can, but they are saturated with high fructose corn syrup, and you can gulp them, so you need a couple. It's tougher to chug a cola without belching like a howler monkey midway through. Don't get me wrong. Many of my old friends have blown up beyond recognition. It comes with the territory. But I don't look grotesque or morbidly obese and Melody tells me I'm not fat anywhere else but my belly, but it's starting to move around some. I think it's because ever since I began keeping quasi-business hours, I started eating three meals a day. When I kept musicians' hours, I'd sleep half the day, eat a big dinner and a snack later, and that was it. My body just wasn't acclimated to what's commonly referred to as normal life, and it rejected the health benefits I was attempting to incorporate.
Funny thing is, I don't eat a lot of sweets or desserts, I don't snack a lot, nor do I drink beer or alcohol. It's not a moral thing. Alcohol just makes me sick. Lord knows, I've tried to be a proper drunk in my past and I spent years searching for just the right drink. I started drinking Brandy Alexanders just because I read it was John Lennon's favorite, until I woke up one morning and spent the day calling people to apologise. But it didn't matter how you disguised it. Whether it was wine, whiskey, or beer, it just made me ill. And the sad part is, I would go directly from being straight to being sick with no euphoria in-between, and only hell to pay later. I finally figured out it was a crappy high anyway and abandoned the effort. I can, however, see years of alcohol consumption in my friends' faces, and they have payed for it with gin blossoms and enlarged proboscises, as well as the expansion of the epidermal layer to keep in the heavy load below. Go anywhere in public these days and you'll see enormous, titanic, obesity-- the kind you didn't see just twenty years ago. You would think Americans exist on a steady diet of fried pork rinds, Mountain Dew, and whale blubber. I enjoy an occasional Chips Ahoy myself, but I don't eat the entire Costco-sized bag at one sitting.
Of course, the answer is always diet and exercise, but ever since that gall bladder thing I had a few years ago, I am physically unable, by the grace of God, to do a sit-up. Walking is the answer, but my neighborhood isn't entirely walker friendly. When the sidewalk ends, your choices are either walking along a major thoroughfare where the autos zip by like NASCAR, or taking your chances on the pavement of a narrow lane with speed bumps. In any case, there is no walking around here without including the dogs. If they catch you putting on sneakers, or even thinking of the word "walk," the dogs go wild- and we have three of them. I don't mind taking Rufus Thomas' advice and walking that dog now and then, but I'm no Cesar Milan and I can't walk three at once. But, who are we kidding? I'm not walking anywhere farther than the mailbox anymore. It hurts, good people. So if I return to musicians' hours and you should hear me somewhere singing Fats Domino's classic "I'm Walkin'," you'll know that I am exercising- poetic license that is.