Give Me That Old Time Religion

February 19, 1999

One of the nice things about living in the South is religion. Unlike other more cosmpolitan places like Los Angeles, where one has the option of belonging to a splinter group of the Unitarian Pantheistic Neo-Manichean Ascetic Protestant Buddhists, or any other of about ten thousand different splinter groups, or, for that matter, not practicing any sort of religion at all, the choices are considerably narrow. In the South, you’re one of two things: a raving lunatic fundamentalist, or going to Hell.

Speaking for the faction that is going to Hell, large and diverse group though it is, I have to say that going to Hell is not as bad as it might sound. You can smoke, drink, swear, watch cable TV late at night, read horoscopes, get a tattoo, cross-breed animals, covet your neighbor’s ass, covet your neighbor’s wife, covet your neighbor’s wife’s ass, or just sit around wishing your neighbor would get some hideous terminal disease and give you his Corvette. Amazingly, this is as close as most of us who are going to Hell will come to killing anyone. Killing people seems to be a special privelege reserved for those who have complete assurance that they’re not going to Hell, but they can only do it special situations, such as when they meet someone who disagrees with them. And as for going to Hell, having seen some lists of what is required for membership, I can honestly say that all the really interesting people are either already there or are headed that way, so it can’t be that bad. Besides, according to those who seem to be "in the know", a lot of really interesting books, magazines, musical groups, movies, videos, and different religious groups came to us straight from Hell, so maybe what they really mean is that we’re just going to Los Angeles.


FACT: A lite beer has between 70 and 100 calories, is almost all water, and the part that isn’t water is almost pure carbohydrates.

FACT: The average diet recommends a daily caloric intake of 1,200 calories for women, 1,500 for men, if you want to lose the medically safe two to three pounds a week. On the "Beer-Me" diet, that equates to at least 12 beverages a day for women, and 15 for men. A measurable goal.

FACT: The alcohol in beer is a diuretic, which causes the water to flush out almost immediately, leading to a consistent workout regimen including deep knee bends (getting out of the chair), fast walking (very good for your heart) and squats (as the case may be).

FACT: Drinking beer actually helps you sleep-even when you aren’t necessarily tired. All that added rest is certain to help any problems you may have experienced in sleep deprivation, counting calories on those other fad diets. In addition, you may experience the occasional "How did I get here?" when you wake up, which always makes for lively conversation, and possibly additional exercise if you have to sneak out and run home.

FACT: The "Beer-Me" diet is good for your heart. After just one day of consuming your required 12-15 beers, you will certainly want to consume some aspirin, which is medically proven to help prevent heart attacks.

FACT: On the "Beer-Me" diet you can eat anything you want. The only rule is that you cannot consume any food until you have consumed at least half of the day’s required beers. This way the food will probably only stay in your body a short time, until you again exercise the deep knee bends, quick walk and, this time, the "lean-over-and-hurl" stomach crunches.

FACT: Beer drinking is often done in bars, where other forms of exercise are common. Dancing, for example, is a good way to build up a thirst, as is chasing members of the opposite sex. If you really want to maximize your workout, try actually walking up to the bar, versus using a waitress. To take this to the extreme, you could even get up and get someone else a beer-perhaps someone who is newer to the diet plan than yourself.

FACT: Beer is cheaper than Jenny Craig. Based on these facts, let’s run through a given scenario for diet implementation.

CAUTION: This is a weekend diet plan, and should be attempted during the work week by only the staunchest of dieters.

MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY: Eat junk food and basically be a slob.

FRIDAY: Feeling "huge," swing by the liquor store and stock up. Go to favorite place of beer drinking and begin the consumption process (remember 12 for women, 15 for men).

SATURDAY: Wake up (as required) and lounge around all day, feeling slightly smaller after expunging any food that you may have accidentally consumed (particularly if it involved beef jerky from 7-11). Take aspirin. Notice that you have absolutely no interest in food, anyway.

SATURDAY (p.m.): Restart cycle, noticing that your appetite has still not returned. Perhaps only meet half of your consumption goal due to an ongoing discussion with "the dog that bit you." This is a good thing, as only half-consumption means less than 1,000 calories for the day, and you still don’t feel hungry.

SUNDAY (a.m.): Wake up for mandatory sports day. This is a very convenient diet during football season, but it can be successfully implemented year-round. There is some major professional sport being played every day of the year except the day before and the day after the Major League All-Star game (fact–look it up). Consumption on this day should be paced to cover the entire day-you don’t want to peak too soon. Again you notice a lack of appetite, and are feeling thinner all the time. Don’t forget the aspirin.

MONDAY: Return to work, feeling thinner, well rested, and surprisingly mellow. Mark your log book, and begin preparation for the upcoming weekend.

Happy dieting!!!

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