Finger-licking Good

I’m sure many of you were digging yourselves out of the snow today, and the weather forecaster hit the time it was to stop nearly on the head when saying it would quit at 10:00 am, and wouldn’t you know, it did. Thank goodness I was out early enough to get everything cleared away before the wind changed direction and starting picking up speed. Unfortunately what seemed like a pleasant winter morning, quickly turned into a cold and windy afternoon.

Knowing I needed a break from my very early shoveling, I took in a church Service being held at one of the locals. Without relaying anything negative about what went on while I was there, all I’ll say, is I did get in a few minutes of self-reflection and quiet prayer, but otherwise, the rest of my short stay was nothing less than unremarkable.

When I got back to my office, I picked up the phone and called a dear friend of mine just to share my great irritations. It’s always good to have someone close enough that you can spill your guts over good things that’ve happened, as well as the bad. Since her spirituality is on the fringes of organized religion, she does get a good laugh while adding a few poignant comments of her own. After hanging up, I went back at my daunting task of getting snow cleared away, and by the time noon arrived, it was finally finished.

My next little project was to get back at a long overdue project of sorting thru stuff that would either get gifted or thrown. Since it was just a bit too chilly where I was, I only worked at it for about an hour and then called it quits. I was once again reminded how mid-winter’s chill can turn into a continuous radiating cold. At least I got five bags sorted out.

Most of my afternoon was spend catching up on some reading, along with writing several letters. Yes, I am a dinosaur at times when still compelled to write a cursive note to someone. I’ve noticed these recent years that all the more people are considering an email, a letter, and sometimes I have to get a clarification as to whether it’s coming snail mail or already in my email’s “Inbox”.

Since I’ve been in sales for a great number of years, another interesting change in the way people communicate with each other, is the over-use of superlatives. I started noticing it about ten years ago, and it seems the more I notice, the more it grinds on me. The ones I most oft times hear are, biggest, greatest, most, best, worst, nicest, poorest, and ugliest. Of the the ones I mentioned above, I’d say in North Iowa’s vernacular, the words “most” and “best” are being over-used the greatest.

What many don’t realize, is that the over-use of superlatives, rob a given conversation of variety, specificity, and most of all, veracity. Also when in conversation with another, they oft times rob dialogs of reasonable argument and nuanced opinion to where words being uttered, begin taking on the mental color of being distasteful and untrustworthy. The cheap fillers of “love” and “hate” are also at the top of my list of questionable usage. Now don’t get me wrong, because if I said to you, “I hate the sight of watching someone eating in public when seeing them sticking their fingers in their mouths to remove what had dribbled or stuck to them while eating.” It’s not that it’s such a horrible thing to do, but rather something I personally find disgusting. I’m going to blame that licking of fingers on Colonel Sanders’ finger-licking good chicken, while blaming my hatred of seeing it, on parental “do’s” and “don’ts” that were drilled into my core.

One of the articles I read today, was just another confirmation that Americans are growing year-over-year, all the fatter. The author mentioned that today’s women are heavier than men were back in 1960. He also insisted that as of last count, 70% of Americans are over-weight, and 35% of them being in the bucket of obesity.

One thing I’d forgotten, was that back when I was young, a bottle of soda was only sold in 8 oz. bottles, and hamburgers weren’t stacked knee-deep with layers of meat, bread, and cheese. Have you noticed how large the plate servings are of food when eating out? And certainly you’ve noticed places like Pizza Ranch offering “All you can eat.” for one price. I’ve noticed all the more ads like Hy-Vee’s where you can go to their dining rooms and pay one price for all you can stuff down your cake-holes. Don’t you think we should start cutting back on the amount of food and drink we’re ingesting on a daily basis?

Another shadowy cause of weight gain, is the lack of movement. The author of that article compared how all the fewer people actually have strenuous jobs in today’s world. Look at how automated factories are to where many of the workers are just tending machines that are doing the real work. Even in the construction industry, we find hand-held, or motorized machines that do the bulk of the work. Have you seen anyone using a real old-fashioned hammer of late? I think you’re now getting a more clear picture of how we’ve all grown soft when insisting on using something that’ll cause less strain on our muscles.

One thing I don’t understand, is why people aren’t growing noticeably leaner with all the fitness centers that are popping up across our Nation. You can be sure the “old ones” of my family would be saying, “If you want to burn calories, get out and do some worthwhile labor, and if you can’t find something to do, I’ll find it for you.”

Tonight’s one-liner is: The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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