Virtually no one in the world was amazed, shocked or even mildly surprised the other day when Major League Baseballs all-time leading hitter Pete Rose admitted he had, in fact, stuffed cork in his baseball bats.
Just kidding. That was Sammy Sosa, who denied juicing up his Louisville Sluggers until the stuff flew out of his broken bat during a game. Slammin Sammys cheating wont keep him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame after he retires, though; heck, Cooperstown already has a display of his bats - which they X-rayed after the corking incident last year, and found clean.
Instead of bat-corking, Rose confessed last week to betting on baseball. He had already admitted betting on everything else, and chances are there is no one on the planet who had continued to believe him when he denied betting on his own game.
Still, Charlie Hustle finally came clean for a couple of reasons: he wants to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, where his records certainly have earned him a spot; and he wants to sell lots of copies of his new book, which wouldnt be worth nearly as much without the long-overdue but still anti-climactic confession.
Confession, in this case, is not only good for the soul - its good for business. So with that in mind, its time for me to come clean, to get it all out in the open.
The current Atkins Diet craze is all my fault.
Whew. What a load off.
Yep, I admit it. The reason beef costs three times as much (especially if its labeled Angus, as if we really need to know the breed of cow were eating) is because of us low-carbohydrate, meat-eating dieters. Were what the girl in Jurassic Park called meatitarians.
It was exactly one year ago today that my wife and I skimmed the important parts (by important parts, I mean we looked at the charts without lots of words) of a borrowed Atkins paperback and started the induction phase of the Atkins diet. Induction is a process that involves starving yourself half to death in preparation for giving up anything that tastes good.
That two-week period - also in some classical literature called eternity or hell - is supposed to switch your bodys internal gears and turn on the fat-burning engine as you tightly restrict carbohydrates from your diet. Things go back to normal after that; by normal I mean eating a widely-varied menu of meat wrapped in meat, maybe with a piece of cheese on the side.
Its probably the way cavemen ate, though they at least got exercise from chasing their dinner.
The diet takes off pounds, but some people say they are astounded to find that they put the weight back on when they resume their normal eating pattern of stuffing themselves with Twinkies and cheesecake. In my case, trimming carbs trimmed off 30 pounds, and Ive been able to keep it off.
The downside is that the diet - which, again, Im sorry for making so darn popular - is that its adherents abandon bread. The bakers are hurting, even as the beef industry is booming (or at least was, until some cows got mad). So if youre not on Atkins, do the bakers and their suffering families a favor by eating an extra piece of toast, or grabbing another sandwich.
Better yet, go over to the Little Dutch Bakery in West Town and buy a cinnamon roll. Oh, man those things are good. Theyd sell more of them, though, if not for me and my diet craze.
There. That feels better. Confessing to being behind the huge popularity of this diet takes at least 30 pounds of bread off my conscience.
The bad news? Now that Mad Cow Disease is making beef so scary, I really will starve unless I can find something else to eat.
Maybe I should ask Pete Rose for advice; I understand hes on the waffle diet.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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