Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Terror Alert

I was doing a bit of cleaning up the Command Center for the Department of Just Blowing Smoke Security after the recent and rather abrupt departure of the staff.  Apparently these authorities on uncovering secret information finally discovered that their jobs were no longer necessary only three days after I told them so (for the third time).  This Manatee Team of faux covert operations (SEAL was obviously already taken and Manatee fit the staff paradigm more accurately) had an extraction zone pre-arranged, and hung around just long enough to insure that there was 'no bottle left behind'.  What they did leave behind however, was one Cheetos-stained dispatch, apparently forgotten in their hasty departure. 

Now while I thought about not bothering to pass it on, since what follows looks to be far from a complete list; I do so in the spirit of the Holidays, recognizing that perhaps by posting their final effort (and as our politicians are oh so fond of saying),  
"If just one life is saved…."

Egg Nog: Let’s face it folks, considering the cholesterol and calories contained in the full strength version of this beverage, you might as well slather it on like sunscreen rather than drink it. Not only will you save yourself from the ire of the nation's health care providers, but I understand that it serves as an effective SPF-125 sunscreen and does wonders for the complexion. While there are myths that some of the harmful effects of Nog can be somewhat mitigated by thinning it with alcohol (dark rum is a personal favorite), there is nothing but anecdotal evidence to support such claims. (On the other hand, having partaken of it in this fashion, it's unlikely that calories or any other of its deleterious effects will any longer concern you.)
Fruit Cake: In spite of the bad wrap that this holiday treat has received over the years, the truth of the matter is that it poses little health risk to most of the population; and can in fact be used beneficially. It’s not the fruit of which it’s 'allegedly' comprised or the way in which it's prepared that makes it healthy; but the fact that it’s so often prepared improperly that it's all but toxic except when consumed in very small portions (even by government standards).  Additional benefits include its use as an emergency escape tool to break car windows in the event of a holiday automotive accident and as a substitute for a truncheon or throwing weapon to drive guests away from other tastier and potentially more deadly treats at the holiday table. 
Cookies: These tasty little confections, while around all year in some form, put on their ‘party best’ for the holiday season. Dressed in clever shapes, hued in artificial colorings, and of course clothed sprinkles and glitter (probably manufactured by Exxon), these dietary landmines are camouflaged in a variety of holiday masquerades.  These bakery booby-traps in fact contain most of the major food groups: sugar, chocolate, useless carbs, and unpronounceable chemicals.  (If someone could get red meat or bacon onto them, they'd be perfect.)  Vowing to abstain from future consumption of them and to exercise off the calories gained from them are among the top five of resolutions for each New Year.
Cheese: For some reason, cheese has long found a place at our holiday tables, often in rather bizarre forms. Sure you can go with the snooty specialty and European cheeses if what you’re looking for is something in the way of flavor, but the natural ingredients found in such products can expose the consumer to greater risk (including becoming un-American). The true American tradition is much more likely to be defined by cheese balls, cheese logs, and the ever-popular “Cheese Whiz”. As most of us know, the more processed such cheese is, the better it is for you; with the piston cans of "Easy Cheese" being the most healthy of all (since they contain the least cheese). There is nothing like emulsifiers or carrageenan to bring real cheese texture to a dish and nothing like citric acid when it comes to real cheese flavor. While we're at it, let’s not forget all of the wonderful processed products contained in most of the crackers we put this on, leading to an opportunity to add insult to injury (literally and figuratively).

Cocktail Weenies:  No one really knows what animals these tasty little treats come from, let alone what parts of those animals might be involved; and quite frankly (pun intended) no one wants to know.  This ostensible meat product however has become a holiday favorite over the years.  This probably has something to do with fact that it can be served in so many ways.  Drowned in equally toxic sauce and cooked so long that the surrounding liquid congeals to the consistency of paste, or wrapped in a variety of equally mysterious (and probably unhealthy) substances and baked, it can be served as a blue collar staple by the scoop or daintily displayed on the finest upper crust serving-ware  by impaling it upon toothpicks with colorful frills at one end.  Do not be distracted by its innocent appearance however (and be careful to apply the untasseled part of the toothpick to the weenie).  Not only is there little or no actual food value in this diminutive dog, but recent government funded studies have found it to be little more than a gateway food to dependency on its larger brethren:  the Hot Dog, the Brat and Andouille sausage.

Alcohol: The health dangers of exposure to alcohol come in many forms, ranging from what are largely the stealth efforts of rum balls and the aforementioned Egg Nog to the traditional holiday cocktails (like rum punch), and ending with the indulgence in every form of fermented and distilled beverages known to mankind. Let me state for the record that at DJBSS, we approve heartily in such indulgences.  Not only do recent studies continue to show the positive health effects of moderate consumption of such beverages, but with the year all but at its end, it’s probably long past time that as survivors, we celebrated its successful conclusion. 

Overindulgence carries significant long-term health risks however, usually from one’s spouse. The immature, impolite, and downright stupid behavior committed while under the influence of ‘that demon rum’ will no more likely be forgiven in the spirit of the holiday than they would otherwise. The damage can be significant and reputation rehabilitation process can be a long and painful one.

It should also be noted under this section, that driving while intoxicated can be additionally be damaging and expensive. Not only do you risk spending some or all of your holiday in jail and thereby ruining the occasion for the whole family; but the economic and employment repercussions can be devastating for subsequent year’s holiday celebrations.

While Santa is the spirit of the holiday season in many households, there's no reason to attempt to equal his girth as well as his good cheer.  So by all means enjoy your holidays and all the tasty treats of the season; but if for no other reason than the concerns of the DJBSS, please do so in moderation.

No comments: