This Space Left Intentionally Fat-Pun Free

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Amptoons has a lenghty response to Cathy Young's column from last week on the dueling studies showing a little extra pudge is (or isn't) hazardous to your health. I just keep waiting for a study that finally proves chain smoking, Sapphire & tonics, and a sedentary lifestyle are the keys to fitness and longevity. Is that so much to ask?

NEXT: Doing Hard Time

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  1. There is quite a bit of evidence to show that smoking can prevent degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. As to those who say that quitting smoking can add ten years to your life, you should point out that the ten years are added to the wrong end.

  2. That’s it. “Jennifer,” if that’s really your name, is an obvious tool for Big Tobacco. She’s using fake studies to lure your children into smoking.

    Everyone knows tobacco is evil with no positive impacts whatsoever.

    She must be banned. Banned. BANNNED!

  3. Bill Hicks and Dennis Leary made the point that Jim Fixx, famous athlete who ran 60 miles a week, died at the age of 52. Meanwhile, Keith Ritchards is shooting heroin into his eyeballs, and is currently 62 going on 100. “If there was a nuclear war, there would only be two things left: cockroaches, and Keith Ritchards.”

    Genetics. The Grim Reaper has your number at conception, people.

    Enjoy life.

  4. My boyfriend’s great-uncle, a lifelong smoker, died at the age of 98, and the great-aunt insists that cigarettes are what did him in.

  5. And the sad thing, Jennifer, is that if he died of any kind of pulmonary or cardiovascular event, he will go into the books as a victim of smoking.

  6. Jennifer-Where can I find these studies? It’s not that I doubt you, I’m just curious.
    I smoke, and plan to quit next week. I’ve been planning to quit ‘next week’ for several years now. I also eat healthy, and exercise about an hour a day. Not because I want to live forever?I certainly do not? but becuase I feel better that way. In the end, you can smoke, drink, get high, and die. Or, you can eat healthy, live an ascetic life dominated by good habits and exercise, and die.

  7. Number 6-
    “Smoking can help Parkinson’s” is, for me, like “Columbus sailed in 1492;” I know it, but I can’t remember where I learned it. There IS a column on that subject in the Straight Dope archive; go to the search page of straightdope.com and type in the words ‘smoking’ and ‘benefits.’ I’d give you the link myself but my computer seems reluctant to open that page.

    For what it’s worth, I re-quit smoking and went on the patch eight days ago, because I started a new job and didn’t want to be the only person going out for smoke breaks. However, I’ve already made a scintillating impression on my new boss, so I figure I can resume smoking in a couple of months.

    On average, I’ve been a non-smoker three months per year for the past five years; between these non-smoking breaks, the fact that I smoke less than a pack a day of “light” cigarettes and the fact that I smoke through a jeweled cigarette holder, which I periodically clean out and tell myself “Eeew, look at all this gross, sticky junk that ISN’T going into my lungs!” I figure I WON’T be included in the statistic “One out of three smokers dies from smoking.”

  8. Jennifer-I’ll check that out. Thanks. As for smoking in the workplace: I’ve found that at most jobs, the most interesting people can be found in the smoking area. Not necessarily the most productive, but certainly the most fun.
    The jeweled holder sounds kind of cool, provided it isn’t embossed with a gold Dollar sign.

  9. Ha! No, I’m not modeling myself after Dagny Taggart.

  10. And actually, even though I smoke I AM amazingly productive. For all the assignments I had to write last week, my boss kept saying “Jennifer, you don’t have to rush!” until I finally told him “I’m NOT rushing; I can read a standard novel in three hours or a Stephen King in six; I’ve just always been unusually fast when it comes to dealing with words. That’s why I only need fifteen minutes to do an assignment that you thought would take an hour.”

    So I figure, fifteen minutes to write the ad copy, ten minutes to smoke, and I’m still thirty-five minutes ahead of the game.

  11. I’ve read some comments in this blog regarding some device that does a good job filtering out smoke (not bong). I wish to know more! Is it that implement that Stacy Keach uses in “Nice Dreams”?

  12. Jennifer- I’m the same way with writing, although I can’t claim your remarkable reading speed. I read fast, but you’re well into the realm of speed reading.
    Of course, I use my extra time to hang around here, rather than being productive. If the boss knew how quickly I actually write stories, I might be expected to do more work.

  13. Not that I think anti-smoking bashing isn’t worth doing anymore, but anti-fat bashing is long overdue. Please let’s get on board.

    Amp’s retort is excellent and a devastating critique of Ms. Young. Cathy sometimes scores, and I know she has her fans, but her misses are unforgivable. I call again, for her to be replaced. Perhaps Reason could find someone of a “free minds, free markets” bent to champion the cause of anti-obesity-hysteria. The scary things the government is getting ready to do, are indeed frightening, and surly something those of us around here can unite in opposition to. However, we also need more people to speak out against the heretofore unchallenged “fat nation” meme.

  14. Number 6-
    Not speed-reading at all. Honestly, I can’t understand why any literate, intelligent person can’t read as fast as I can. As I said to my boyfriend (an intelligent man but a very slow reader, and it drives him crazy to watch me read five books in a weekend), “When I talk to you, you can process and understand what I say with no difficulty. Why can’t you process words you read at the same speed you process words you hear?”

    By the way, the reason I mentioned my work-speed here is not to brag, but to forestall any complaints of “You damn smokers taking your smoke-breaks mean that much more work for your non-smoking colleagues!” To which I respond, “If you work so damned slowly that twenty minutes more or less means you won’t make your deadlines, maybe you need to quit and find a job more suited to your intellectual pace.”

  15. The anti-fat and anti-smoking docrines are based upon the same assumption: that you have a moral obligation to be as healthy as possible, to the exclusion of all else.

    I remember back in ’90 or ’91 I knew this guy with a Jerk physique–the type of muscles a man can only get if he works out about a thousand hours a day. He was talking about how you only needed to work out for forty-five minutes a day to have a good body, and said “What kind of person is too lazy to exercise for forty-five minutes a day?” in the same tone of voice I’d use to say “What kind of person would rape a little kid?” I suggested that maybe people wanted to spend those forty-five minutes reading a book, or talking to friends, or running errands, and he basically said that this lack of narcissism was a serious moral failure. I had no idea that his solipsistic attitude would one day become the norm in America.

  16. Jennifer- That attitude is far from the norm, at least where I live. (A rotund couple strolling by the window just reenforced that view). Almost every time I go to the grocery store, I end up behind at least one fat person with a cart full of junk food. Of course, they own their bodies and can do to them what they please, but physical vanity does not seem to be among their failings.
    The ‘gym body’ is not really a sign of good health. Body-builder types force their bodies into an unnatural shape that could not be obtained without hours in the gym and supplements. True fitness is, to steal an idea from Travis McGee, consistent with what the human body is designed to do-carry moderate loads, throw things, run medium distances, sprint short distances, and walk long ones.

    On the reading speed thing?I’m the fastest reader I know, and I’m sure that I read faster than people speak, but burning through five books in a weekend is still impressive.

  17. Well, Number 6, those five books weren’t exactly Camus. This weekend’s take was P.J. O’Rourke’s “CEO of the Sofa” (very disappointing for this O’Rourke fan), two cheesy Star Trek Next Generation novels I found in the 25-cent bin of a thrift store, Isaac Asimov’s “A Choice of Catastrophes” and a Judge Dee mystery novel.

    Concerning your fat neighbors: yes, fat folks are the majority in America, but the Official American Attitude is that fat is bad, smoking is bad, any fun that doesn’t directly improve your health is bad.

  18. The problem with reading and writing as fast as I do is that you end up with a lot of “down time” where there’s nothing to do at work except post on Hit and Run. Anybody want to go start a conversation in another thread? Because I’m really, really bored.

  19. Sure, Jennifer. Name your thread.

  20. Well, I’ve made comments on the torture and Plan Afghanistan threads; I’ve also commented on some threads from previous days but they seem dead even though they haven’t vanished below the screen yet.

  21. The torture thread is the one with the title about fish in a barrel.

  22. I just keep waiting for a study that finally proves chain smoking, Sapphire & tonics, and a sedentary lifestyle are the keys to fitness and longevity. Is that so much to ask?

    There is a study, and I am a participant.

  23. True fitness is, to steal an idea from Travis McGee, consistent with what the human body is designed to do-carry moderate loads, throw things, run medium distances, sprint short distances, and walk long ones.

    Where does carpet humping fit into this list?

  24. When I talk to you, you can process and understand what I say with no difficulty. Why can’t you process words you read at the same speed you process words you hear?”

    I’m no speech therapist or reading tutor, but my guess is that it’s an eye-ear coordination issue. Hearing does not require visual information processing, whereas reading does. I offer this guess as a person who has actually become a slower reader with each passing year (I think I have mild adult dyslexia, actually).

  25. That, or it’s just brain rot from all the drugs I experimented with in my youth.

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