Under The Knife

I remember the day I quit exercising.

I was thirty years old, in really good shape, and while visiting my mother I went for my regular morning jog.  At the time, she lived in Umhlanga Rocks, a little seaside resort town just north of Durban, and to say that the Indian Ocean coast has a tropical climate is to understate the thing.  It’s not only hot, it’s humid — so humid that I, a Joburg boy, actually had trouble breathing the thick, moist air (Johannesburg is 6,000ft above sea level).

But I had to stay in shape, and I liked the way I looked, so off I went.  I kept the jog short, maybe two or three miles up the coast road, and then I turned around and went back, taking a little detour along the concrete boardwalk that runs past the luxury hotels and separates them from the beach.

By now, I was deeply uncomfortable and miserable:  the sweat was pouring off me, I was tired and more than a little sunburned because while I usually jogged without a shirt up in Johannesburg, it was not an issue there — but down here, in the blazing tropical sun, my fair skin was going extra-crispy, and fast.

I was coming up to the last leg of the trip, where I could make the turn and head back to my mother’s house.  At that point, one of the hotels had a patio cafe right on the boardwalk, and sitting at a table under a large Cinzano umbrella were two rather pretty younger women.  As I ran past, one whistled and called out in Afrikaans, “Nice bod!”

I waved over my back at her, ran about a dozen more yards, and stopped dead in my tracks, chest heaving and my breath wheezing like a beached whale as the epiphany struck me.  I was doing all this — the tiredness, the sweatiness, the sunburn, the aching muscles — just so a stranger could compliment me on my “mooi lyfie” ?

I walked back to my Mom’s house, and never jogged again.

All this came back to me when I read the story of how Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter Kelly has had gastric sleeve surgery and thus lost over 80lbs.

Now I’m not going to go into some stupid amateur psycho-analysis as to why she would want to do this.  She was always a plump little thing, and clearly she didn’t like the way she looked (hence all the tattoos she had inflicted on herself, tattoos which she is now having removed — draw your own conclusions).  And she looks quite fetching now (see the link above)… but that just leads me to my earlier conclusion:  why would she undergo so radical a surgery, just so a stranger like me could think she was “quite fetching”?

I know several women who have had gastric sleeve surgery, and every single one has told me that had they known what the consequences were going to be (other than the massive weight loss), they would never have done it.  You see, the weight loss may be all very well, but what the gastric sleeve does is make eating food a profoundly uncomfortable experience:  nausea, pain, discomfort and a general malaise all follow if you eat so much as a single forkful of food too many, and after a while you begin to hate the sight of food.  Any food.

And what happens next is that some of the joy goes out of your life.  Eating is such a wonderful and enjoyable experience, really:  nothing quite compares to the feeling of satisfaction, of well-being and happiness that a good meal gives you.  It’s one of life’s simple, and paradoxically one of life’s greatest pleasures.  And with gastric sleeve surgery (which is irreversible), it’s gone forever.

So while everyone — and every one a stranger — is complimenting Kelly Osbourne on how great she looks, know too that her previous unhappiness at being overweight has been replaced with a much greater one.

And frankly, I never thought she was that fat to begin with.

Let Them Eat Cake

Via email, Alert Reader Mike L sends me this news:

Subway bread isn’t legally bread, according to Ireland’s highest court.

Not having eaten anything from Subway in over twenty years, my memory may be a little cloudy on this topic;  but I do know that the reason for that has to do with the taste of their bread, which always prompted the question:  “What have I just put into my mouth?”  [as the actress said to the bishop]

It’s foul, and I know that when driving in strange areas of the country looking for something to eat, Subway is never an option.  Ghastly stuff.

Har Har Har

Responding to yesterday’s post about Glen Fohdry single malt, Reader Roy waxed rhapsodic about various single malt Scotches, ending with:

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I still like fine bourbon whiskey too.

…which reminded me of the old homo joke:  “Women are okay, but they’re not like the real thing.”

I feel the same way about bourbon.


Yesterday afternoon was spent in the company of the Son&Heir. involving  diverse activities such as cataloguing the serial numbers of my paltry gun collection (“Dad, this is so sad —  you have got to buy some more guns!” );  beer and poutines at the local pub;  and finally, a little Scotch-tasting back at home.  I’d bought this particular single malt at Total Wine a while back, intrigued by the label, but held back tasting it until suitable company showed up:  ergo, the S&H.  And what a joy it was:

Glen Fohdry has a good pedigree — for me, anyway, as I love Speyside Scotches — and this  “double maturation” thing intrigued me.

Great googly-moogly:  what an excellent Scotch.  I’m not going to go all Scotch-snob on y’all;  I’ll leave that to the S&H, who detected a “strong port finish” (unsurprising, given the casks) but never mind the taste (which is wonderful), just the smell of the stuff puts it in the Top 3 on the Kim List of Desirable New Scotches.

Run, do not walk to your nearest Total Wine store (I think it’s a “proprietary” or “tied” Scotch, i.e. exclusive to Total Wine), and grab a bottle or two for yourself.  I think it’s a product of the Speyburn distillery, but I’ll have to check.  Whatever, it’s brilliant stuff.

No need to thank me;  it’s all part of the service.

Glen Fohdry makes different cask finishes, apparently, such as this one (matured in American casks):

And there’s the usual array of vintages (12-, 21- and 29-year-olds), all of which I plan to try soon.

But it’s going to take a lot to wean me away from the “French cask” stuff, I promise you.


…for the pub owners involved in this little hoo-hah:

AN “obnoxious” group of drinkers were branded “entitled little toddlers” by a furious pub owner after they complained about staff online.

…and you must follow the link to enjoy the whole thing fully.

What amazes me is that the complainers aren’t a bunch of youngins, who as a group have been known to behave appallingly (I speak from experience);  instead, they were people in their 40s and 50s., celebrating someone’s 50th birthday.  Read the owner’s description of the night’s festivities, and marvel at the staff’s restraint.

Me, I would have tossed their uncouth and un-mannered asses out onto the street probably about half an hour in.

Back To Basics

SOTI I saw this as a cure for a hangover:

Okay, this looks like something an expensive hotel would serve, just to build the tab.  Here’s my revision:

Adding anything but ice or water to booze makes expensive booze taste like cheap booze, and the more extraneous shit you add, the worse.  Don’t ask me how I know this.

If you really want to have food wrapped around booze, pour a glass of anything into a bowl of cold minestrone.  It won’t make you any sicker than a Bloody Mary, and is much cheaper.  Don’t ask me how I know this, either.

And if you MUST have a Bloody Mary:  vodka + tomato juice, with maybe a little salt and pepper.