The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Columnists

December 25, 2010

TOM LAVIS | Festive season consumed by weighty matters

— One day after Christmas and I’m already staring at a big fat New Year’s resolution.

From Thanksgiving feasts to the multiple Christmas meals, I have come to the realization that I am infected with sweet tooth disease.

Turning down holiday foods is tough.

It is a bittersweet aspect of the holiday season, or should I say butter sweet?

Festive foods are all around, and often it’s hard to say no.

In about six days, 99.9 percent of us are going to vow that healthy eating and getting in shape will be our top priorities.

Perhaps within a week of making those resolutions, 99.8 percent of us will have dropped by the wayside.

So after the first of the year, I’m planning to make an appointment to see if my dentist can locate and extract my sweet tooth.

If he won’t pull it, perhaps he can numb it enough to prevent the consumption of most things sugary, honeyed or candied from my diet.

I think he sprinkles powdered sugar on each tooth to locate the offending fang.

For those who know me, I have never been one to shy away from topping off a meal with a little dessert.

But this holidays season has hit me particularly hard.

It seems the cookie trays were more plentiful, pies of every kind were offered and my real downfall of nutrolls were exceptionally delicious.

About the only thing not among my holiday dishes was a chocolate covered blonde.

What scares me is that we still have another week of partying and visiting ahead of us before I have to propose this resolution.

I’m far from the only person afflicted with this shortcoming.

In my circle of friends, the worst picker may be Crutch Crupnik.

It’s not uncommon for us to attend some of the same parties during the season.

I noticed he has a routine of sneaking goodies into his mouth when he thinks no one is looking.

His favorite ploy is walking up to the buffet table and grabbing two

12-inch plates.

As he walks down the line, he stacks his top plate with celery and carrot sticks, chunks of cauliflower, some broccoli and two or three sweet gherkin pickles. He takes a teaspoon of vegetable dip and dabbles it onto the corner of the plate.

He then fills the bottom plate with cakes, cookies and pastries.

Placing the vegetable plate on top of the dessert plate, he makes his way to a quiet corner to eat.

If a friend or a hostess approaches him, he fiddles with the vegetable plate and says something like “broccoli can provide some special cholesterol-lowering benefits.”

On Thanksgiving weekend, I called him on this practice.

“Why two plates?” I asked. “You can always go back for more.”

He didn't answer my question, but posed one of his own.

“Wasn’t that your empty dessert plate stuffed into the upstairs bathroom garbage can?” he asked. “You didn’t want your wife seeing those two pieces of chocolate cheesecake you slipped under your napkin, did you?”

Crutch and I settled the standoff by agreeing that in the coming week we would keep holiday feasting in check without incessant calorie counting.

“That’s after I eat these two pieces of pumpkin roll and a raisin-filled cookie,” he said.

My only advice to Crutch was to wipe the cream cheese off the sofa before he got up.

“It was on the bottom of your vegetable plate when you placed it down,” I said. “And don’t worry about those baby carrots that rolled off your plate and behind the cushion, they won’t find them til spring.”

To eat or not to eat, that is the question.

We toasted our resolve with two cups of ice cream punch.

Crutch suggested that instead of vowing to get more exercise, we should think about eating more brain food.

Wouldn’t that be sweet?

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Columnists
  • Local Columnists

    Robin L. Quillon
    Chip Minemyer
    Tom Lavis
    Mike Mastovich
    Cory Isenberg
    Zachary Hubbard
    Michele Bender
    Bill Eggert

     

    July 6, 2010

  • Michele Bender MICHELE M. BENDER | Time to can clutter

    I’m “downsizing.” Sixteen years ago, this house was perfect for me. I gave parties. Friends came and stayed for weekends. Great insulation protected visitors from highway noise.
    Yep, I had the time of my life.
    But I’m 16 years older, and my friends are, too.  They no longer travel like they did. Parties wear us out by 10 p.m.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siehl, Jim color JIM SIEHL | Richland student excels in class, on field

    Ben Verhovsek is a humble, soft-spoken young man who by his nature resists all forms of public adulation.

    June 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Music, comedy on tap for pre-Thunder bash

    With Thunder in the Valley right around the corner, organizers are hoping to make this year’s event the best yet and are holding a launch party to get people in the mood for the motorcycle rally.

    May 10, 2014

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Curtis, Shawn SHAWN CURTIS | Pirates win has familiar feel

    As much as all the fuzzy feelings of the 2013 season came to an end when Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano fired a first-pitch strike to Emilio Bonifacio at 1:14 p.m. on Monday afternoon at PNC Park, the 1-0 win took the shape that many Pittsburgh wins did a season ago.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eric Knopsnyder ERIC KNOPSNYDER | A fresh take on funnies

    Did you notice some funny business in our comics pages recently?
    Many of you did and contacted the newsroom to ask why “Doonesbury” and “For Better or For Worse” were no longer appearing in our publication.
    There’s a simple explanation: They are no longer being produced.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Basketball officials never win

    Today’s column bounces from local politics to basketball after two previous articles concentrated on Jesse Topper’s successful launch into a new career as a state representative.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Michele Mikesic Bender | Playing the name game

    So, did you decide on the ‘popcorn dress’  for the church dinner?” asked Judi, my Communion Lady.
    “No, I think the ‘hydrangea dress’ might be better,’’ I answered.
    “You name your clothes?” Denise’s jaw dropped.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Bill Eggert | A heartfelt message of thanks

    February is the month the medical community sets aside for matters related to heart health. That makes sense, given that Valentine’s Day is right in the middle of the month. So it was ironic that I found myself dealing with the matter of the heart in a serious way this month.
    This column is a valentine to the staff of the Conemaugh Health System.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads