Lately, I have been suffering through a nasty anomaly known in layman's terms as ''healthy eating.'' I think it's going to kill me.
Here's the wonderful part: Science says I may be right about that.
That's exactly the kind of medical news that I can endorse - and celebrate with a large pizza with everything piled on it.
True, this makes it official that EVERYTHING is bad for our health, including good health itself. But it might get me out of having to endure any more uncooked, unseasoned, inedible carrots.
Time Magazine this month took a look at something called orthorexia.
Orthorexia is the smashing together of the Greek words ''orthos'' - correct - and ''orexis'' - appetite. It means ''an obsession with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.''
I never have been so diagnosed, nor do I run much risk. But I have had suspicions about some people with whom I've dined. I did not let them order lunch for me.
One of the case studies for orthorexia was that of a young lady whose road to disastrously healthy eating began in high school with the food pyramid.
When I was in high school, we still operated on a system called the four basic food groups - pizza, pop, chips and chocolate. In 1992, the United States Department of Agriculture replaced that with the food pyramid and added another food group. Bratwurst, I think. Or it might have been barbecue.
The food pyramid keeps changing. The last revision, in 2005, has six slabs of foodstuffs, and the next revision is due out sometime this year.
Obviously, you will get a lot of variety following the food pyramid but not a lot of stability.
This constant changing of absolutes is like everything science is involved in.
Back when I was a kid, we were taught that we were on the verge of the next ice age. The earth was getting colder, ice floes were advancing, and as a third-grader, I was terrified that my house would be buried beneath 18 feet of glacier when I grew up.
Now my grandson will be taught that we are on the verge of melting. The earth is getting warmer, ice floes are receding, and as a third-grader, he will be terrified that his house will be buried beneath 18 feet of lava when he grows up.
We, as humans, live to be terrified. If our destruction of choice changes course, we simply change the course for our destruction.
Anyway, the woman frightened of eating dumped all processed foods, fats, preservatives, animal products and anything that might have an ingredient of one sort or other. She primarily ate raw broccoli and cauliflower - without veggie dip. Her weight dropped to 68 pounds, and her body was shutting down.
In short, healthy eating was killing her.
I understand that I could stand to eat a few more salads and a few less cookies. But I think the above story serves as a warning - especially to my wife, who keeps packing raw carrots in my lunch every day even though I take them home untouched every day. Cookies ARE essential. And raw carrots aren't as all-fired-up important as some people think.
The Bible advises us to practice moderation in all things, and I am willing to be moderate with health food.
Otherwise, healthy eating will kill me.
----- Cole just placed fourth in the international Humor Press writing competition. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org