Saturday August 23, 2014

King Solomon was right about eating too much


I’ve fallen into some shoddy habits. My waistbands sit tight, and my resolve falls loose. Our scale and mirrors speak truth: I’m getting fat. Again.

King Solomon was right: “Better to stick a knife in one’s throat than to let appetite get the best of you,” he warned in Proverbs, adding that the food of kings (rich food) is deceptive.

Have you noticed that dogs don’t worry about what they eat? At Christmas, since our son couldn’t come home, we sent him a parcel that included some home baking. I tucked in a few packages of individually wrapped candy in cello bags.

“I didn’t try the candies,” he told us. “Phi found them first. He ate everything. Candies, wrapping and cello bag.” The two-year old golden retriever had no unhappy effects from either end, our son said. A few months earlier, Phi had wolfed down a half-pound of butter — still in its wrapper. No problem then, either.

A friend’s dog, a three-year-old daschund, has a similar constitution.  

Unnoticed in the excitement of last Boxing Day, Dexter snatched someone’s milk-chocolate Toblerone bar. By the time they discovered it, the short-legged wonder had eaten bar, foil and box, leaving only telltale remnants.

Knowing that chocolate is poison for dogs, his panicked owners made a rush visit to the vet. “Good thing it was milk chocolate, but that’s a lot of fat and sugar,” the vet told them. He administered charcoal to encourage the dog to return the Toblerone, but Dexter knows a good thing — give up my Toblerone? For why? (I identify.) Several hours and several hundred bucks later, the Toblerone stayed put.

Back home, Dexter spent the evening charming a houseful of dinner guests. He remained happy through the rest of the holiday season — with one odd consequence. “He had sparkles in his poop,” my friend said, adding an entirely new twist to holiday decorating.

Humans, however, prove the truth of Solomon’s warning — some sooner than later. Feeling overstuffed and queasy one evening after a season of too much holiday food, a good friend opened her fridge and reached for the bottle of pink medicine she uses to settle a rolling tummy. Unscrewing the lid, she chugged down a few gulps. Only after she swallowed, did she realize it “didn’t taste all Pepto Bismolly.”

Picking up the bottle, she read the label. Panicked. Stuck her fingers down her throat. Swallowed charcoal. When the pink medicine didn’t return, she grabbed her phone and called Poison Control. “Uh, MY SON just swallowed a bunch of Calamine lotion,” she managed, feeling both mortified and terrified. “He thought it was Pepto Bismol. What’s going to happen?”

The Poison Control nurse predicted a long life.

Dogs may dodge their bad habits for a time. So may we humans. But we have something over the dogs — the option of listening to wisdom. Of making choices that honour the bodies God provided.

I’m working on it. I’m not alone. But it’s a long road back without Toblerone.



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