FLORIDAYS #3: It takes Special Qualities to Drive a Clown Car

FLORIDAYS #3: Diet Plan and Retro-Fitness Blues

Here’s the rub.

Each and every one of us spent hours and hours working out before our journey to the sunny south. My daughter, the Smurf, drove out to Grumpy Villa through snow, rain, and ice to get her one hour workout on the old guy’s treadmill.

She’d say, “Dad, I just had baby and I’ve got to get back in shape so I look good at the pool!”

Even treadmills are hazardous to Grumpy.

Even treadmills are hazardous to Grumpy.

Her father would respond, “Ya, that’s a good idea. Because I can’t pass the fridge without opening the door and I wanna look better at the pool, too.” When you’re 63 years of age the looking “GOOD” part – just doesn’t apply any more.

I believe the Good Wife purchased the aforementioned equipment in order to keep old Grumps looking svelte and semi-fit given his propensity for mishaps and mayhem. You may recall Grumpy’s experience with errant baseballs, wooden steps and ice patches. Walking indoors in one spot has a definite safety advantage.

Sometimes Grumpy feels like a hamster on a wheel when he’s on that darned treadmill. It’s really like teaching without all of the stress. He definitely gets nowhere fast!

But, the results are tangible. Like a slow moving glacier Grumpy’s rollover has receded and his double chin is no longer double. The shorts that wouldn’t button or zip now slide up his torso with ease.

A couple of weeks of diet added to the plan and, before you know it, Grumpy is actually ready to take off his shirt in Florida and expose his taters.

While he was in the Sunshine State, Grumpy resorted to the consumption of a calorie reduced variety of his preferred beverage – beer. That Lite variety of American beer is great for diets you see.

AAAlitebeerMy old Uncle Les, he of Detroit Michigan, swore by this. You see he had a nephew who was a brew master at Molson’s in Montreal.

Uncle Les once asked him, “So, how do you make Lite beer?”

In typical Canadian fashion his nephew replied, “We just add more water, eh!”

So really, drinking America Lite for Grumpy is like drinking beer flavoured mineral water which is like a win-win for Old Grumps! You see beer is chocked full of magnesium, selenium, potassium, and great tasting phosphorus.

The overriding problem is that on this marathon drive to Florida (21 plus hours in the car) it’s all about eat and run, snack and gorge and the application of the worst eating habits ever detailed in the annals of nutrition science.

The four food groups regress into what’s crispy, chewy, crunchy and jerky – beef that is. With these empty calories we are filling our faces to gut filling glory. And, be damned if Grumpy could figure out a way to hook up the treadmill to the Clown Car.

The bottom line is that those pounds you shed quickly rejuvenate making the glass that was once half empty, full to overflowing. I’m talking pant filling, belt loosening, gut-extending semi-obesity.

Here’s everything Grumpy ate on the drive home (over two days).

One toasted coconut donut (Dunkin Donuts) and a Coffee

Several handfuls of stackable chips

About one package of Halls Throat CandiesAAAFoodroup

A dozen Lifesaver Mints

One six inch spicy Italian Subway Sandwich

Three handfuls of lightly salted almonds

Half a package of peppered beef jerky

Handfuls of Nibs

One whopper with Cheese, Onion Rings as a side

An apple

Two large mineral waters

And, a partridge in a pear tree

That’s enough calories to sustain one of Grumpy’s Grade Five classrooms for an entire day. When you step out of the car when you arrive home you feel so bloated that you fear you might just explode.SCALE

But, the good news is that Grumpy must have lost a ton of weight in Florida. He walks everywhere there and he also tries to eat small and nutritious meals. His pants were slipping off his hips and he actually had to tighten – yes tighten – his belt.

When he stepped on the scales at home he discovered that he had neither lost nor had he gained any weight.


You see, like any teacher he is familiar with and beholden to the virtues of the status quo (Read Grumpy’s Blogs on Teacher Federation Strategies).

Doing the math it went something like this:

5 pound pre trip weight loss + 5 pound Florida induced weight loss = 10 pound trip home weight gain, or something to that effect.

So, what does all of this diet and fitness mean in the big picture of things? How does this relate to road trip travel plans? What did Grumpy learn from his experience?Clowncar

He learned that every good Clown Car needs a short stumpy old grey haired clumsy guy to do the driving. And, after this little holiday, and after looking at the weight scale, Grumpy surely fits that bill.



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