“Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, workout regularly … die anyway”

— Mario Veneroso, fitness guru and drinking buddy

The nirvana of physical fitness culture co-exists within the “Twilight Zone” of the binge-and-purge dystopian nightmare of Dunkin’ Donuts to the late night chili-cheese fries runs to Tommy’s Joint on Pico. Many folks, however, apoplectically approach their bathroom scale in a fashion more reminiscent of a death row inmate walking the gastronomic “Green Mile” after their last meal.

I was working out at Finn McCool’s the other day doing “rep-curls” with a frothy 16 oz. Guinness in my left hand when an exercise infomercial hit the Sony Jumbo-tron. It extolled the relative virtues of the latest fitness torture device that “absolutely guaranteed” upon its purchase, it would transform one’s gelatinous jiggles into a paragon of Matthew McConnaghey’s bongo-boy, hard-bodied frame. The complimentary bongo drums were yours to keep, however, if you weren’t fully satisfied with your purchase.

I switched my Guinness to the other hand as I like to balance my “workouts” and reminisced about other past exercise cycle/treadmill/gizmos that have polluted the airwaves with celebrity endorsements yet have invariably serviced more as an expensive excuse from which to hang one’s dry cleaning.

Anybody remember the “Thigh Master?” I only bought one because I thought that Suzanne Somers was included with the darn thing. Imagine my chagrin when I realized it didn’t even come with a blow-up model in the box.

Caveat emptor!

Wesley “Blade” Snipes and Chuck “Walker” Norris hooked me into buying that damnable “Gym-Pak” contraption. I was strangling myself with the cables about five minutes after I got it out of the crate. I bought a RONCO “Pocket Fisherman.” The doctors said I’d be fine as soon as they unhooked me.

Nutrition is another peg on the three-legged-stool of alleged good health. One is considered beneath contempt if all foodstuffs consumed in the exclusive temple of your Apollonian meat-suit lack the label of “organic.” Recently, the PETA people issued a manifesto that Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream should be made from human milk. Sorry, but that’s a little too “organic” for my taste. It should be interesting, however, to see what the dairy farm looks like. Vegetarian Pamela Anderson has volunteered for the project. I wonder if it will be on pay-per-view.

I have yet to meet a vegetarian, though, that did not look like he/she could use a good steak. It is my understanding, however, that the etymological roots of the word “vegetarian” means “crappy hunter.”

Insofar as getting adequate sleep; I’ll get plenty of “sleep” when I’m dead.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been labeled as a “jock” ever since I began wearing one when I played Little League. I still go down to the “Cage” on Venice Beach and pound the iron three or four times a week, run through some old martial arts routines and get plenty of walking in the sun working my day job. I weigh in at a burly 205 pounds yet have been mistaken for a 35-year-old even though I’m over 50.

I’ll eat anything [some of my ancestors were survivors of the Donner Party] whether it grows in the ground or runs on top of it. I’ll try anything once and sometimes twice in case I was wrong the first time. I’m an inveterate connoisseur of the “perfect chili-cheese dog” yet I am a very fussy hussy when it comes to Japanese Kansai cuisine. I have roasted my own wood grubs [found under rotted logs] yet I can prepare spectacular Wild Turkey bourbon French toast with fresh raspberry/jalapeno chutney.

All food is good. Go ask the Romans.

I smoke and I drink (insert screams of politically correct horror here). I drink, but as I’m half Irish, I only drink half of the time. I smoke. You drive a car. My carbon footprint is insignificant compared to yours.

My 145 lb. Filipino grandfather dangled a Camel non-filter from his chops, non-stop, while wrestling 50-gallon drums of slop from the back of his ‘34 Ford pick-up truck to feed his beloved pigs on his farm until he passed at 84. I could bench press the old geezer but I could never beat him in arm wrestling.

He was skinny, but he was tough.

Personally, I believe that a certain joie de vivre, a lively “gallows humor,” to the pitfalls and pratfalls toward our concerns is the most important dynamic in the epistemology of human longevity regardless of the horror show that the media may foist upon your unsuspecting midsection.

Folks, it’s not as bad as you have been led to believe. Be a predator, not a sheep. You’ll get thinner in the process.

Steve Breen is a conservative, meat eating carnivore and still “the best looking mailman at the U.S. Post Office.” He can be reached at dulcamarax@yahoo.com