Long ago and far away, before Facebook, before blogs, before email…there was the office newsletter.
Recently, we ran across some issues of the one we published back in the 1980s, which we called Bite-Sized Pieces. Re-reading these after so long, we thought it might be fun to occasionally bring back some of Dr. Glaros’ articles – such as the one reproduced below.
Though his daughters are both grown women now, and the azaleas have long since recovered from his unintentional clipping, the message of this short piece seems to resonate more than ever.
I Make Little Girls Cry
By Bill “Bad Guy” Glaros
It’s Saturday, and my two daughters have finished their lunch and are enjoying their pudding dessert in our back yard. I am trimming azaleas.
Then we all hear it: Ring-ding! Ring-ding! The popsicle man appears from nowhere, causing children, young and old, to salivate like Pavlovian puppies. With empty cups in hand and pudding still on their faces: “Daddy, give us money! Hurry!”
I search my gym shorts for pockets and cash. But my mind flashes back to the articles I’ve been reading – articles reconfirming the cause and effect relationship of refined carbohydrates and tooth decay – and then to the little white teeth I see daily with the big black holes. I answer boldly, “NO, not today.”
Ring-ding! Ring-ding! comes the reply. This is serious business. No time for games now. Visions of frozen Preservabars dipped in artificial chocolate dance in four excited eyes. “Hurry, Dad! We’ll miss him!”
More flashbacks. A University of Alabama study shows that sugar intake results in calcium depletion. For the sake of healthy bones and teeth: “I’m sorry, girls. Not today.”
“That should take care of that,” I lie to myself, as I clip two years’ growth from the next azalea.
Ring-ding! Ring-ding! comes the reply, and “never say die” flashes across two faces. “Mommy, Daddy won’t give us money for the popsicle man!”
“Don’t tell on me!” is my gut response. Any father who really loves his children would have already given in. Christmas candy was two months ago, Valentine hearts were one month ago, Aunt Matilda with a mother lode of “goodies” isn’t coming until next week, and Easter chocolate bunnies won’t appear for another month.
More flashbacks. The National Diabetes Data Group reports that in one generation, from 1935 to 1978, the incidence of diabetes rose 600%.
What if Joanne tells on me? That thought brings me back to the present. What if she wants one, too? What if she mentions the piña coladas? The chocolate mousse? I’ll be done for.
More flashbacks. A 1975 report of the National Diabetes Commission listed diabetes as the third leading cause of death in this country. One half of the people who die from heart attacks and three-quarters of those who die from strokes develop their circulatory diseases as a result of high blood sugar levels.
An awesome thought comes to mind: Ol’ Dad may be right this time, just this once. One less sugar experience may be the best thing I can do for my girls today. Their health is in their parents’ hands. What level of health do I choose for them? What level of health do I choose for myself?
Knowing what’s best and standing up for it will work for me today. I am at peace.
Oh, yeah, about the girls. Mom got them interested in some gymnastics special on the television. They didn’t show up again until I had picked up the last of my clippings.
(“Flashback” data provided by The Mittleman Letter.)