A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

02 January 2010

"Chocolate Milk"ing It For All It's Worth: Blogger Idol Round 1

Not since President Reagan declared ketchup a vegetable in 1981 have school lunches caused such an uproar.

But, it's happening again...only this time the culprit is something that can pack on the pounds...or so Ann Cooper (Boulder Valley, Colorado's school district nutritionist) claims.

If visions of "Super Size Me" are swirling around in your head about now you're probably not alone...but it's not greasy fries or double cheeseburgers at work here, it's milk. Chocolate milk - to be precise. And to hear it from Ms Cooper, it really contributes to the childhood obesity crisis.

But wait, just how much more will "little Johnny" weigh if he pushes back a pint of the chocolatey goodness on a daily basis? Are you sitting down for this? Do you have your congressman's number all dialed up and ready??

Ms Cooper's heart-stopping, earth-moving, staggering caloric figure count is the astronomical sum total of THREE pounds a year! Oh, the humanity! NOW I see why all those kids out there look like Ralphie's brother, Randy, in the snowsuit...only they're not wearing any snowsuits. It's all because of chocolate milk! So I guess you shouldn't buy any more Ovaltine for home consumption, either...decoder rings be damned.

Now before we start killing the fatted calf before it can be milked, let's put this in a little "practical" perspective here: My son was stuck in his lousy car booster seat until he managed to reach the magical weight of 40 lbs. He was also stuck at 36 pounds for, I swear, about three years. Oh, he got taller...but never weighed more. Had I known all I had to do was have him throw back a few chocolate milks at school...well, I would have insisted he drink TWO of those with his lunch. But, alas, he had to make due with the healthier "2% regular white" version...and that's why he stayed in that chair until his head nearly touched the inside roof. We ended up tossing the booster seat before he hit 40...we were afraid he'd be dating and STILL in that damn thing. All for the lack of drinking chocolate milk...what were we thinking? Where was Ms Cooper when I needed her??

And don't even get me started on kids not exercising, recess being banished from every single school system I've run across since my kids have been in school...and the fact that getting ANY calcium into ANY child's body USED to be a good thing.

Back in my day...and that's quite a long time ago (certainly pre-ketchup administration days), school lunches were made with only one thing in mind: Getting kids to eat them. Nobody cared how they got you to...and as long as the 350 pound, 7-foot tall lunch lady put one healthy food on that compartmentalized tray a day...no one complained; no one dared to. And we'd get healthy things alright...things like whole apples, green beans straight from those 55-gallon drum-sized dented cans, peach halves floating in juice so sweet you could feel your molars disintegrating...and the dreaded "stewed tomatoes" that only one kid in any cafeteria would eat (and he was probably the same kid who ate paste). No one ever ate any of these things; sure, we impaled the apples with our forks, spoon-plonked the beans at each other...and jiggled the tomatoes to and fro...but that was about it.

What we went after...were on the other squares of our trays...something guaranteed to get our kid "fix" as it were: spaghetti, beefaroni, tacos, pizza, and, if you were really lucky...an overflowing, messy Sloppy Joe. Things our mothers never made us at home as we were too busy eating "healthy" things.

The "salad"-like substance would usually make its debut on our trays in high school. And it was only doled out in a portion to fit the smallest square...and for good reason: 200 small squares take less time to empty out into the trash can when the bell rings. I don't think anyone ever tasted the salad...it was, in essence, the older kid's version of "stewed tomatoes".

While I can see it's very admirable for school systems to jump on the nutrition bandwagon...common sense dictates having to throw out much more than one lousy square's worth of food isn't doing the environment any good...and certainly isn't doing "little Johnny" any good, either.

You can bet those extra three pounds the kids are putting on...aren't coming from their lunches - I've sat in lunchrooms...I see what the kids eat...and I see what they toss. Someone in the school nutrition division is doing the math...but they aren't doing their homework. The pounds are being put on when the kids get home...famished from not eating those mandatory "healthy" things 98% of people would balk at; they ravenously consume anything and everything in the house before dinner. Then for a lot of these kids, dinner comes in buckets and in microwaveable containers. NOT from cows.

I drive past houses and playgrounds and more developments and even more houses...and not one kid is ever outside riding a bike, throwing a ball, running around the block or jumping rope...and even if they were getting some exercise, more than likely, they'd be inside using their Wii to get it. But even more likely than that...is that they're plopped in front of the television or computer with a bag of Doritos or a package of Oreos and a half liter of Pepsi or Mountain Dew.

Yet, innocent little Vitamin D milk gets slammed...just because of its colour...and that's not fair.

It's time kids nowadays learn a lesson from us old people. Let's bring back the swing sets with the one metal leg that was always enclosed in a chunk of cement that "ka-klumps" out of the ground and "flump-thuds" back into the ground with the back-dislocating jolt when you swung on it. And the monkey bars with absolutely no cushion of six-inch mulch beneath...if you fell off...there was always good strong Mercurochrome which served a dual purpose: it cleaned out your cuts AND worked like a skin Sharpie...you'll remember what boneheaded thing you did for a long time afterwards with that tell-tale orange mark. And last, but not least...the rusted-out geo-shaped dome which most kids managed to get on...but not all could figure out how to get back off again. They'd stay up there...frozen in their contorted "Twister"-like state, afraid to move their foot or hand lest they plummet head-first onto the very hard, very compacted dirt...where once grew thick, lovely grass that cows once probably grazed upon.

And now their ancestor cows stand accused of being indirectly responsible for fattening up kids...ironic really, as we fatten them up first.

But these archaic things called "playgrounds" that we once spent a good 30 minutes of our school days on...are the things which slim your kids down. There's nothing that will make you loose weight faster than good old-fashioned running away from kids who are threatening to beat you up (to take away your lunch money) and that "scared to death to move your arm or leg one centimeter" total body shaking and heavy perspiring you do when you're the one stuck up on the geo-dome. These things worked great for our school system back in Jersey when I grew up...and no one ever died from getting a wedgie on the playground (as far as I know) when they finally did get caught.

Obese kids in my class? I can only remember a couple "chubby" kids in the whole entire school...so you can bet if there had been chocolate milk in our lunches...we still would have maintained an "ideal" weight.

As a side note, I say "enough of the chocolate milk ban" clan...let's focus on people who can't get enough of it...or apparently can: Largest cup of cocoa unveiled

This is also my blog entry which is up against nine others at my friend, Chris', blog site...in his "blog off" competition. Click the link I just provided as voting is now taking place (but only until Wednesday); please take the time to read all the blogs in contention...and vote for the ONE (you can only vote for one) you enjoy the most. If it happens to be mine...I won't complain; if I end up last, you'll probably be forced to read about it in an upcoming blog of mine.

Thank you,



  1. I pack my daughter's lunches most everyday, but I give them milk money...instead of sending juice boxes. I didn't consider that they might be drinking chocolate milk. I should send bottled water, but then I would be the world's meanest mom. ;)

  2. if not for chocolate milk, i'm not quite sure what my son would drink. but since he's grossly underweight no matter how much chocolate milk, chicken nuggets and french fries he funnels down his throat, he still doesn't put on any weight. i'm so jealous! i look at a brownie and gain 5 pounds...

  3. For several years, all my son would eat for lunch at school was an apple, a granola bar and a thermos of water. I felt bad for awhile until I realized it was probably better than what most kids were eating.

    But, oh, the memories you brought back of school lunches. My favorite was thick, homemade noodles & chicken. Delicious! All the playing we did outdoors after school took care of any lingering carbohydrates & fat.

  4. You're very right with this, these kids need to get the heck outside and start playing. Then again there are all these friggin pedophiles out waiting!

  5. It's a shame that kids don't play outside more, but as Mr. Condescending says, that's not necessarily safe, either! I don't remember any fat kids in my school, either, now that you mention it!

  6. Our kids drink chocolate milk, but we never bought them an Xbox or anything like it. Instead, they're outside running, jumping, boarding and pedalling. And they're as fit as fiddles, whatever that means.

  7. Oh, don't forget to vote for which blog you like...the voting process is now officially opens...but ends on Wednesday.

    Yes, kids need to go outside more at school - and run around like little maniacs like we did. Back when I went to school the teachers all went outside to watch the kids at the same time. That's how you did things back in the OLD days.

  8. I just drank a big glass of chocolate milk after my run today. No wonder I'm not losing any weight!

    Don't you just love the ridiculousness of some people in the world?

  9. Beth...it's only supposed to add three whopping pounds a year...I wouldn't worry about it TOO much.

    But...I can see your point - I'd blame the milk, too! ;)

  10. I bought a gallon of chocolate milk.

    I wish I could give you credit for the motive.

    I will give you credit for the 30 pounds this will add to my frame.

  11. Thanks MamaZen!

    THIRTY pounds? No no - it's only three pounds a year if you drink it by the pint. Ya gotta learn to slow down. Buy a Wii or something. ;)

  12. Chocolate Milk is an excellent exercise recovery drink. I remember chocolate milk day at school, it was usually Friday, and on the same day as pizza cheeseburters. The we got a half hour of recess. Good childhood days.


  13. So now chocolate milk is taking a hit? I, being a kid who was lactose uneasy, was FORCED to take whole milk-- just like those tinned green beans you'd mentioned. They didn't care if I threw up after drinking it-- osmotic absorption of calcium in the 70s only needed to be in your body for, like, three seconds apparently for it to count toward nutrition. :)

    Ah, how things have changed.

  14. Looks like you're making a run in the voting! Great job. And look at all the comments!

    Aren't you becoming Miss Popular?

  15. Well, banning chocolate milk in school seemed like taking away one of our basic rights as a human being. How much darn harm was it really causing? I like how these nutritionists have to find fault with something - because without doing so, they'd probably lose their jobs. I don't even think our school HAD one - it was just the head lunch lady who called the shots. These days they probably spend millions in one state alone to fund studies and programs - and the kids toss all that "healthy" food away anyway.

    And thank you for allowing me to participate in your "Blog-Off" and get a little "popular"...maybe I can give my two friends I always force to read my blog - some well deserved time off. ;) Nah... :)

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