About a year ago I saw a man die. No, it wasn’t the tragedy of war or the randomness of crime or the drawn out sadness of disease. He was playing tennis and I happened to be watching him as he approached the base line to serve. He simply went down and was dead.
Here he was about my age, height, hair color, and yes, about my size – needing to lose probably 30 pounds. Maybe more.
Despite heroic efforts to revive him he never had a chance. I knew it. We all knew it.
In the days and weeks following, I had the sense it was a warning shot to the rest of us middle aged, chunksters to lose that spare tire.
I thought about a diet. I thought about cutting out that extra cocktail. I thought about eating more rabbit food and fewer fries. South Beach? Richard Simmons? Biggest Loser? So many choices.
But I really didn’t do anything. The warning shot missed me.
Use butter. Don’t use butter. Eggs are bad. Eggs are good. Red meat is bad but red wine is good. Red die #3 will kill you. How do you separate out the really dangerous from the product that carries a warning label simply because the lawyers said it needed it?
Your mileage may vary. Do not remove this tag. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Call your doctor if you have an erection lasting over 4 hours. Give me a break.
I believe that the warning shot that my tennis buddy was responsible for, missed the target because I am no longer listening to these lawyer inspired, omni-present, media enhanced warnings, disclaimers, legal notices, and 6 point type precautions. They’re everywhere. I don’t hear them.
I don’t eat dessert like I used to. I do play tennis at least twice a week. I take my vitamins. I have a physical every year and get a flu shot. I’m trying to be smarter. But it’s probably not good enough.
I only hope when another, stronger warning shot comes my way that it doesn’t kill me too.