Finding Inspiration

I’ve decided that I want to live long enough to publish my best-selling memoir. However, taking into consideration that a) I haven’t finished writing it yet and b) I haven’t actually started writing it yet, I figure I need a longevity program of healthy eating and exercise.

But I’ve found it all a bit confusing.

Take the healthy alternative soymilk for instance. How do they get milk out of a soybean anyway? Do they use tiny automated milking machines or squeeze the little soybean udders by hand? And are California soybeans happy soybeans like California cows are happy cows?

And what about antioxidants? If everything I buy at the health food store has antioxidants, won’t I eventually run out of oxidants? Will I then have to take oxidant supplements? What the hell is an oxidant?

The latest sports equipment baffles me too.

“Do you sell extra legs for these?” I asked the sales guy at the mall sports store.

He looked at the pair of golf pants I was holding up, and in a professional manner he said: “Excuse me?”

“Well, see they have zip-off legs so you can make them into shorts when you get warm, but you know what happens if you lose one leg early in the year before it gets really warm?”

“No, what?”

I hiked up my pants and showed him a pair of legs that looked like they belonged to two different guys – one from an island nation in the Caribbean and one from a rain forest in Northern Washington.

“They sell suits with two pairs of pants. I think they should sell these things with an extra leg or two.”

“Why didn’t you just throw the other leg away and use them as shorts only?” he asked.

“I’m from New Hampshire. We don’t throw perfectly good stuff away.”

“Right. I’ll ah just go check on that extra leg for you,” he said, then disappeared.

I wandered over to the bicycle section. They had an entire wall of replacement bicycle seats. You know why? Because regular bicycle seats do not fit your butt – unless your butt resembles a skinny piece of pizza. And that thin piece of leather on top is about as soft as the horse it came from.

“Can I help you?” another sales guy asked.

“Do you really think people want to sit on pizza slices covered in horsehide?” I asked.

“Excuse me?”

“Just show me one butt in this store that looks like an eighth of a Rusty’s special. I dare you.”

“I ahh…”

While he was pondering, I grabbed a seat that had three inches of Durasoft foam padding all around, Honeycombed Airgels for the outside part of the human sitting apparatus, an ergodynamic relief channel for the part that needs relief, and coil springs underneath to give it a ride like a Cadillac. I put it into the position it was made for. “How’s this one fit?”

“I’ll check to see if that’s the largest one we have,” he said, then disappeared.

Maybe I’ll take up running again. I headed for the shoe section. Just as I approached the running shoes, a sales guy said: “You can hook that pair up to your iPod.”

It was my turn to say: “Excuse me?”

“You put a sensor in your shoe and a receiver on your iPod and it keeps track of your mileage and rate of speed. Then you can put your results into a database to share with other runners.”

I waited for him to laugh and say “Gotcha!” But he didn’t.

I looked at the prices. The shoes were a hundred bucks, the sensor was thirty bucks, plus another thirty bucks for a case to strap onto your arm.

“So, for only a hundred and sixty bucks I can listen to heavy footfalls and raspy breathing on my two-hundred-dollar stereophonic iPod?”

“Plus,” he said without missing a beat, “there is a woman’s voice that comes on periodically to tell you how you are doing and keep you on track.”

“I don’t need that, I already have a wife.”

I handed him the shoes, bicycle seat and the new pair of zip-off leg pants I was going to buy and headed home.

Instead of living longer, I think I’ll just try to write faster.