There are all sorts of ways to diet.
Our family’s favorite is the Modified Toast and Tea (MTT) diet that includes peanut butter, grapefruit and cottage cheese.
You can lose five pounds in a weekend if you exercise a little will power.
Since the diet allows for slight modifications, my wife Kate and I occasionally interpret this differently.
Take last night. With the MTT you’re allowed a slice of toast with several teaspoons of peanut butter, plus a cup of cottage cheese and tea for the evening meal. Kate said she didn’t feel like peanut butter so she spread a cup of cottage cheese on her toast.
I pointed out her mistake. She said that essentially she was following the diet.
I was not going to argue with her. I warmed up a frying pan and dropped a small cup of butter in it. When the butter started to bubble I fried a slice of bread in it. Once the bread was fried nicely on one side, I smeared peanut butter on the other side and fried that.
Kate immediately criticized me for using the butter, which she claimed was high in both fat and cholesterol.
“Relax,” I said. “When you fry butter it evaporates.”
“As anyone can see I started out with a cup of butter and that’s been reduced to a tiny puddle of yellow liquid.”
“You think that gets rid of the cholesterol? Do you realize it probably concentrates it?” Kate asked.
“Do you realize you’ll die if you don’t have enough cholesterol in your body?” I asked. I slowly ate the peanut butter diet toast and then I swallowed a small green pill that the doctor had given me to reduce cholesterol. “Besides, I don’t have to worry about cholesterol,” I said. “That’s what these pills are for. If it makes you happy, I’ll take two.”
“You’re supposed to combine the pills with a sensible diet,” said Kate.
“I’m dieting, Honey,” I said. The fried peanut butter toast was rather tasty but the heat had shrunk it considerably so I made myself a second serving. “Do you want me to make some diet peanut butter toast for you?” I asked, spooning another cup of butter into the frying pan. (The original amount had completely evaporated.)
“No,” said Kate, despondently. “Tea?”
“I’ll have a diet shake instead,” I said, opening the fridge and taking out some skim milk and ice cream. I dumped the milk into a blender, added half a pound of ice cream and whipped it up.
“That’s not on the diet,” Kate said.
“We can have skim milk in our tea, right?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Okay, I’m drinking the skim milk by itself. I’m not even using the tea.”
“You idiot,” she said. “You’re making a milkshake. What do you think is in that?”
“Darling,” I said. “I know what’s in it. Some milk, which is on our diet. And a little ice cream that is almost the same as cottage cheese. I’m skipping the cottage cheese entirely tonight.”
“Ice cream is not the same as cottage cheese,” she protested.
“Yes and no. Both are dairy products made out of essentially the same thing. Milk.” I added some chocolate syrup to the shake. Before she could criticize me for that I said, “Instead of grapefruit, I’ve substituted a little bit of syrup. It’s mostly fructose, which is the basic building block of fruit.” I finished the second fried peanut butter sandwich. “Where’s the butter?” I asked.
“I’m going to make a peanut butter sandwich — as you recall, they’re prescribed on our diet.”
“You’ve already had two peanut butter sandwiches, both fried in butter, you beast,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “After I fried them they were only a third the size of when they started out as bread. That’s two-thirds of my allotment. I’m allowed one more on our diet.” I finished my diet chocolate shake.
“If you’re going off your diet, then so am I,” she screamed. Kate ran past me, opened the cupboard door and grabbed a cheesecake.
I reluctantly ate a piece with her. Not because I wanted to, but because there would be less for her to get fat on.
Sure, I realized I would put on a bit of weight but it’s easier for me to diet than it is for Kate. I don’t want to make a big thing out of it but I simply seem to have more willpower than my wife.