Commentary – People are full of surprises

Joe McWilliams
Streaking sure was popular when I was in high school, and I deny anything anybody may say about me during that period. My friend Gordon ***** can deny it too, if he wants, but I have witnesses.

It still ranks as the funniest, most outrageous thing I’ve ever seen or been part of. My role was getaway car driver.

Gordon and his buddy – who shall remain nameless because I think he really is embarrassed about this youthful escapade – rode stark naked on their 10-speeds through downtown Fort St. John on a weekday evening. It was priceless. Talk about turning heads.

But you know, those two guys turned out all right. One is a rocket scientist (or something along those lines), working for Sandia Labs in New Mexico. The other is an electrical engineer, who in his spare time goes for epic hikes across Europe. Fully clothed, as far as I know.

A lot has changed since then. Streaking isn’t nearly as popular, for one thing. Physical activity, with or without clothes on, seems to be declining. Obesity is becoming more common, and diabetes is becoming an epidemic.

On the whole, I would say the powers that want us to eat and drink their unhealthy junk are winning and we are losing. We are becoming fat and lazy.

Lazy, you say? Surely that’s stretching it a bit.

Okay, here’s an example. Who would consider walking to the store to buy a small amount of groceries, rather than driving?

Heck, I know people who not only drive everywhere, but will not ever consider getting into a vehicle that is not already running and fully warmed up or (in warm weather) cooled off.

Going a bit further, it is not uncommon – as I may have mentioned editorially elsewhere not long ago – it is also not uncommon to see people driving who have not bothered to clean off their windows so they can actually see out of them.

It boggles the mind.

Well, it boggles my mind, but I turned 60 recently and who cares what old people think? I’ve been guilty of that sort of attitude.

At the supermarket some time back, I watched as the fellow in front of me unloaded his cart. Chips, pop, candy bars, more pop, more chips, more candy, more snacks…holy crap..there must be something in there that isn’t junk food!

Nope. Not even a single carrot or apple in the whole cartload. I was astonished, but maybe I shouldn’t have been.

So you can imagine that person, pounding back that stuff while binge-watching TV series, hour after hour.

Asking for it, if not soon, then sooner or later.

What are we doing to ourselves?

But I mustn’t categorize or stereotype. There’s probably some overweight, junk-food junkie in a basement somewhere right now coming up with a way to extract energy from a potato chip. The Next Big Thing.

Why, just last night, while spending four hours on the couch alternately reading and watching the tube, I caught some scientist explaining a new type of nuclear power that’ll be ten times better, cheaper and safer than what they have now.

People are full of surprises. And some of them are bound to be useful. Some are just funny.

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