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Remembering Walter Wakelin      Phydeaux Speaks!

Phydeaux Speaks
July 2000

I have just returned from eating breakfast at one of my favorite Asheville restaurants. The food I ordered came with a side of fresh fruit. The menu said nothing of a side of fruit. I wasn't particularly interested in eating any fruit at that time. I looked at the waitress, opened my mouth to say something, and realized that it was far too late, that the appealingly arranged but totally unwanted fruit was destined for the landfill. Health codes, you see. Once food touches a plate it must either eaten by the customer or thrown away. And it mattered not a bit that I studiously avoided any contact with the fruit (especially considering that one of those delicious looking fruits was toxic to me), it was simply a pile of decay waiting to happen.

When I signaled to the waitress that I was finished by tossing my napkin across my plate, she came over with my check and to take away my leavings. "Don't you want your fruit?" she asked. I wanted to say, "Did I order any fruit with my food?" Not to mention the ubiquitous glass of water with a wedge of lemon that I didn't ask for either. "It looks so good, though," the waitress crooned.

I was made to feel (unintentionally, I'm sure) ashamed, embarrassed, and frustrated, simply because I didn't eat food that I didn't ask for. And constantly, in the back of my mind, lurked thoughts of the literally billions of people around the world that would consider the fruit I didn't ask for to be the best meal they had ever had. It made me so bloody proud to be an American.

Here's an idea for all you restaurant folk out there. Don't assume every patron wants a side of fruit, or iced tea with a lemon in it, or a salad with thirty different greens and veggies in it. If I want any of these things, I will tell you when I place my order. Personally, I'm just as happy with a small bowl of fresh lettuce as I am with a large plate covered with lettuce, sprouts, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes, celery, watercress, and carrots - with a lovely raspberry vin e ranch basil cumin tofu soy whip dressing. It takes a very jaded person to need a dressing like that.

The Republican Presidential candidate-presumptive is Governor of a state in which one out of every twenty people goes to bed at night with a growling stomach, the vast majority of which are children. And yet he denies that hunger is a problem and vetoes state bills that would help alleviate this problem. He even jokes about this at fund raising dinners, to which the price of admission is more than a month's salary for the people about which he jokes. I'm willing to bet that "Prince" George has never even felt true hunger pangs, and could probably count on his fingers and toes the number of times his stomach has even growled.

Not that the Democratic choice is any better. Being a major stockholder in one of the world's largest rapers of the earth tends to void any claim he might have to be a caretaker for the environment. In defense of both men, however, they can hardly help not knowing what transpires in the lives of the majority of Americans. Having been born into wealthy families, they had all their needs exceeded from an early age.

My point is that we shouldn't feel anger towards these poor deluded fools. We should feel sorry for them. They have no idea what life is really about. If presented with a real world crisis, they would be helpless without their backers and handlers. Hell, even in an ordinary, everyday situation they would probably be helpless without their backers and handlers.

When you go vote in the election this fall, look at every name listed as candidate for President. Do any of these names represent what the "average" American needs? Please don't let your vote be decided by one issue, because I have a feeling that the major party politicos will be beating single issues to death, telling us that _____, which will probably be something that you have never even thought of before they tell you to, is the most important, nationally-vital, earth-shaking, Deity blessed and sanctioned issue ever to be considered by humanity. Don't let them control your thinking!!!!!

Whatever you do, don't just stand there complacently chewing on the grass while the prairie fire rages towards you. Raise your head, look around, and see what we are all going to be facing. We are in a downward spiral, the evidence is all around you. Be ready!

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