A cautionary seasonal tale

Zoë Sharp

I lay no claims to the following, but when it was sent to me earlier this week by my friend Shell, it seemed wholly appropriate in light of the season of over-indulgence that is almost upon us, and I couldn’t resist sharing it.

In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, with green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s bountiful gifts, Satan created Dairy Ice Cream and Magnums.

And Satan said, “You want hot fudge with that?”

And Man said, “Yes!”

And Woman said, “I’ll have one too—with chocolate chips.”

And lo they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthy yoghurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane and combined them.

And Woman went from size 12 to size 14.

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.”

And Satan presented Blue Cheese dressing and garlic croutons on the side.

And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, “I have sent you healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.”

And Satan brought forth deep-fried coconut king prawns, butter-dipped lobster chunks and chicken-fried steak, so big it needed its own platter.

And Man’s cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition.

Then Satan peeled off the healthy skin and sliced the starchy centre into chips and deep fried them in animal fats, adding copious quantities of salt.

And Man put on more pounds.

God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.

And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

Then God gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created McDonalds and the 99p double cheeseburger.

Then Satan said, “You want fries with that?”

And Man replied, “Yes, and Super Size ’em.”

And Satan said, “It is good.”

And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple by-pass surgery.

And then Satan chuckled and created the National Health Service.


So, ‘Rati, care to share your most—and least—healthy food temptations over the coming holidays? Is there something so calorific that you only dare have it at this time of year when all bets are off? Or how do you dutifully keep yourself on the dietary track until the New Year?

This week’s Words of the Week are several Daft Definitions:

impeccable: bird-proof

microbe: tiny dressing gown

pandemonium: black and white musical instrument that won’t breed in captivity

Please feel free to add more of your own!

And finally, as this is indeed the season of indulgence, how about a few small treats that will not add to your waistline—a book or two?

I’m sure I did more than enough utterly shameless self-promotion in my last Murderati blog but if I might add to that a small mention of the new US e-edition of THIRD STRIKE: Charlie Fox book seven, just out complete with an excerpt of the next book, FOURTH DAY, and also a taster for PD Martin’s excellent HELL’S FURY.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

11 thoughts on “A cautionary seasonal tale

  1. Sarah W

    We're usually good about veggies and healthy things this time of year . . . though last night we sent my husband forth to buy a mint cream pie from a local restaurant known for its pies.

    He came back with a chocolate cream one, because he was told the mint ones were frozen, and he thought it was more than his life was worth to bring back a pie that the four women in his house couldn't actually eat.

    We nodded thoughtfully at him, and then told him he should have bought both.

  2. Tammy Cravit

    Temptations: Cheese dip. My mother-in-law makes it, and it's one of those "one bite is too many, and a thousand isn't enough" sorts of foods. I've been trying to hew to Petronius's rule of "moderation in all things, including moderation", so I'll indulge a little bit, but not too much (I hope).

    I've definitely indulged the book habit this holiday season, but mostly with non-fiction stuff that would undoubtedly be of more interest to the 'Rati's readers than it is to my family. 🙂 Currently loaded up on my iPad are "Deadly Force Encounters: What Cops Need To Know To Mentally And Physically Prepare For And Survive A Gunfight" by Loren Christensen and Dr. Alexis Artwohl and "The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS: Solving Crime with Mathematics". But I'm anxiously awaiting the e-arrival of DIE EASY on January 8…

  3. Lisa Alber

    There's no one food that gets me…It's more like the seasonal socializing gets me. I turn hedonistic! Eat everything in sight, drink a little (or more than a little) too much, and be of good cheer! It's way fun, but, man…This weekend I'm going to friend's Christmas brunch…She's got a specialty creme brulee crepey something that she makes…sigh…

  4. Allison Davis

    As I said in the blog previously, we enjoy dungeness crab this time of year, which is reasonably healthy — we get them live from the fishing docks and boil them ourselves and it's a big event. Both the fetching in early morning and the preparations. Although most loathe my mention of naming the crab and having races across the kitchen floor prior to boiling.

    My brother is famous for his desserts and he usually makes one of those rolled chocolate yule logs that are amazing and have every kind of calorie in them. With my family, chocolate is always involved. My niece will make flan — likely more than once.

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Sarah

    When it comes to sweet pies, I have a weakness for Key Lime, or Lemon Meringue, but I completely agree that your husband should have anticipated the possibilities of ‘one for now, one for later’ and planned ahead.

    Hmm, more training needed 🙂

  6. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Tammy

    My brother-in-law is a big fan of cheese (why do I always get the urge to add “Gromit” after the word “cheese”?) so we’ll have a selection in over Christmas, no doubt. I particularly like a bit of Wensleydale (“Wensleydale, Gromit?”) with Christmas cake.

    Those books do sound fascinating. I once asked for an illustrated forensic pathology book for Christmas―back in the days before it was easy to search online for such things. I remember being told it caused many raised eyebrows at the Enquiries desk in bookstores and quite a bit of backing away slowly …

  7. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Lisa

    I’m not doing a huge amount of socialising this year, I don’t think. A couple of meals out, one of which will count as the office Christmas party, bits of the family round for a couple of days, and that’s about it.

    I’m just hoping for some decent snow so I can do some snow-sculpting. Someone sent me a pic of a snow octopus that looked brilliant and I really want to give that a go 🙂

  8. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    Crab racing … Hmm. You’ll have to give us a selection of previous names. The only ones I can think of are probably not repeatable in polite company 🙂

    As for desserts, we’ll be having trifle, which my mother makes in heroic proportions, although in deference to me it will be without booze. People will just have to add their own at the serving-up stage!

    What sort of flan does your niece make, by the way?

  9. Allison Davis

    Individual carmel vanilla ones, and it is delicious. She's 16 so you have to wrest them away from her after she makes them.

    PS: Amazon just sent me an email saying I would get Die Easy before Christmas! What miracle did you pull off to do that?

  10. PD Martin

    Hi Zoe,
    Mmm….I'm probably with Lisa on this one. Just all-round overindulgence! I do make a mean Tira Misu for Christmas Day and I'm sure there's heaps of calories in that…not to mention booze, cream (artery-clogger) and cheese. And sugar of course.

    I'm also an all-year-round sweets nut. I find it hard to get through the day without something sweet in the morning (e.g. muffin), then something after lunch, then something after dinner. So Christmas is probably no different! Although I usually do have some of the yummiest Aussie chocolate in my stocking – Haighs. Expensive but divine.

    And thanks for the Hell's Fury plug 🙂

  11. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    Hmm―Carmel vanilla flans? Sounds good, but are they only available in a small town in CA where Clint Eastwood used to be mayor …?

    No idea on the Amazon front, but … great!

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