“Food glorious food
What is there more handsome?
Gulped, swallowed or chewed,
Still worth a KINGS RANSOM!”

DooDaddy: “I’ve lost five pounds.”
Me: “I thought you looked taller and thinner. Especially taller.”
DooDaddy: “Why, thank you. I only had tuna salad for lunch. And macaroni and cheese, which is a vegetable. And a diet milkshake and Jello cake.”
Me: “What makes the milkshake diet?”
DooDaddy: “The secret is two scoops of low-fat ice cream, a glass of skim milk and just an oonch of chocolate sauce. It’s really good.”
Doodaddy: “Do you know about Jello cake? They poke holes in the cake and pour the Jello in.”
Me: “Is the Jello what makes it dietetic?”

Doodaddy has been gaining and losing the same five pounds for the past fifty years.

As long as I can remember, everyone in my family has watched his or her weight. When I was a teenager, I was actually too skinny and drank a gritty body-builder milkshake (decidedly not diet) every morning with my bowl of Lucky Charms in an effort to bulk up. My metabolism has slowed considerably since those halcyon days, as has DooDaddy’s. He used to could skip dessert at lunch and drop five pounds in three days.

DooDaddy’s only “fat” days were when he sympathetically gained 25 pounds when Gmamma was pregnant with my sister Keeling. Seems my mother craved brownies and ice cream, and my father was just keeping her company. He worked for J.C. Penney at the time and was astounded when someone referred to him as “that heavyset guy in the men’s department.” Doodaddy’s inner voice said, “Who, moi?” as he had always considered himself tall and thin.

“I eat like a bird,” DooDaddy laments now. “Don’t understand why I’m not wasting away … oh and pass the pecan pie.”

Now the uber-fast Mansfield metabolism has been passed down to my pride and joy, Mac Bower, who is lean as a greyhound and shredded as an Abercrombie model. Even as a baby, he was cut – except for his precious, chubby cheeks.

Since living at The Home, and even before, DooDaddy and Gmamma have carefully written down everything they eat every day in little notebooks and then tallied up the carbs. In recent years, when I asked Gmamma what the point was of this exercise, she shrugged and said she had no idea. She was just keeping DooDaddy company. Kind of like eating brownies together while pregnant. See Food matter. A lot. for more about my gourmand geezers.

Gmamma is gone now, but the tradition continues.

For reasons known only to DooDaddy, he writes his food down on a scrap of paper placemat from the dining room and then carefully transposes it to his special notebook when he gets back to the apartment. He could carry the notebook in his man bag (aka “briefcase”) on his walker, but then that would deprive him of the pleasure of rewriting it later. Routines are comforting. And all that writing burns calories that can be spent on Jello cake and pecan pie.


A light lunch