Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Fries That Bind

I felt moved to write this by something I read at about people turning downright mean when they thought they might be denied a flu shot.

Amy and I have been saying to each other for months now that it seems like people in general are getting ruder. These conversations admittedly are often prompted by some freeway driver who cuts us off, tailgates us, or who does some other dangerous maneuver that defies logic if not the standards of common decency. But there have also been incidents where we've been in a store and another customer acted in a manner that could be interpreted as rude and Amy or I will react by saying something lighthearted and hopefully humorous to try to break the tension. It's not uncommon for our attempts at humor to be met with an icy stare or ignored completely.

We've generally chalked up this behavior to people being in a hurry, or worse yet to the fact we're getting older.

However it truly does seem to happen a lot more often these days...and suddenly I've formulated a theory as to why.

Unlike a lot of scientific theories, mine is rather brief and can be summarized in three words: people are constipated.

When I was a kid, and was being particularly, whiney, ornery, or obnoxious, my Mom was known to say, "Sounds like somebody needs a good bowel movement."

At the time, I didn't really know what that meant, although I remember it often left anyone within earshot giggling, which of course made me feel somewhat sheepish. I'm sure the net result was that I quieted down and stopped being a little snot for at least a little while, thus accomplishing my Mother's immediate goal.

Now I'm thinking perhaps Mom deserved more scientific credit for her erudite perception. It was in fact Ex-Laxian enlightenment.

Think about it. We've become a nation of fast food addicts. We shovel barely digestible concoctions into our gullets at a rate never before experienced by mankind. Moreover we order the "super sized" or "biggie" version more often than not and rarely are the words spoken, "oh, and please hold the cheese." If anything we ask for extra cheese.

Are we in fact a society that is angry because our bowels are blocked?

Thank goodness for sites such as

There you can learn that, "the most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and high in fats found in cheese, eggs, and meats."

Now I've literally spent minutes searching the Internet for concrete evidence that backed up bowels leads to moodiness, melancholy, if not outright madness. Alas, I have not found definitive proof.

However I'm sure there is anecdotal evidence out there, so let me be clear: I don't want to hear about it.

I think I've probably plumbed this subject far beyond the depths it deserves. Although I realize my theorizing has undoubtedly left few of you, if any, boweled over, at least I feel relieved.

And who knows, maybe I've given you something to sit and ponder.