It seems that every college has its share of . . . “interesting” folks who should have graduated oh, about thirty years earlier and moved on. You know who I’m talking about: they have a LOT to say, and they’ll be damned if they won’t share it with you… In my case, when I was an undergrad at the University of Michigan, there were two such folks, “Shakey Jake” and “Preacher Mike”
Now “Shakey” as he was often known, had a gui-TAR, sunglasses and always wore a suit and top hat. He grinned and strummed and always had something nice to say, whether you gave him a dollar or not. “Hey SMILEY!” he’d call out as I walked to Angell Hall. “How you DOIN?’” Of course I was smiling – his exuberance lifted me even as I was pitted against my peers in this competitive school (“30% of you Economics majors will fail, no matter what; less than 5% can hope for an A”). Ah, yes, indeed. “What’s shakin’, Shakey Jake?” and he would throw back his head and strum a few off-key chords and we both knew we could get through the day.
Preacher Mike, on the other hand, would rail at students as they were passing through the Diag on their way to class.
“SINNER!!!!!” He’d thunder, jumping on a concrete bench. “Harlot! – you, with the lipstick, Jezebel, oh REPENT!” Flecks of foam would gather at the corner of his mouth as he’d pick up steam. “Yea, repent, lest the gates of Heaven be closed against you for ALL ETERNITY!” Mostly he drew the scornful, the curious, the half-frightened, and the truly angry (who you callin’ harlot?). I lingered once for half a minute, curious, but wary of all that spittle.
So…yeah. You know, “Sugar is the Devil”. Last week I did a Google search on this very topic and came up with so much to support my claim – I saw sites from over five years ago preaching the poisons of the product. “Sugar is poison!” “Sugar KILLS!” “Sugar is a TOXIN!”
All right, all right already!
Does sugar have any health benefits? No. Does it create an acidic environment in your body, a breeding ground for bacteria? YES (starting to get a little worked up here). Doesn’t an overload – oh, more than a tsp/day – encourage all sorts of terrible diseases, from diabetes to obesity (oh, c’mon, calm down!)? Isn’t the cultivation of cane sugar – transplanted from the east to the “New World” a stain on the history of humankind as more than 10 million souls endured a horrific forced migration for this purpose?
I’m not LI-sten-ING!
Ok, then. Here’s my challenge: can you actually go a day without a dessert . . . or anything sweetened by cane sugar? Can you stretch it to three days? Try a week, and then go take a bite of dessert. Note how you feel, physically. . . and note your mood ½ and hour after consuming the devil – OOPs – cane sugar.
But this is just a challenge – nah, forget it, just an idea. Your call. Your life. Whatever you think is best.
Because above else, I want you to keep on smilin’. I will. I don’t have all the answers, not even close. I only know what I know. I am not above it all. Good God, not even close.
So maybe, just maybe, you’ll come my way now and again.