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On a whim, I called the Wayne Feeds people back in Fort Atkinson, Wis. They faxed me a label. I studied it. Calfnip and Slim-Fast share 11 ingredients.
O.K., they are a little different, and Wayne certainly doesn't recommend that humans drink Calfnip. But at about $32 for a 50-pound bag, it's a lot cheaper than Slim-Fast. What's more, when the barrel is empty you can stuff your little sister in it and roll her down a hill to make her scream.
I don't happen to have a cow in the city, but I began mixing up batches of Slim-Fast, Eat 'N Lose, California Slim and DynaTrim for my urban backyard creatures. One night the cat spent a lot of time—with ears swiveling in uncertainty—dipping his tongue into French vanilla Ultra Slim-Fast. Another time the opossum licked long and hard at mocha California Slim. And almost every night the raccoon was up to his elbows in the DynaTrim. He loved DynaTrim.
It was on one of these nights, as I sat all alone in the wee hours watching a raccoon lick DynaTrim from his feet, that I decided things had gone too far. It had been six weeks. Through all the purified cellulose and soy fiber and oat fiber I had lost 10 pounds. Realistically, that was probably going to be it. It occurred to me that running diet-shake taste tests on the opossum could be a sign of boredom.
Then, somehow, I started thinking about my chubby little grandmothers. They were awfully nice. Had wonderful, soft laps. And they sure could bake. I can remember coffee cakes and �clairs and cherry tortes that were....
Messrs. Lasorda, Gibbs, Shell, et al., thank you very much. Ten pounds are gone. My blender is tired. My raccoon is trim.
Now take me out, Coach. I'm going to go make a cream puff to die for.