Sunday, January 23, 2011
DUBAI Local business owners have been meeting to plan a protest on Sparkpeople HQ, as revenues for their small business have been slowly dwindling over the past few months.
Abdullah Junblatt, local franchise holder of Chillis, an American based family restaurant explains more. Mr David used to be one of our most regular customers. Many was the day he would call for our drivers to deliver a 3 course meal to his apartment for both lunch and dinner. Often this would be 2 or 3 or 4 times a week, every week, for months and months. I know his order like my own son's face Classic Nachos, Half Ribs and Choc Chip Paradise Pie. Of course sometimes he would change but this was his standard. And now....
The tears well up in Abdullah's eyes as he turns his face to me And now I have a freezer full of half ribs, a fridge full of Paradise pies and a store room full of nachos and he doesn't call me anymore. Why? Why? And then I find out he grits his teeth and spits out one word Sparkpeople!
Abdullah, as well as the owners of Solis Restaurant and Chow Meins Chinese have had their weekly revenues shattered as their most loyal customer has simply stopped calling.
Collectively, these 3 business owners have added a 2 bedroom extension to their home, purchased a 35 foot catamaran and funded at least one of their children's private educations with the consistent revenue generated by sales to this one loyal customer.
James Choi, manager of Chows, elaborates How will I pay for the remainder of my beloved daughter Myrtles education without Mr David deliveries? He had us on speed dial and now? Now he doesn't even remember who we are. I am ruined RUINED I tell you!
We contacted Mr David for comment, and asked him how he felt about the devastation he has caused to these once proud business men.
He responded as follows.
Errr ummm I guess - sorry?
Little comfort indeed to Abdullah and James.
This story is not over and we will update you should the situation change...although we doubt it will. We REALLY doubt it will.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I have taken to getting angry at fatty carby bad food - not angry at myself for eating it but glaringly angry at that evil, sinister, fat producing, carb laden comfort food that looks at me with its neon EAT ME sigh flashing at me until I get mesmerised by it.
The first and second bite is bliss - its just like a big warm hug.
And then the guilt sets in - of course I am so swoony and aaaarrrghhh (picture Homer SImpson, donuts and a comatose look on his face as the drool drips down his chin - pretty ain't it) it doesn't make a big dent in my enjoyment.
But it's persistent and for a split second willpower starts barking at me.
So - I have a choice - finish it ornot. But if I just put it down and step away it'll still be smirking at me from across the room, winking at me like a $10 dollar hooker, promising a good time.
So - I have been taking a different approach.
I grab onto that lifeline that willpower is throwing me, lurch up off the lounge and walk - I have actually been known to RUN sometimes - to the trash can in the kitchen.
I jam the food down into that bin - not just a light toss on top because I have to admit I have on the odd occasion retrieved something after doing that (yes I admit it Pizza) - but I push it deep down into the trashy grossness, making sure it is far enough down that it is no longer appealing to eat at all.
I then majestically rise, head help high, point my finger at the offending item, give it a nice-try-but-no-cigar look and say words not allowed to be typed here - lets just insert "Screw YOU!" and I will let you guess.
Because that little dance jolts me out of my eating coma I suddenly wake up and whilst yes I have eaten a little of something bad for me I actually feel good because I took control.
The secret is just for a split second steeling yourself and using that under exercised will power to get you to the trash can - from there its easy.
I have no problem with wasting food when its food that's evil and bad for me. None what so ever.
So yes - if you managed a visual of that - especially the part where I am standing tall and smug and pointy at the trash can - please feel free to call the crazy town police to get them over to my place.
No need for an address - just tell them to look for the guy who is yelling at the cupcake!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Whilst I have mentioned this to a couple of people on the quiet its time to announce it to more people.
From February 1st, I will be a non smoker.
Big deal some of you say? Hmmm - yes it sort of is.
I started smoking when I was the ripe old age of 14 - thats mmfnmfd years of smoking. Sorry? - oh - mmfnmfd years ago.
No I am not mumbling - you are not hearing. MMFNMFD years ago.
OK OK - 35 years AGO!
It was the 70's, John Travolta was sexy as, guys wore platforms because they were fashionable not because they were short, hair was shoulder length, smoking was cool and a pack of cigarettes was around 25 cents
My sister - 26 - was living the life in Sydney. She and her so so hip friends would sometimes come home to visit and plumes of smoke would follow them around as they visited wineries and appeared to be oh so Sydney chic.
So at the ripe old age of 14 I decided I HAD to be as cool as my sister (yes I blame her and let her know this frequently) so I hid in the toilets of the shop my mother owned and lit my first cigarette. I don't remember it being foul at all - just difficult to master.
But I persisted the summer of 75/76 I started to go to the swimming pool every day - Mum and Dad were perplexed but happy that I had decided to do some exercise which would help lose some of my ever increasing weight. Pfffft as if I was going there to SWIM! I would sit on the grass and practise smoking slowly but surely practising the art of the drawback until I wasn't coughing up my guts every second inhale I could even blow a few smoke rings now THAT was cool!
My persistence paid off and within a couple of years I could smoke most of my school friends under table - cool right - yep - I know - TOTALLY cool!
Smoking became part of who I was and I was soon up to 25-30 a day quite comfortably. As prices went up and warnings started to emerge it had no affect apart from me cursing the government for taking even more money off me.
In my 20's the studies started to get headlines and it seemed that smoking - whilst still VERY cool maybe..well...was...sort of bad for you.
Not long after this restaurants started to having non smoking sections (at first these were a couple of tables hidden at the back) and our workplace became somewhat smoke free. Prior to that you could smoke away at your desk quite happily - ahh yes those were the days!
Smoking rooms became popular - at our offices the smoking room consisted of a table the size of a large desk, a clunking extractor fan and a permanent haze of smoke. Once more than 4 people got in the room the 5th and 6th could enter for free and not even have to light up - they just had to breathe in the clouds of smoke - bargain!
Then came the time that smokers started to be banished to the outdoors - workplaces became smoke free and restaurants also. Huddles of smokers would gather outside - quite often the restaurant had more people outside than inside. Back then the huddles of smokers were the fountain of knowledge this hourly retreat would always surface up some new gossip or fact that was privy only to that elite band of smokers. If you wanted know whether the boss was having an affair with the receptionist just ask a smoker.
Around this time things started to shift - initially I would get up from the table at the restaurant to go for a ciggie and at least half of the table would exit. Then it became a quarter, and then perhaps one other person occasionally. Eventually a smoking buddy was like finding a nugget of gold in a long since dead goldmine.
Disdain soon became the order of the day. I would find any excuse to leave a social setting - hmm just have to make a call, go to the bathroom, adjust my junk, pull up my socks, ooohhh look outside - its a rare white warbler - I must check it out! - eyebrows would arch and eyes would roll as I exited the room and fled outside to my one true friend - the cigarette.
Bars and pubs resisted for many years and only at the start of this decade did they also push the smokers outside. Graphic pictures of lungs and arteries and parentless children appeared on cigarette packs and newspapers shouted the dangers from every page.
As you can imagine by this stage my head was buried so deep in the sand all you could see were the soles of my shoes.
Side note - if its so bad for you why not just ban it ahhh yes the revenue. Revenue from smoking taxes still props up the school system and several other key public needs. For those people who curse smokers putting a strain on the health system please be assured that I have paid for any required medical treatment 10 fold or more.
A packet of cigarettes which used to be small change in your packet and now hits around $15 per packet a carton of cigarettes in Australia is becoming a major dent on your pay cheque.
Ha! I'll show the government I'll move to the Middle East where a pack of ciggies is 20% of the price and you can still smoke indoors well - in a few places anyways. So there!
Right then time for some statistics ahh yes I just LOVE this part!
Money spent on cigarettes over 35 years just over $180,000 based on inflation
Number of cigarettes consumed approximately 320,000
Time spent smoking (at 5 minutes per ciggie) just over 3 years continuously
If laid end to end how far would the number of cigarettes I have smoked stretch? I'll put it this way jogging at 10 k's an hour it would take you over 4 hours to run the distance.
Weight of tobacco smoked 687 lbs/312 kilos
Impressive huh and who says I can't apply myself when I want to!
But in a few short days these statistics will stop mounting up and I will be free of yet another demon.
For those of you who are concerned that I am giving up too much too quickly please be reassured I have been planning this for about a month and am lining up my ducks in a row to give me the best possible chance of success.
And if Feb 1st comes and I do not feel ready I will wait a couple of weeks and start then. Not because I am scared to stop but, because I am committed to succeed.
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