July 18, 2007
DEATH BY CHINESE DELIVERY MAN
I've reached that age where I have these fears of what will eventually do me in.
My mind seems as sharp as ever, although the other day I went to unlock my front door and instead of reaching into my wallet for a key I found myself taking out my American Express card and trying to figure out where to insert the card so that the door would spring open. It was only a few seconds but I took it as a sign.
It seems to me the only things to do about living longer center around exercise, giving up alcohol, or eating tasteless food. These are alternatives that I won't consider for even a minute. Death seems so much better than jogging.
So the only thing left for me is to try to avoid getting run over by a bicycle. Yes, this is my greatest fear. Let me tell you why.
To begin with, along with millions of baby boomers, I've reached that point where my bones have the consistency of Rice Krispies. And a broken hip at my age is the beginning of the end.
And whom do I feel will break my hip and send me to meet my maker?
It's going to be one of those tens of thousands of Chinese delivery men, wearing baseball caps, who pedal their broken down bikes around New York City every Sunday night.
On Sunday nights, in New York City, thousands of people who are too lazy to cook call for food from hundreds of restaurants. The food, ranging from roast pork chow fon and beef young sing lo mein to pizza with pepperoni, is put in the hands of these Chinese gentlemen who will go through fire to make sure the food will reach its final destination – your stomach.
Tons of food seem to be delivered by tens of thousands of Chinese gentlemen who speak no English and seem to only pedal their bikes against traffic. They don't swerve to avoid taxicabs. Instead, they fix their Night Of The Living Dead stares and aim their bikes at the grills of taxis traveling at them at 50 miles per hour on narrow streets. Taxicabs, I might add, which are being driven by people, many of whom have never before driven on a paved street, and like their Chinese counterparts, speak no English.
It's scary. These are nice, hard working Chinese delivery men who have been smuggled into the country to be "The Deliveryman From Hell." In the end they will unwittingly kill more Americans than their countrymen from the Chinese mainland who keeps sending us slightly poisoned food.
The other night I got out of a cab after a ride by a cab driver from Afghanistan who drove as if he had been commissioned by the Taliban to kill me. As I got out of the cab I felt something brush against me. I jumped out of the way and thus missed by inches of having my hip or leg broken by a zombie on a bike carrying bags of spareribs to some Park Avenue destination. It was raining and the advertising man in me borrowed a slogan for the Chinese delivery men to chant:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds to deliver moo goo gai pan to the masses.
Credit for what follows must go to my good friend Sara Vass who e-mailed this to me the other day. I couldn't wait to share it with you:
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live Long and Healthy Lives.
Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Krispy Creme donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled. And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the Figure that Man found so fair.
And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14. So God said, "Try my fresh green salad."
And Satan presented Thousand-Island dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.
God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables, and olive oil in which to cook them."
And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof. So God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good."
Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food." God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds.
And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.
Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.
God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.
And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger, and then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good."
And Man went into cardiac arrest. God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.
Then Satan created HMOs.
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