“I went to go babysit for an hour and the kids didn’t know what their own Wi-Fi password was.” – A First World Problem

She came by our Saturday morning caffeination table at Eugene’s Hideaway Bakery.

She could hardly wait to tell us that she just came from Pilates, and now she needed her gluten-free scone to go with her vegan coffee with soy.



Should she add some coconut oil just to be sure?

Was this pronouncement for us or was it for her…or maybe for both parties?

Maybe her first-world consciousness makes her just a tad better than the rest of us mere mortals? If you don’t know the answer,  just ask her. She will gladly tell you.

This all brings me to three questions: Why do all of these “classics” insist on making these sanctimonious proclamations of their inconsequential virtues? Who cares…besides them? Have any of them heard of the acronym, TMI?

Are they going to be granted early access to the pearly gates of Heaven just because they don’t drink bottled water or only consume organic fair-trade, shade-grown coffee? This question makes a huge assumption that they really believe in heaven, hell and purgatory.

I will take the “under.”

Maximum Flexibility?

Back in the 1980s when it was Morning in America, I was toiling in the Office of the Governor in Sacramento. One of our daily political tasks was to achieve, “maximum flexibility.” This notion often informally translated into minimal activity because if you did something that may close a door or two, you may therefore wipe out some of your maximum options.

Still the premise was a good one. Don’t give yourself only two options, such as drowning or burning at the stake. When possible provide yourself with a third viable option or maybe even more.

As we get more mature, we should be looking to expand our avenues to explore life and the world. Why? At some point despite our best efforts or because of our worst habits, our bodies will begin to atrophy and eventually and ultimately, fail. Our options will diminish. Our world will get smaller.

Drawing Lines in the Sand?

I can see my own flesh and blood rolling her eyes when I gave her my epistle about maximum flexibility. She insists on drawing more lines in the sand, even at the young age of 24. She has her “habits” and her teams.

Naturally, there are some options best not tried including meth amphetamine, bungee jumping, visiting North Korea or going on a raid with Somali Pirates. You can avoid all of these destructive activities and still have maximum flexibility in your life.

Instead of proclaiming…and yes…it is a proclamation…that she will never eat meat, I have suggested salad-size plate moderation. Why can’t Monday’s dinner by a veggie meal; and Tuesday, a lean beef feast; and Wednesday, fish; and Thursday, chicken; and Friday, pizza…? Isn’t variety the spice of life?


And yet, it is akin to talking to a brick wall. If you believe that you are inherently superior because of your chosen lifestyle, and other elitists harbor the same image, is reason going to work? Alas, you know the answer.

Happy Activist?

For some reason, I can’t remember anybody giving a particle about being gluten free even a decade ago. Now this First-World concern is everywhere with pontificating and bloviating adherents drinking the gluten-free Kool-Aid.

Hideaway and other bakeries that actually use wheat (gasp!) are caving into the gluten-free tyranny. They do their level best, but some just will not be satisfied. This is a cause. This is a movement. And the gluten-free crowd is composed of radicalized activists. There is no joy in their gluten-free world. Have you ever seen a happy activist?

My shortest Match.com date lasted about 40 minutes (about 39 minutes too long). My companion for 2,400 seconds immediately and relentlessly harangued the Agate Alley Bistro waitress whether everything from the wine to the bread were gluten free. Upon reflection, I wish she had stood me up.



If it wasn’t for the University of Oregon, Eugene’s economy would be dependent on its plethora of yoga studios and tattoo parlors. Maybe after an hour of Cobra, Downward Dog and High Plank, the gluten-free warriors can march over to the nearest “ink” dispenser and have the words, “Gluten Free,” affixed where the sun doesn’t shine.

For their present and future lovers, these permanent messages would be akin to the government warnings on the sides of cigarette packs.