Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

If Eating Were a Race, He'd Bring Home the Gold

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

If Eating Were a Race, He'd Bring Home the Gold

Article excerpt

In the last few weeks, several friends have pointed out that my dog and I have at least one thing in common.

As my friend Jonathan said, "You both eat as if you were raised by wolves."

Hmm ...

Just for the record, Charly (my dog) was raised by coonhounds, and I was raised by Italians.

When I was growing up in Queens, there was a Mr. and Mrs. Wolff who lived around the corner from us. But as far as I can remember, the Wolffs had nothing to do with how I was raised -- although every so often, Mrs. Wolff would stand by her fence and throw me a nice big ox bone to chew on.

Last week, Jonathan spent two days with Charly while I was down in Clementon, visiting a sick friend.

Every hour or so, Jonathan would send me a text. Breathless updates included: "Just got to your house." "I let Charly out." "Everything here is fine." And, "Filled the dog's dish and she practically bit my arm off."

That last one concerned me, so I decided to call.

"What happened with the dog?" I asked.

"She's an animal!" he replied. "I filled her dish and I was holding it in my hand ..."

"Over her head?"

"Well, yeah. I told her, 'I have your food!' and the next thing you know, she jumped on me!"

I explained that Charly is a dog. And dogs are always hungry. And they swallow up everything in front of them like vacuum cleaners.

"Oh, I see," Jonathan replied. "So, in other words, she eats just like you do."

OK, I admit it: I do eat a lot. And I eat quickly. Is that such a sin?

One night, back in the '70s, I asked a co-worker out for Chinese. At the restaurant, we ordered and chatted -- although, as I recall, she did most of the talking.

When our entrees arrived, she was still talking. The next thing I knew, I had cleaned my plate and she was still going on and on -- until she glanced down and saw my empty dish.

"You're finished?" she gasped. "I haven't even started yet!"

Then, suddenly, she turned into my mother: "Eating is not a race!"

I've heard this so many times through the years. But it hasn't put a dent in my appetite or in the way I eat. Nor have all the warnings that I was at risk for indigestion, reflux etc.

I have a 34-inch waist. And I have never had stomach problems. …

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